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robson-on-politics Thur 25 Aug

robson-on-politics Thur 25 Aug

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

What Don Brash knows

Politics can transform people in different ways.

Before he entered Parliament, Dr Brash seemed to know that economic and social development go hand-in-hand.

He believed that you shouldn't spend what you don't have and he worried about a society that relied too heavily on the credit card because the credit-funded boom would be followed by a terrible crash if any future government were to be so irresponsible as to join the credit card bandwagon.

Dr Brash appeared to know that New Zealanders' standard of living crashed from 9th in the OECD group of wealthy nations in 1970 down to 20th by 1999. That is, Aotearoa was trashed over three decades by National-led governments (Rogernomics was National in all but name)

He knew that in 1990 NZ's GDP per capita was on a par with Ireland and Singapore, but that after nine years of National, those countries had left us in the dust.

In 1990, Dr Brash had noted before he entered politics, Australia's GDP per capita was only 5 per cent above New Zealand's but after nine years of Bolger, Shipley, Dunne and Peters, it was 40 per cent above NZ's.

Since 1999 we've been investing in our people

Since the election of the Left coalition in 1999, the rot has stopped and the slide has been arrested.

Over the past six years, for the first time in 30 years, Aotearoa's growth per person (per capita GDP growth) has surpassed Australia's.

For the past six years, we've had a progressive government that invests in the infrastructure of our own country. We’ve established the nationwide New Zealand-owned, low-fee Kiwibank, we’ve saved Air New Zealand from the dustbin of history. Then there’s the rail corridor, hocked off by the Nats government to people who squeezed out every last cent but derailed New Zealand.

Over the past six years, our coalition government has established a rock-solid framework to propel business and industry development. Every regional economy is expanding at a rate that Dr Brash used to say was unattainable, but these days is the norm.

Under our progressive government, the number of people in work has gone up by 260,000 souls and the unemployment rate is the lowest since records began.

End of export dividends offshore

It is true the massive sell-off of former NZ-owned assets to foreigners in the '80s and '90s means far too much of the profit goes overseas in dividends, instead of into higher wages for Kiwis, but that is a lagging negative indicator from the past thirty years of mismanagement. Our government's response has been to progressively raise minimum wages and conditions, and to extend employment rights like Four Weeks Annual Paid Leave and Paid Parental Leave as we claw our way back up to the standards enjoyed by workers in Australia and Eire.

We’ve also re-introduced the apprenticeships and skills training programmes that the 1990s zealotshad buried in their rush to "get government out of peoples' lives"

We need to invest even more in our people if we want our living standards to catch up with them.

National proposes Fiscal Stimulus Boom/Bust

Politics can transform people in different ways

In 2005, the leader of the National Party proposes that our government should issue more debt, more Treasury Bonds and Bills.

In the short term, overseas lenders mainly in Asia will be happy to extend a National-United-NZ First government more funds, but only at a premium interest charge which reflects our nation's 30 years' of current account deficits (over reliance on the credit card.)

The leader of the National-NZ First-United Opposition now says that it would be fine for the government to spend much more than it earns, so long as the spending is in the form of income tax rate reductions which will deliver a lot more spending power particularly for high income earners with no children.

The would-be leader of a National-led coalition now says we shouldn't worry about our society's over use of the credit card and that it would be just swell if the Government were to join the credit card bandwagon. New model BMWs and more overseas holidays are on the agenda, but economy-enhancing corporate tax cuts can wait, the new National Party leader says.


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