News Worthy: The scorecard of the Government
1 August 2008 - No. 257
The scorecard of the Government
This week has seen continued debate on the Appropriation (2008/09 Estimates Bill) which gives the government of the day an opportunity to outline the overall thrust and rationale of its policies and to highlight its achievements.
It is fair to say that the overarching Labour-led Government policy of “economic transformation” has failed.
Witness the scorecard
Labour has failed to address the real concerns of New Zealanders in areas including:
• Rising crime (43% increase in violent crime since 1999)
• High interest rates (which have almost doubled under Labour)
• Rising living costs
• Failing health services (More than $5billion extra a year for health but few increases in elective surgeries and waiting lists as long as ever)
• Income gap with Australia wider than ever. Each week, 760 New Zealanders leave to cross the Tasman.
• Our ranking in the OECD has declined under Labour. Today, of the 30 countries in the OECD, New Zealand is now ranked 22nd in terms of national income per person. We have fallen behind every country in Western Europe except Portugal. We are ranked below Greece and Italy. The Czech Republic and Hungary are hot on our heels.
• Closing the Gaps
• The top half of the OECD
• The Knowledge Wave
• The Growth and Innovation Framework
• Transforming the Economy
• Carbon Neutrality
• Sustainable New Zealand
• 1 in 5 children leave school unable to read, write or do maths to an acceptable level
• 25,000 15-to 19-year-olds are not in any form of work, education, or training. 13,000 are on a benefit
• 46% of Maori boys and 42% of Maori girls leave school without even the most basic qualification
• In any given week, around 30,000 children are truant for at least one school day.
In 2007 there were 17,000 more violent offences than there were in 1999.
• A violent crime every nine-and-a-half minutes
• A sexual attack every three-and-a-half hours
• A robbery every three-and-a-half hours.
Blow-Out In Bureaucracy
• Since 2000, the number of teachers in state primary and secondary schools has grown by 12%. But over the same period, the number of people employed in the various education bureaucracies has grown by 40%.
• Since 2000, the number of nurses and doctors employed in district health boards has grown by 28%. But over the same period, the number of people employed in the Ministry of Health has grown by 51%.
• Since 2002, the service delivery part of MSD, namely Work and Income and Child Youth and Family, has grown by 23%. But over the same period, the policy analysis, research, and corporate units of MSD have grown by a whopping 109%.
• Treasury reports show that between 2000 and 2006, employment in government departments that mainly provide services grew by 34%, while employment in policy departments grew by 72%.
The Labour Government has taken just one settlement from start to final completion during its term. By comparison, 10 settlements were started and completed under the previous National Government.
Child Support Debt
Total child support debt exceeds $1.27 billion, and one third of that debt is owed by absent parents who have left NZ for Australia
An unimpressive score on any measure.
Quote of the Week
“The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream” - Harry Kemp - American Poet (1883—1960)
Dr Richard Worth
National Party MP