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ACT's The Letter - Monday 24 January 2005

The Letter
Monday 24 JANUARY 2005

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Today’s Letter is taken directly from Rodney Hide’s State of the Nation address.

PRINCIPLES NOT POLITICS

ACT believes that political leadership should be about principles, beliefs and a vision for NZ. Without clear direction, we are drifting. Excessive government and bureaucracy are crushing our resourcefulness and willingness to work. It’s especially hard for small business. The lost potential is enormous. Helen Clark’s economic policy is to tax and to regulate hard. Michael Cullen had to admit that the average kiwi household is no better off than it was 5 years ago. Although it earns an extra $8,000, that entire amount has been eaten up by extra tax and higher prices. Under Clark's so-called "Working for Families" package a family with one income earning around $50,000 will keep just 11 cents of every extra dollar they earn. Come Election 2005, NZ’ers will be hungry for a contest and they will want to see Clark taken on. We intend to make it a contest.

A TOUGH FIGHT FOR ACT

ACT stands for individual freedom and personal responsibility. We are dedicated to enabling NZ’ers to have more opportunities and choices in their own lives. ACT is the party of working NZ. Who else is standing up for workers? ACT does something better than other political parties – we keep governments on their toes, and we hold them to account. ACT is a hard working party of positive and practical ideas, ideas that other parties have been pinching. We have plenty more policies for others to pinch. ACT has led the debate on one law for all NZ’ers, full and final Treaty settlements with a fixed timetable, tougher sentencing, welfare reform, school choice and tax cuts. We are pleased that these ideas are gaining currency across the political parties. We will work with anyone to achieve a more free and prosperous NZ.

IT WILL BE ANOTHER TYPICAL MMP ELECTION

The next government will be a coalition one. Consistent with the past, smaller parties will enjoy some bounce with their collective support jumping from 20% to around 40% at election time.

According to Colmar Brunton, nine months out from each of the last three elections ACT was polling:

1.6% before the 1996 election,

3.9% before the 1999 election,

2.7% before the 2002 election

and now 2.8%.

We will be back. ACT is an independent party, but without doubt, the natural and ideal coalition partner for a Brash-led government.

THE SIX POINT PLATFORM

* Make NZ the safest country in the world:

The number one job of any government is to defend us from the thugs and the bullies. That means the bad guys get caught and their punishment fits their crime. ACT’s law and order policy will be the toughest.

* More money in every worker’s pocket:

Hardworking kiwis are overtaxed and over governed. Government spends far too much. We should drop the business and top personal rate to 25 cents in the dollar. We should extend the 15-cent rate up to $38,000. This will “cost” the Government about $5.8 billion a year. We could drop tax and not cut one dollar of spending. Someone on $40,000 a year would be $35.86 better off a week. That is a tax cut for every worker.

* Enable NZ’ers to get on and prosper:

The Government thought they might embarrass us by having the Treasury look at ACT’s tax policy. However, Treasury concluded that ACT’s claim its tax cuts would produce 1% extra growth was absolutely correct. That’s an extra $15 billion over 10 years! There’s much that the Government can do. Heavy-handed government is stifling entrepreneurship and crushing business. We desperately need a Regulatory Responsibility Act in NZ to reign in the red tape.

* Colour-blind government:

The coming election will give NZ’ers a choice - a government given over to a racial pecking order or one that is blind to a person’s race. ACT was the first party to call for one law for all NZ’ers. We will be the party that delivers it.

* Immigration policies that serve NZ:

Unlike some other political parties, ACT supports immigration. We want new NZ’ers with the skills and attributes this country needs if we are to reach our potential in the 21st century. We need a positive immigration policy for NZ - one that is hardheaded and designed with the best interests of NZ as its objective. The best immigration policy of all is to create an economic and social environment that where our young people can travel the world but come back to work and to live because of the opportunities and the lifestyle here at home.

* Social policy that delivers:

We need to involve the private sector more in healthcare not less. The same with schools. Under ACT, the money will follow the child whether that child goes to a private or state school. Just imagine the opportunity that will give to parents and their children. They will for once be able to afford to send their children to a school of their choice whether that is a Christian school, a specialist school or a government school. I believe that school choice is the one policy that will best provide us with a bright future. Does anyone really believe we are buying a better society by throwing more and more money at welfare? We need to reform welfare so once again it looks after the truly needy but doesn’t trap those who can work and contribute and live fulfilling lives independent of the state. We know what NZ’ers are capable of. It’s our job to give them the chance.

See http://www.act.org.nz/sotn for the full speech.

This message has been brought to you from the ACT New Zealand Parliamentary Office


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