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robson-on-politics Thur 23 June

robson-on-politics Thur 23 June

robson-on-politics, a newsletter from Matt Robson MP
Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Taking the fair trade message to the Aussies

Australia's bullying stance against NZ applegrowers betrays the whole campaign for fair international trading rules. The strong protest outside Parliament yesterday had a message that I will take to Australians when I appear on a Sydney TV station next month.

Fair, transparent trade rules will save lives

Asians, Latin Americans and Africans are demanding that the wealthiest nations in Europe, Japan and the U.S. pull-down their unfair import barriers which cause poverty, under-development and, in parts of the world, starvation and war. Two months ago, ten million people from 70 countries held a cross-border protest against unfair trade rules that are killing people every day.

It is morally and economically repulsive that the richest governments in the world spend NZ$140 billion a year to protect a privileged few elite capitalists in their own markets. Their tariffs, quotas and subsidies are designed to kill-off competition from efficient, often small producers in agriculturally-strong economies like ours.

14-17 years olds spend $1m a week on alcohol

14 and 17 year olds drink about $1 million worth of alcohol each week - $52 million worth of alcohol a year. Not a bad return for the liquor industry which spends about $35 million a year on advertising aimed at all age groups, but with a strong bias aimed at young people.

The government earns just $600 million a year from alcohol excise duties that covers a fraction of the cost to taxpayers of fixing the harm from alcohol (estimated at between $2 billion and $16 billion to health, justice, police, ACC and social welfare systems).

Ahmed Zaoui

The Supreme Court ruled this week that the Inspector-General of Security does not need to consider human rights when examining the SIS’s security certificate against Ahmed Zaoui. However, Ministers will have to do so if they wish to deport Mr Zaoui. Further, Ministers cannot take any steps towards deportation at this stage. See the Human Rights Watch site for latest developments in Algeria:

Make a submission on Sale of Liquor Bill

Many have asked me how they should get their message through to politicians to take urgent action to reduce the harm being caused to too many young people by the misuse of alcohol. For advice on how to make a written submission to the Law and Order Select Committee considering my Bill go to:

Progressive going to Ohariu to talk alcohol

The leader of the “family-friendly” party, Peter Dunne, has to explain why he doesn't think Ohariu-Belmont families should be listened to on as vital an issue as the alcohol purchasing age and TV liquor advertising. The Progressive Party will hold, before the September election, a public meeting in Ohariu on this issue to hear what the people in that Wellington electorate think about New Zealand's youth binge drinking and how to fix it.

We'll send the results to Mr. Dunne, although, given that United staunchly opposed Progressive's Four Weeks Annual Leave law change a couple of years ago, we're not holding our breath that it will have any effect on him.

Tax cuts and borrow under the Nats

In April last year I got an email from National's finance man, John Key. He told me then that if you add up all of National's tax cut promises then they will total an absolute maximum (his emphasis) of $1 billion a year. A chocolate fish is on offer to the first person to tell me what this would mean for the average wage worker’s weekly income.

Public forum on alcohol, P in Dunedin tonight

Just a reminder to those in Dunedin, Jim is chairing a public forum in the city tonight on P, alcohol and other drugs. The forums, organized by the NZ Drug Foundation, are a real opportunity to share ideas on how we turn the tide against drugs. Fullwood Room, Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin - 7.30 p.m.

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