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Muriel Newman’s 2003 Roundup


Muriel Newman’s 2003 Roundup

2003 has not been a good year for common sense politics – but is has been an excellent year for the government’s tax more, regulate more, socialist agenda. As the year draws to a close, it is appropriate to reflect in how far that agenda has advanced in the last 12 months.

Without a doubt, this year saw an explosion of rampant political correctness. To see Christmas parades cancelled because of fears over public safety and legal liability was one thing, but to ban young children from sitting on Santa’s knee, was quite another!

The family came under sustained attack in 2003 and, mark my words, there is much more anti-family legislation on the way. Whenever questions are raised about the government’s agenda in this area, we must not forget that the destruction of the nuclear family is at the heart of socialist ideology.

The reason for this is quite simple – because strong families embrace the values of hard work, thrift and personal responsibility, they tend to raise high achieving children who aspire to having a good job, owning their own home and enjoying disposable income. As voters, they will overwhelmingly support governments that enable them to enjoy the rewards of their hard work through lower taxes and limited state interference in their lives – the values of the centre-right.

Since strong families generate centre-right votes, powerful socialist governments recognise that sowing the seeds of family destruction will reap an abundant harvest of voters who need more generous welfare and a stronger government, in times to come.

Labour’s blatant strategy of buying the welfare vote is working too. In spite of the best economic conditions in decades and a critical shortage of workers, there are still almost 370,000 working age adults – and 265,000 children - dependent on welfare. In making welfare more generous – easier to get on and harder to get off – the government has effectively trapped tens of thousands of New Zealanders into a benefit lifestyle.

Why would you bother to find a job if, as my Parliamentary Questions show able bodied beneficiaries can receive $50,000 - $60,000 a year on a benefit? Generous benefits weaken the incentive of people on welfare to get a job while simultaneously increasing the tax burden on self-reliant workers. As a result, everyone loses – those on a benefit who consider themselves to be in a state of persistent hardship having to deal with a welfare system which is inherently impersonal, distant and bureaucratic, and taxpayers of modest means who are forced to fund what effectively become lifestyle choices by people who view welfare as a long-term entitlement.

The relentless rise in crime over the last year has also been a worrying development. Serious violent crime rose by 15 %, and drug and gang crimes by over 50% at the same time as funding for Police as a percentage of all government spending, has continued to fall.

Labour has been labelled as a “soft-on-crime” government for good reason: socialists view criminals as victims of their upbringing who need to be treated with leniency and compassion rather offenders who need punishing for their crimes. As a result of Labour’s changes to the sentencing laws, many offenders are now released from prison after serving only a third of their court-imposed sentences with many others not even sent to jail but given the soft-touch of home detention instead.

In my mind the under funding of Police is indefensible. Police have long been calling out for additional resources to support their battle against gangs and drugs but the government’s response has been too little, too late, allowing the gang-related methamphetamine epidemic to escalate to crisis level .

As we pack our chillybins and head to the beach over summer, if we encounter protest action over the seabed and foreshore issue, we should remind ourselves that the Government, in an act of unmitigated cowardice, closed the House early to escape Parliamentary scrutiny and accountability. Their treatment of the whole fiasco has yet again exposed the underbelly of racial discord within New Zealand reminding us that Maori elitism is now alive and well that’s largely to the plethora of privileges bestowed by this Government which now encompass even basic rights like preferential funding for health care. All of this is in spite of the view of the majority of New Zealanders who want to see us as one people and one nation with one law for all.

Finally, this year alone, Labour with the support of the United or Green parties, have passed 136 bills into law with 72 sitting in the pipeline. A round-up of some of the worst ones – that our party opposed follows.

Thanks for your support over the last year – if you would like to recommend issues for me to tackle next year, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and if you would like to send someone The Column for Christmas with your best wishes – please let us know as well.

Best wishes to your and your family for a great Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2004!!

Here are a selection of Bills passed that ACT opposed:

• Customs & Excise Bill - Increased alcohol tax supposedly to discourage youth dinking… while there’s been no noticeable effect on youth drinking pensioners now pay more for a glass of sherry!

• Dog Control Bill – Designed to get tough on dangerous dogs and owners. Instead 500,000 law-abiding dog owners will need to micro-chip their dogs at an estimated cost of $25 mil!

• Gambling Bill – Intended to regulate gambling. The proceeds of gaming machines are sent to Wellington, out of the control of community organisations.

• Land Transport Bill – Increased petrol tax but directed the funding away from roading investment and into cycle-tracks, walkways, buses, trains and shipping.

• Immigration Bill – A new test that raised the English language standard for immigrants to a level most Kiwis could not pass!

• Supreme Court Bill – Major constitutional change, without proper public consultation. Privy Council replaced with Judges appointed by the Attorney General, Margaret Wilson.

• Resource Management Bill – Strengthened consultation with Maori over wähi tapu and introduced spiritual and metaphysical considerations in the RMA.

• Smokefree Bill – Banned smoking in bars, restaurants, clubs and workplaces. Ignored exemption requests by RSA clubs that provided suitable air filtration systems, but agreed to exempt marae.

• Holidays Bill – Increases holiday entitlements from 3 to 4 weeks a year. Unions happy - employers and consumers pay the cost! Becomes effective after the next election!!!

• Families Commission Bill – A $28 million policy bureaucracy that redefines the meaning of family and who is a father!

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