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Rodney Hide replies to PM's address to Parliament

Hide replies to PM's address to Parliament

Tuesday 1 Feb 2005 - Speeches - Other

Excerpts from ACT Leader Rodney Hide's speech in the House this afternoon:

"We have no confidence in this government and nor do New Zealanders. They are sick of Helen Clark and her nanny state approach to New Zealand.

"Yes she mentioned the tsunami and the huge efforts of New Zealanders, but Prime Minister Helen Clark is so anti-American she couldn't - even through clenched teeth - acknowledge the huge contribution that the American's made in relief in Indonesia and the other Asian countries.

"It's all very well to say `we stand ready to enter negotiations with the United States.' Prime Minister Helen Clark will be standing ready until hell freezes over!

"Here's something else that Helen Clark neglected to mention: there were elections in Iraq... Eight million voted. They defied the terrorists... and they voted in the first free elections in Iraq in 50 years, Helen Clark never mentioned it. Why? Because she'd have to acknowledge the huge achievement of the Coalition forces.

"This Helen Clark government is all about spin and no facts.

"We heard in her speech that crime's down. Well try telling that to New Zealanders. Reported burglaries are down but we know why. Why would any New Zealander report a burglary to the New Zealand Police, because what will happen.

"It's February the first and we've had nine murders already... Every grandmother in the country is scared at home. Nowhere is safe.

"What's the number one duty of any government? It's to keep us safe.

"If she was serious about crime she wouldn't have George Hawkins as the Minister of Police... George Hawkins has one in five Police officers as traffic cops.

"The message is loud and clear: Crime pays in New Zealand.

"Why doesn't she in her statement today say we're going to keep our nanas safe at home?... That we're going to send a message to the young people of New Zealand that you commit a crime you'll be caught and when you're caught you will pay the price proportionate to the crime."

"We could be the safest country in the world... but what it requires is a government that does its job... that's why people pay their taxes - so there's a policeman to keep them safe, a justice system that will dispense justice, and a prison system that will punish.

"Helen Clark says she can't afford tax cuts - $6 billion surplus, can't afford tax cuts. Well I've got a message for Helen Clark today: working New Zealanders can't afford to pay the tax. That's the truth of it.

"It's all very well for Helen Clark to say New Zealanders are incompetent at saving, they need help to save. No they don't. They need the money to save... They don't need help. They just need to keep what it is they earned.

"Helen Clark says our economy's not going very well, we need to get more mothers into the workforce. Well mothers have to work because of the high taxes. There's a lot of mothers in the workforce that would like to be home with their kids. But that choice has denied them.

"Five years of the best economic conditions of my lifetime and the average household is no better off... and Helen Clark has the temerity to stand up here in this House today and crow about the fact that she's got $6 billion. That's a disgrace.

"Helen Clark has abandoned working New Zealanders... What's this government done for them? Nothing - just more taxes. These people want government off their backs and out of their pockets.

"Helen Clark brags about the Working for Families package... Someone goes from $35,000 a year with a couple of kids to $55,000... and you know how much better off they are? $2,500. You earn an extra $20,000 to be $2,500 better off! The effective tax rate's 90 percent. Likewise, if you go from $55,000 down to $35,000 you're only $2,500 worse off. Where is the incentive to work, to invest, to be entrepreneurial?

"Isn't this a perfect Socialist heaven for Helen Clark? You're stuck here at a certain income level. You can't work and get ahead.

"We heard a lot about dreams in Helen Clark's speech but the Prime Minister is dreaming if she thinks that the programme she has will make us a prosperous and independent nation.

"We do live in a great country. But we can make it a much better place."

ENDS

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