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ACT's The Letter - The State Of The Nation

The Letter
Monday 2 February 2004


Excerpts from Richard Prebble’s State of the Nation address today.


In 2004 the US election will dominate world politics. Howard Dean’s fall is a dramatic demonstration that public opinion polls and commentators do not determine elections. It is votes in the ballot boxes. Senator John Kerry will be a much stronger candidate than Dean. The Republican tax cuts have worked and economic performance will re-elect Bush.

Waiting for a Democrat president to resolve our nuclear dispute is not going to work.


NZ is very isolated. A development in 2004 may see our country more isolated - the Eastern European nations joining the EU. The former Eastern bloc countries that have experienced communism are pro-American. EU foreign policy is bound to change and we in NZ will be even more on our own.


The Kiwi is going to climb strongly in value. Most analysts predicted the US Fed would start increasing interest rates in August. It could be much earlier. Investors will then re-examine holding the Kiwi. They will see the growing trade deficit. The Kiwi will then fall out of bed.


Labour intends to significantly increase compliance costs in 2004. The new labour bill’s purpose is to take us back to the days of trade union power in the 1980s. ACT led a huge campaign against the original ERA and was able to get many clauses deleted. It is those clauses, such as being forced into union multi-employer agreements, which are back in the new bill. Fighting this bill is ACT’s priority. For a chance to have your say see http://www.act.org.nz/era.


Household debt levels are alarming. In relation to GDP, NZers have far higher debt than Americans and the most indebted households. The government’s increase in its share of GDP, raised by stealth taxes like the fuel taxes, has wiped out real income rises, causing households to take on debt to maintain living standards.


Labour intends to increase government spending on projects like the America’s Cup and Maori TV. Dr Cullen talks of tax cuts for the low paid but such cuts will inevitably go mainly to welfare beneficiaries. The government could now reduce the company and personal income tax rate to 20 percent and still balance its budget. This debate will dominate this year’s budget and the next election.


Foreshore - The government’s foreshore proposals are political expediency and have no basis in principle. Labour has instead created a new legal concept; the public domain, new governance rights for Maori, and is offering to transfer significant economic wealth to Maori through marine development rights. It’s a recipe for years of litigation and agitation. Parents’ right to choose -ACT’s policies, especially in education, are workable solutions. The issue in 2004, which has much appeal to Maori, is the parents’ right to choice movement, ending the double taxing of parents who choose to send their children to independent schools.

Health - Labour solved the problem of hospital waiting lists by simply abolishing the hospital waiting list. It is a state secret how many people have been referred back to GPs. ACT is commissioning the first ever nationwide survey to find out the numbers really waiting for hospital treatment.

Brash’s speech - on Maori issues read like speeches ACT has been giving since Derek Quigley introduced his Treaty settlement bill (all parties, including NZ First, voted against it). Successive Labour Ministers have set out to portray Dr Brash as making a desperate play for the race card. It’s clear from media commentators’ reaction they are scared to state their support for what he is saying.

Increase in violent crime - Revolving door prisons do not work. ACT’s polling shows most Labour voters prefer ACT’s Zero Tolerance to Crime approach.


Labour – a minority government intends to implement its politically correct agenda, even though it has no electoral mandate. A Clean Slate bill will allow criminals to lie about their convictions. A new politically correct families commission has redefined the family so widely that the Mongrel Mob is now legally a family. Helen Clark wants an anti-smacking bill. The list goes on and on.

National agrees they fought a terrible campaign last election and then had an awful year in 2003. With a new Leader is a new chance.

NZ First - It is an old political maxim, if you are going to make a career in exposing scandals, then you must observe the highest standards. Mr Peters is going to pay a very high price for his habit of dining without paying.

United has a problem. How can a pro-family values party justify supporting the godless, anti-family Labour party?

The Greens - Apart from GE what issue do the Greens have? They are only distinguished by extreme left positions that the old communist party used to promote. NZers don’t support extreme left policies and despite strong support from media commentators it is hard to see the Greens making the 5 percent threshold next election.

ACT had its best polling support in any post-election year. ACT will win the Huata court case, the injunction will be lifted and she will be expelled from Parliament.

Kenneth Wang, No.10 on ACT’s list, will be sworn in as an MP. ACT has a vision of an ownership society where the average family owns their own home, has health insurance and a superannuation scheme for their retirement. ACT has the practical positive policies to achieve what is still the Kiwi dream – an ownership society. See http://www.act.org.nz/sotn for the full State of the Nation speech.


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