Release the secret $5 billion list to get Kiwis working

Nearly 135,000 work-ready Kiwis and tens of thousands of construction workers desperately need Labour to release its secret list of $5 billion worth of shovel-ready projects today, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins has demanded.

More than three weeks ago, Grant Robertson and Shane Jones announced the Government had approved $3 billion of funding for more than $5 billion worth of shovel-ready projects, which it says will create 20,000 jobs.

Jacinda Ardern confirmed the projects were signed off on June 29 and her deputy, Winston Peters, told the Wellington Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday he has the whole list.

But Labour is keeping the list of projects secret for political reasons.

“This is not some political game,” Ms Collins said.

“The construction industry says Labour must release the list to avoid company closures and more redundancies, but Labour wants to keep it secret until closer to election day.

“The livelihoods of tens of thousands of construction workers and their families depend on Labour releasing the list.

“As the economic and jobs crisis worsens more than 200,000 New Zealanders are already on unemployment benefits, 135,000 of whom are ready to start work today,” Ms Collins said.

“More job losses are looming with confidence among small businesses now at its lowest level since records began.

“The effects are flowing through the economy with the Warehouse announcing another thousand layoffs on Monday and today’s Weekly Employment Indicators showing total paid jobs fell by 3670 in just the past seven days.

“Release the list now, Ms Ardern.”