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A Vision For New Zealand

See ACT’s manifesto online: http://www.act.org.nz/action/campaigns/manifesto2002/index.html

We believe people flourish and prosper when they have control over their own lives, and that individuals - not governments - know best how to lead their lives and spend their own money.

ACT recognizes that governments have core responsibilities to their citizens, These include assisting hose in genuine need, creating an economic environment that promotes enterprise and innovation, always ensuring people can live in a safe and free social environment.

These are responsibilities that successive governments have failed to provide. For example, today:

Four fulltime workers support each fulltime benefit.
Over 78% of all released prisoners are reconvicted within 3 years.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the English-speaking world.
There are 110,000 sole parents on the DPB, 16,000 women say they cannot or will not name the father of their child.
Overall, the government takes 40% of everything this nation produces. This is more than most other countries in the OECD.

New Zealand can and should do better, and New Zealander’s deserve better from government. People should be safe in their homes, they should have better education and health services, there should be a more compassionate welfare system for those needing assistance, and everyone should have a better standard of living.

ACT says we need to rebuild strong defence alliances, and ACT says people must be protected from criminals. It’s time to get tough on serious crime. ACT will make sure that punishment fits the crime and that there is truth in sentencing. Justice must mean justice. Successive governments have failed to provide the security people deserve.

Not only will ACT get tough on crime but it will tackle the causes of crime. ACT believes strongly in taking greater care of the truly vulnerable in our society – children, the frail elderly, the sick, the mentally ill and the disabled – all those who cannot take care of themselves.

Despite good intentions, more than 50 years of open-ended welfare by successive government have failed to reduce dependency – but have entrenched it. ACT believes in welfare that is a hand up, not a hand out.

Healthcare and education need to be improved but New Zealanders will not have better healthcare and education without a stronger economy. ACT's tax policies will deliver at least 4% annual growth by implementing a five-year staged programme of tax reductions and reducing business compliance costs.

ACTs policies are based on values, core kiwi value, on the belief that New Zealanders can make better decisions on how to invest, save and spend their money than any government. The government’s true role is to provide for the security of the nation with adequate defence and security of the individual through the rule of law and the protection of liberty and property.

ACT believes that it is the values of the nation, not its politics that is the key.

Features of attached policy papers

The key details of ACT’s policies are:
Cutting the top rate of personal and company tax to 28% and cutting the bottom rate to 18%. That means lower tax than Australia and a tax cut for every worker. Such a tax cut can be achieved without cutting spending on health and education.
Making New Zealand safe again by getting tough on criminals by Truth-in-Sentencing and a Zero Tolerance for Crime Approach.
Tackling problems that breed crime - poor education, unemployment and family dysfunction.
A strong, generous safety net for those in genuine need.
Workfare schemes for the unemployed, requiring 40-hour a week work activity.
Encouraging the private provision of healthcare facilities and services.
A bonfire of regulations – cutting compliance costs and obstacles to growth with a radical overhaul of tax, employment laws, ACC and RMA.
Access for all children to top quality schooling that enables them to learn to read, write and do mathematics.
Equality of opportunity and the abolition of all racially based laws. "One Law for all".
Settle genuine Treaty of Waitangi claims swiftly and fairly and close down the grievance industry.
Rebuild the ANZUS alliance.
Attract the ablest and most productive immigrants.

ACT believes government policy should assist and enable its citizens to achieve their potential. It is not the government’s role to do for others, what others can best do for themselves.

Structure

The policy statements are presented by subject, as an executive summary of key points followed by a discussion of key issues.


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