Judith Collins Clevedon MP19 May 2006
The Bondi Budget is a flop. Helen Clark and Michael Cullen believe there is a place for tax cuts – it’s called Australia. This is the Brain Drain Budget; the Bondi Budget. Instead of boosting the country’s capacity to grow, Helen Clark is focused on redistributing what we already have.
Growth has stalled in New Zealand while it continues to charge ahead in Australia. The Government has failed to recognise how important it is to address this problem. Michael Cullen and Helen Clark claim there isn't room for lower taxes, even though there's an $8.5 billion surplus forecast for 2005-06.
Last week, the Australian Government, for the fourth year in a row, introduced massive across-the-board tax cuts worth $A36.7 billion ($NZ45 billion). These cuts are a massive incentive for Kiwis to cross the Ditch in even greater numbers than they are doing now.
New Zealand’s economy has to be more competitive and productive, because richer nations can afford better health and education services, and better environmental standards. If National had won the election its first Budget would have been totally focused on the measures needed to make sure that happens.
National would have built the right incentives into the economy through affordable tax cuts that would allow hard-working Kiwis to get ahead under their own effort. Our Budget would have seen 85% of taxpayers pay 19% tax or less. Only 3% of taxpayers would have paid the top rate.
National would also have ploughed more money into desperately needed infrastructure, and waste in the public sector would have been ferreted out. Unfortunately, for New Zealand, millions of dollars will be wasted on years of hearings under the Resource Management Act which Labour refuses to sort out. Money for roads will turn into money for consultants.
In health, we would have looked at how to get greater productivity from the dollars we spend, how we could afford better drugs, and how we could better use the private sector for elective surgery.
In education, we want to see national standards in literacy and numeracy - required for better productivity rates across the labour force. We would dismantle the extensive and ineffective tertiary education bureaucracy.
Budgets are about long-term planning and focusing on the kind of New Zealand we want over the next 20 years. The clock is ticking if we are to remain competitive with other First World countries.
The Police Petition for a fair go in policing Counties Manukau is now on my website www.judithcollins.co.nz Please download and gather as many signatures as you can. Alternatively, call my office 09 299 7426 to get a form sent to you.