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A Vision For New Zealand

Friday 21st Jul 2000

Media Release -- Other

The ACT Caucus, having looked at where New Zealand is today, six years after it was set up, believes what it said in 1994 is still true today. We said in 1994 that New Zealand is at a Crossroads:

Much is still to be done if we are to recoup previous losses caused by New Zealand being worst economic performer in OECD for 30 years, to 1993.

Need to move forward, and accept we are part of a global economy.

Current parties retreating to a dangerous do nothing approach.

No difference between National, Labour, Alliance or New Zealand First, except in matter of degree.

- None of them have clear vision of where New Zealand stands and where it should be heading.

- All believe in a policy approach where politicians make choices which would best be left to individuals. In other words, none of them are prepared to trust the voter, by giving them the responsibility and dignity of making decisions for themselves.


- ACT only party which has a vision for New Zealand’s future and a cohesive well thought out programme to achieve that vision.

ACT only party prepared to trust public, to give public the opportunity to take responsibility for own lives.

ACT is the only party which will provide genuine security for disadvantaged.

ACT is the Only Party with a different approach

ACT is : Internationalist not Isolationist : People Oriented not Government oriented : Concerned with medium cures not Short-term band-aids : Concerned with future not the past.

What Does ACT Stand For?

Individual choice and personal responsibility within a supporting framework of social and economic policy.

Opportunity, security and dignity which come from fair treatment, productive employment, rising living standards and personal choice.

Less Government involvement in the delivery of services to the consumer, but greater concentration on creating an environment where there is choice, freedom, competition and diversity.

Access to a high standard of education for all children.

Access to a high standard of health care for all citizens.

Security of income in retirement.

Security for the needy through an adequate level of income for all citizens in the event of some adverse event such as sickness, an accident or unemployment.

Competition as a means of achieving key objectives and goals in areas such as Education, Health, Retirement Income and Social Welfare.

Consumer power in that there should be no special privileges or assistance to one sector over another.

Income support policies which have as their objective the redistribution of income fairly and efficiently.

This means that – - Assistance should meet the needs of the most disadvantaged. - Benefit provisions should avoid creating severe disincentives for employment: instead they should assist and reward effort and, in a broader sense, self-help, participation and dignity. - Social welfare transfers should be carried out efficiently and, in particular, should as much as possible minimise welfare losses, not inhibit economic growth, and contribute to jobs.

- Tax collections and benefit payments should not interfere with people’s lives and choices more than absolutely necessary. - Transfers should be fiscally sound, that is sustainable.

A tax system which meets the following goals:

The efficient collection of taxes with the least interference in people’s lives, fair and equitable treatment, the encouragement of productive jobs and economic growth.

Lower government debt.

Control of government expenditure.

ACT RECOGNISES THAT

Any programme of reform has to be about goals, objectives and dreams. These must be capable of being delivered within a reasonable timeframe, and by practical, common-sense means and measures.

The old politics of the economic Left and Right are meaningless – the political landscape has changed. There are new groupings, new divisions. What we have now are internationalists – those who believe in competition and the global economy – and the isolationists – those who still believe in high levels of protection and the virtual monopoly government supply of many essential products such as education.

For many New Zealanders, the pain of waking up to 40 years of mismanagement has been significant – financially, emotionally and intellectually. Instinctively, many have turned nostalgically to a past that never was – a past in fact directly responsible for the difficulties many New Zealanders face today. In order to counter this desire to look backwards, a carefully planned vision of New Zealand’s future is required.

In the final analysis, all the principles, the framework of policy, are not about economic and social theories. They are about and for people. How do you give people a real chance to live successful fulfilling lives that contribute to the country’s economic and social progress.

The foundation of modern wealth is know-how. The driving forces are technology and information management. We have to match the rest of the world in those areas if we want a better future.

In any economy, resources are limited and scare. The challenge is to make the best use of them – a challenge which can only be met if the proper incentives and in place.

New Zealanders, as a whole, have fallen into the trap over the past ten years of looking at the country’s problems in isolation and only in terms of today. Hey need to widen and lengthen their perspective.

The purpose of social policy is to assist those in genuine need – too often the present system puts institutions ahead of people.

On the policy front, ACT will be issuing:

A major policy paper on education, health, accident insurance and industrial relations.

A major publication on how ACT policy would “Close the Gaps” socially and lift New Zealander’s position internationally and thereby encourage our young people in New Zealand.

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


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