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

 


Hide - Vaulting Matilda March 4


ISSUE 15, March 4 2011
REPRIORITISE, REBUILD

These are grim times for Canterbury, and indeed for New Zealand. Our second largest city is devastated and the people of Christchurch are enduring the hardest of times.

We are now forced to make hard choices, to focus intensely on only the highest priorities – we need to face reality.

Our starting point is not good. Our government has been borrowing a massive $300 million per week simply to keep afloat. That’s almost $200 per week for each and every Kiwi household.

And now we have Christchurch to rebuild.

However it’s not just government that overspends – as a nation we have built up overseas debt of $162 billion, 85% of GDP.

We have seen the economic and social turmoil in the most highly indebted European countries. The future has arrived for them. Those in deep trouble were the countries with the highest current account deficits, the highest levels of overseas debt and the highest levels of government debt. If you need to know what the future holds on our present track, just look at the so-called PIIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

The reason we have so much wasteful, pointless and counterproductive government spending is that politicians have every incentive to spend more, and promise too much. As voters we encourage them.

The middle class want free childcare. Students want interest-free loans. Pensioners want pensions and gold cards. On and on it goes. Every interest group wants their own government department or agency. Helen Clark’s Labour government perfected the art of spending money on key interest groups to hold on to power at all cost.

We couldn’t afford that before the earthquakes and we absolutely cannot now. Government capital spending is going to increase as we rebuild Christchurch.

We must ensure now that the general good prevails over narrower self-interest. Government must live within a budget as tight as the budgets that ordinary households face.

Rodney Hide

Leader, ACT Party

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news