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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Presser: ‘Precarious’ Solid Energy In Banks’ Hands

Liquidation of state-owned coal company Solid Energy “cannot be ruled out” but is “not the number one preferred option of the government,” says Prime Minister John Key, who confirmed the beleaguered company was discussed today at Cabinet as its banking syndicate grapples with its commercially dire prospects. More>>

ALSO:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news