Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


What's Not In The Budget? Bugs and Bandwidth

WHAT’S NOT IN THE BUDGET? BUGS & BANDWIDTH

Friday 16th Jun 2000 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Economy

WHAT’S NOT IN THE BUDGET? BUGS & BANDWIDTH Extracts from Hon Richard Prebble’s post-budget speech Auckland Centra, 12-2pm June 16 2000

WHAT’S NOT IN IT #1: BIOSECURITY “What’s significant about this budget is what’s not in it. There is nothing in the Budget about funding a campaign to eradicate the varroa bee mite.

Under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, every Cabinet decision must be included in the Budget. It would appear the beekeepers and agriculture generally are the big losers from this Budget.

This will come as a surprise to the agricultural sector who in briefings to ACT said the cost of the varroa bee mite may pose a billion dollar threat to exports. They were confident that a government that could find $146 million for the arts would find $70 million for a key export industry.

It appears they are wrong.

If the Cabinet changes it’s mind, then nearly half of the total contingency fund in the Budget will have gone, raising questions about the credibility of a contingency fund of only $200million.”

WHAT’S NOT IN IT #2: SPECTRUM REVENUE “Where has the $650 million radio spectrum money gone?

Perhaps the most glaring gap in the Budget is the failure to state what the government intends doing with the proceeds of the two-gigahertz spectrum sale. The sale is expected to earn a minimum of $650 million and perhaps significantly more.

Many of the world’s leading telecommunications companies have indicated their intention to actively bid for this asset. In the past, successive governments have stated that revenue from the sale of assets must go to debt repayment.

The only attempt to use asset sales for spending was by David Caygill in 1990 when the then Labour government put aside a portion of the Telecom sale for spending on schools. This policy was condemned by everyone and reversed by National.

It’s highly significant that none of the Budget statements contain a clear policy of what will happen to what is a very large capital sum of money.

In a post-Budget press conference, the Minister of Finance made a bid for the money. Dr Cullen said he would like to use it for his superannuation investment fund.

One of the Maori Ministers, Tariana Turia, in a post-Budget statement, made a bid for all of the money to go to “capital seed money for iwi”.

ACT understands that Trevor Mallard wants to revive David Caygill’s policy and have the money go to new schools, and Annette King believes the money should go to pay for new hospitals in Wellington and Auckland.

It’s extraordinary that the government should be proceeding with the sale without having determined where the proceeds are to go.

As the Minister who first conceived the policy that auctioning airwaves was the way to promote more innovative uses of the spectrum, a New Zealand policy that has been copied world-wide, I see the spectrum auction leading to significant improvements, particularly in cellphone technology.

I’m appalled at this squabble between Ministers. I remind them that it was a Labour government that first established a policy that the proceeds of selling off State assets can only go towards debt repayment.

The approach by the government towards this sale is intellectually and morally wrong.” ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news