Jacinda Ardern Says Covid-19 Recovery And Unemployment Are Her First Priorities
After her landslide victory over the weekend, New Zealand's Prime Minister has outlined her first priorities.
Jacinda Ardern says coronavirus recovery and fixing the country's unemployment rate are the biggest issues at the moment and she will work hard to get them fixed as soon as possible.
The Labour leader wants to use around $300 million in cash incentives to help get Kiwis back into work by the end of the year. She also wants more support for small business loans to give people the confidence to get back out there.
While New Zealand has largely eliminated the virus, the strict lockdowns saw many businesses close for good and workers fired without much assistance.
Ms Ardern's cash incentive program will provide average business subsidies of up to $7,500, and up to $22,000 to provide unemployed citizens with a sustainable job.
It's hoped the idea will generate around 40,000 jobs.
While the Prime Minister's party had secured a whopping 46 percent of the vote as of yesterday, Ms Ardern is remaining coy about whether there will be a power sharing arrangement organised with the Greens.
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Before the election, many polls predicted a coalition would have to be formed, however it's unclear whether the Labour party will want to push forward with that idea.
Greens co-leader James Shaw told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that he isn't reading into the talk 'too much' and will just 'see how it goes'.
Mr Shaw said: "We congratulated each other on respective wins on Saturday. It was obviously a huge night for Labour, they made history, and so did we. We said, 'Good on ya, and we'll talk in the coming days.'
"We didn't know how the election was going to pan out, we've got to let the dust settle. We will be sitting down and saying, 'What can we do on these priorities?'"
Mr Shaw was asked whether he thought Ms Ardern wouldn't organise a coalition and he replied with: "They won't say that... it has been a good partnership... we have a constructive working relationship. We've spent the last three years in Government together.
"We have a lot of shared ideas and shared vision for how we want our country to go forward."
Counting is still going on with the election, as well as the two referendums that took place on the same day, which were about legalising cannabis and euthanasia.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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