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News Worthy: Draw near with faith

News Worthy
9 May 2008 - No. 247


Draw near with faith

So go the words of the Communion.

All is in order for substantial tax cuts in the next budget. It represents a major test for the Government.

The Crown Financial Statements for the nine months to the end of March show the Government continues to run a healthy cash surplus, despite incurring more than $3 billion in paper losses on sharemarket investments of crown institutions such as the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC.

The operating balance was $1.1 billion in surplus, $4 billion below forecast. But when stripped of unrealised gains and losses, this surplus grew to $4.6 billion, $171 million below forecast.

The residual cash once advances were made for funding student loans, DHBs, and the NZ Super Fund was just over $2 billion, $419 million or 25 percent ahead of forecast.

The Treasury says core tax revenue and receipts were largely on track in the year to March.

Labour heads down wrong track for future At a time when householders are struggling to pay the weekly bills, the decision of the Labour-led Government to spend the thick end of a billion dollars to buy back the rail rolling stock does not make any sense.

The Government is providing a profitable Australian corporate with a big dividend from growth that struggling families and households were due years ago. The light at the end of the tax cut tunnel now looks a lot like it's a train.

The Government has its priorities wrong. This is the time to be easing the burden on households, not buying the trains off an efficient operator, when there were other ways to maintain services."

When Toll Holdings Ltd bought the rolling stock five years ago, its original bid valued Tranzrail at $231 million. The New Zealand Government is now paying $665 million, and will have to spend hundreds of millions more on rolling stock upgrades which have been planned but delayed due to track access wrangling.

A National Government will be stuck with the railways because nobody else will be willing to stump up with the sort of money Labour has just paid.

Mothers' Day The value of mothers can never be under-estimated. On Sunday I hope we, as a nation, make every effort to celebrate their worth.

Below is a small selection of facts that Statistics New Zealand released on Wednesday in recognition of Mothers' Day:

* In 2007 there were 64,040 live births. The highest number of births ever recorded in New Zealand was 65,390 in 1961.

* The median age of all women giving birth in 2007 was 30 years, compared with 25 years in 1977.

* On Mother's Day in 2007, 144 babies were born to 142 mothers. * There were 32,790 first-time mothers in 2007, representing 52 percent of all live births.

* A total of 1,950 children were multiple births in 2007, compared with 1,051 in 1977. Twins were born to 525 first-time mothers, and another five new mothers had triplets.

Political Quote of the Week

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right." Nelson Mandela

Dr Richard Worth National Party MP

ENDS

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