Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Where's the money coming from?

12 November 2007

Where's the money coming from?

Progressive leader Jim Anderton says public expectations for social spending and tax cuts are unrealistically high.

"Not a day goes by without more calls for the government to increase spending on a deserving cause, and very often those examples have significant merit. There is also a case to be made for fair tax cuts. But any tax cuts need to be tempered by constant calls for more investment in health, education and other sectors.

"Just to take one example. In the past 24 hours, the National Party alone has demanded more spending on fighting cancer, more spending on the department of corrections, more fisheries officers and more fisheries research. Not one of those statements indicated a willingness to pay for those extra services.

"Last night's Sunday programme asked why people who get sick are treated differently to people who have accidents. I have a lot of sympathy for that view, but the cost needs to be met from somewhere - and the tax system is the only way it's going to happen.

"Every dollar spent on tax cuts is a dollar that can't be spent on social services.

"As the economy grows and productivity improves, the government has more fiscal headroom from which it can fund both tax cuts and social services. But there is always an opportunity cost. You can't spend the same dollar twice.

"Most people don't connect social services and taxes. They want the government to be more generous with their taxes but they want the government to have less of them. No politician is ever popular for pointing out the obvious, but expectations that can't be met by any government will only lead to frustration, disappointment and a sense of betrayal.

"No call for the government to spend more on something or for tax cuts is credible without asking, 'where's the money coming from?'"

Jim Anderton says there is even less public awareness of the seriousness of our current account deficit and inflationary pressures.

"When the economy as a whole is persistently spending much more than we earn, the government's restraint is helping to take pressure off. There are real constraints on how much any government could cut taxes or increase spending in the current environment, without seriously pushing up inflation and worsening our national tendency to spend more than we earn. Tax cuts and increased social spending risks higher interest rates, which have to be paid by home owners and businesses.

"That is the reality that John Howard is facing in the Australian election with predictable results!" Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news