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ACT To Bring Back Kiwis From Overseas

Extract of a speech by Hon Richard Prebble CBE

Leader ACT New Zealand Party

Thursday, 29 November at 7.30am


Bellamy's Restaurant, Parliament House

It's two years since the election of the Labour/Alliance government. Two years since Jim Anderton promised that the Labour/Alliance government would bring home the talented New Zealanders who have migrated.

Since then 139,000 New Zealanders have left the country permanently.

It's taken Osama bin Laden and terrorist attackers to turn the migration figures around - but the nurses and doctors are still leaving.

In a recent survey, over 60 percent of graduating doctors say they intend leaving New Zealand.

Women are waiting 20 weeks for radiography because the skilled radiographers have migrated. Each major hospital has lost a skilled clinician overseas - some hospitals have lost two.

Labour assured us that skilled New Zealanders would not mind giving half their income to the government - 12.5 percent in GST and 39 percent in income tax. It's just another latte a week, Marion Hobbs assures us. It has not worked.

I see in a major speech during the recess, Bill English has stated that social spending must take precedence over tax cuts.

ACT disagrees. Social spending is part of the problem. Millions on Maori TV is not helping Maori. TV is to brains what maggots are to meat.

Millions on Kiwi Bank won't help people save. Two billion dollars on a risky super scheme won't reduce the cost of super or make it affordable.

Prosperity is the rising tide that lifts all ships. New Zealand needs a prosperity creating tax cut.

If we want to keep the new radiographers the government is training in this country, and to attract home the radiographers our taxes paid to train, we must cut income tax.

How much? ACT says as a minimum, tax rates must be cut in the first three years to below Australia.

The economist James Gwartney comments that no country ever has grown at 4 percent per capita where the government takes 40 percent of GDP.

The Reserve Bank Governor reports that New Zealand is now the highest taxed country in the Pacific Rim. The McLeod report found that New Zealand's tax regime was encouraging successful entrepreneurs to leave and discouraging successful entrepreneurs from migrating to New Zealand.

Tax is the key. If higher taxes work, then why are our talented New Zealander's leaving?

If higher taxes work where are the nurses?

If higher taxes are the answer, where are the teachers? Where are the police?

Imagine the power of a full page advertisement today in The Times newspaper in Britain:

"The New Zealand government has introduced a low flat tax of 25 per cent. It's time to come home - signed, Prime Minister."

McLeod says such a tax would raise exactly the same amount as the present progressive tax system. Then we would see the doctors, nurses, police and skilled New Zealanders we need to create a prosperous country, come home.

I am determined that an advertisement like that will appear in The Times, countersigned by myself as Deputy Prime Minister.


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