National's planned support package for workers laid off in the wake of an expected global recession could include loans and cash assistance, the party's leader John Key says. National will announce the package later this week.
National will announce the package later this week.
Treasury and the Reserve Bank are picking unemployment could head up from below 4 percent to above 5 percent as New Zealand struggles with a recession that is likely to be lengthened by the current global economic turmoil.
Mr Key today said National wanted to help New Zealanders with financial commitments and liabilities who lost their jobs as a result of the economic head winds.
"It's almost inevitable as the real economy slows down as a result of the credit crunch, some New Zealanders will lose their job," he told reporters today.
"I just want to make sure that they have the assurance, even if it's only on a temporary basis, they will have some support to meet their commitments. That's what that package will be designed around."
Speaking earlier on TVNZ's Agenda programme, he said the package would be for people who the government was confident would again find work "over time" and could include loans or cash assistance.
"There may be a combination of types of things in that area, so it's specific and it'll be people who can't meet their liability, who would otherwise potentially default for instance on a loan they might have, or their mortgage is an example."
Mr Key would not say how it would be paid for, but said it would be "affordable and reasonable".
"There will be some costs, but as I've said that's got to balance up against the cost against families."
He said the support would be part of a three-pronged approach to managing New Zealand's economy through the turmoil.
The other two parts would be ensuring liquidity through deposit guarantees and other similar measures, and ensuring the government pursued policies that promoted economic growth.
Mr Key also used the programme to attack the prospect of a Labour-Greens government which he said would hinder economic growth, lower New Zealand's credit rating and the confidence of foreign investors.
But Labour finance spokesman Michael Cullen said foreign investors could be "absolutely confident of on-going political stability" under a re-elected Labour-led government.
He accused Mr Key of stoking investors' fears, but said his comments did not stack up.
"The reality is that Labour has emerged from the last three general elections to deliver strong government because of Labour's professional working relationships with a number of other parties."