robson-on-politics 7 June 2005
robson-on-politics 7 June
robson-on-politics, a newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party www.progressiveparty.org.nz
Tues 7 June
Looking forward to people's victory tomorrow
I don't count my chickens until the eggs have hatched, but if MPs don't change their minds in the next 24 hours then the people of New Zealand are going to have a victory for democracy tomorrow. I believe a majority of 63 MPs (No thanks to ACT, the Greens or United Future leader, Peter Dunne), will tomorrow say Yes to my Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, proceeding to Select Committee.
Echoes of 4 Weeks Annual Leave for Workers
When my private Bill to guarantee workers a minimum of an extra week's paid annual leave a year was first picked from the ballot in 2003, I was told in no uncertain terms by my good friends in Labour that there was "no way" the law would change in the current Parliamentary term. But as the public of New Zealand had their say at Select Committee and by end of 2004 a very solid majority of MPs came around to seeing the social and economic benefits of Four Weeks Annual Leave. It really helps workers stay in the workforce when they start a family.
In a democracy, politicians listen
In a democracy, politicians listen to the public, especially on serious social issues like alcohol and the damage it is having on some young people and those who love them. At select committee, parents, community representatives and frontline workers in the Health and Police departments can be heard: They will also be able to have their say on alcohol broadcast advertising law. At select committee, the public can have their say on appropriate controls to protect vulnerable young children from being supplied with liquor and can have their say on whether we should, like Canada and the States, have a higher minimum alcohol purchasing age.
Standing up for Kiwi families in Pakuranga
I was proud to be at the Pakuranga Community Centre when it was packed on the Sunday of a holiday weekend to support New Zealand citizens who have been subject-ed to incredibly unfair allegations made by Mr Peters. My speech notes are at:
Has Peter Dunne been to Ohariu-Belmont lately?
I guess it is hardly a surprise that almost every ACT and Green parliamentarian will vote against the Bill proceeding to select committee. But I find it incredible that the leader of the party which says it cares about families is out there with the Greens and ACT on this public health and public order issue. Perhaps there is a mistake. Perhaps Mr Dunne will vote for the public having a say on issues as important as broadcast liquor advertising law, the adequacy of laws to protect against the supply of liquor to minors and whether NZ should follow the United States and Canada and raise the minimum alcohol purchasing age to 20. If there is no mistake, it makes me wonder how often Mr. Dunne actually talks to real people in his electorate. For those wanting more information on the public health issues at stake I would recommend Alcohol Health Watch's web site.
Divided Future's asset sales plans
United's proposal to sell-down government's shareholdings in key strategic national assets in order, it says, to part-fund large income tax cuts, is significant. United's tax policies are estimated to cost between $2 billion and $3 billion, a year. Treasury is forecasting the government's cash surplus to slip into deficit by June 30, 2007 and then for the Crown to average cash deficits for the following three years of around $2 billion each year.
What that means is that the Central Government is currently on track to start to add to its net issuance of bonds from 2007. And just as the central government will start adding to its net debt, and the interest costs on that debt, in comes United's proposal to cut government income tax revenue by a further $3 billion a year. Without a doubt, a United-National government would very quickly have to re-introduce a superannuation surtax, raise student fees and start significantly cutting education and health investments. United's policies make no financial, economic or social sense. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1881