Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Marc My Words

Marc My Words.

By Marc Alexander MP

Families and Common Sense are Endangered Species

Single income families are a dying breed. Only 24% of two parent families can afford to have one parent at home to look after their kids. That's well down from a generation ago and, given the 'rosy' economic statistics this Government trots out ad nauseam, how can this be so?

Unemployment is well below 5%, retailing and agriculture are doing well, and with a massive budget surplus, how is it possible that a family earning the national average wage is doing so poorly? The easy answer of course, is that wages are far too low. The highest tax bracket starts chomping away at $60,000 - hardly a huge income for a family. It's easy to blame immigration and double income families for driving up house prices and so on.

The reality is actually more simple: the insidious amount of tax we pay has eroded the purchasing power of our incomes, has diminished our financial self reliance, crippled our initiative to better ourselves and our families, and battered our self-confidence.

A family on $55,000 for example, is liable for an income tax of $13,020; whatever is left and spent is subject to12.5% GST, not including petrol tax and other duties, levies, rates etc. If you add a student and/or home loan repayments, it's clear that a family in such circumstances comes under intense economic pressure.

The real question is, how can a family on $35,000 a year be only $50 per week worse off than a family earning $55,000, but be entitled to benefits that all but obliterate the difference?

Sadly in response to this dire circumstance this government is likely to go down the well-beaten socialist path of increasing benefits rather than enabling families to look after themselves with what they earn. In other words, take away the fruits of your labours so that you have to go cap in hand with your begging bowl to the government!

The tragedy is that such an approach undermines self-reliance and replaces it with a disconnection between what you do and what you have. Government imposes itself as the uninvited 'partner' in the management of your life. This is utterly disempowering.

With this approach, the lifestyle a family leads will have more to do with its economic relationship to government, than with what it does for itself. Ethically and ideologically it confuses being free with being free and easy.

Welfare and dependency give socialism its mandate through the purchase of voter loyalty. Both are hated by those who pay, held in contempt by those who receive, and derided by those who want to stand on their own feet.

Welfare dependency is the antithesis of freedom.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election