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The Freedom to Achieve

The Freedom to Achieve

Speech by ACT Leader John Banks
January 29 2013

I rise on behalf of the ACT Party and the people of Epsom to support the Statement from the Prime Minister.

Over the summer break I have been out-and-about talking to New Zealanders - taking stock.

New Zealanders are working harder and longer for less.

What they want is the freedom to achieve though their own effort and enterprise.

They don’t want hand outs - most reject the entitlement society.

They back the Prime Minister. They rate John Key.

They don’t see Labour, the Greens and Winston First – the coalition of the Dispirited, the Deluded and the Bewildered - as an alternative Government.

They don’t see David Shearer as a Prime Minister, even less Russel Norman as Finance Minster.

I tell them that under MMP it could happen. They tell me to work hard to make sure it doesn’t.

I will be.

The ACT Party and the people of Epsom back John Key as Prime Minister. But we want him to do more to resist and roll back the entitlement society.

We want this Government to expand the freedom to achieve.

What Labour promises in hands-on-government is a government of hand outs - the sapping culture of entitlement.

In Labour’s world to get ahead is to put your hand in the pocket of the taxpayer.

It is not about the freedom to achieve through the enterprise of your efforts. It’s about taking from someone else’s hard work.

Take housing.

Young Aucklanders want to buy or build a home with a back yard. Yet the median house price in Auckland is now almost seven times the median household income.

Auckland is almost as unaffordable as London.

We know that housing unaffordability is complex. However the major culprit is central and local government – the RMA, metropolitan urban limits and building regulation.

What’s the Opposition response?

Labour promises to build government houses to fix a problem largely created by government. No word on where the money will come from to build ten thousand houses a year. Mr Shearer promised $300,000 dollar homes. Now he’s backtracked and said $300,000 is just the median value. In Auckland they will be chicken coops.

On Sunday, Mr Shearer told the country that he is going to hold a conference this year to work out his policy. That’s after he has announced it. Not good enough.

Labour have shown they are not serious. They have not uttered one word on RMA reform.

Here is my prediction; they will vote against every major RMA reform this year that will help young New Zealanders get their first home without a government handout.

Now the Greens won’t be outdone in the auction of make-believe money.

For them the Government will not only build the house but loan you the money to buy it. What they won’t say is how many houses or how much it will cost.

What we do know is that you can’t have a backyard for the kids to play in and the RMA can’t be touched.

After promising make believe houses with make-believe money, the next day the Greens attacked the dairy industry that helps New Zealand earn its way in the real world and pays the taxes they are so keen on spending.

For them wealth is created by the printing press - not by working hard, taking risks, selling things other people want and saving.

This year we need major RMA reform.

I have told the Government we have a one-in-twenty year chance to get it right and get it done.

We need to be bold. ACT will be helping.

In other areas, the Government is moving towards giving New Zealanders the freedom to achieve and away from the policies of handouts and the politics of entitlement that the Opposition are keen on.

ACT wants National to pick up the pace.

Here are three examples.

Partnership Schools are about the freedom to achieve for talented educators, dedicated parents, and for kids who need a break. It gives educators another option in our education system, a system that currently sees almost one in five students missing out.

We will have a Bill providing for regulatory standards around increased disclosure for Government Bills. This will help New Zealanders better gauge whether any reduction of their freedom is justified.

ACT’s Spending Cap will help New Zealanders better understand how much politicians spend and how good that spending is. Politicians will have to signal their spending plans in advance.

These initiatives and others will help get government off the backs and out of the pockets of New Zealanders.

ACT wants the Government to keep moving towards the freedom to achieve and away from the culture of entitlement that saps independence.

We reject Mr Shearer’s hands-on government of hand outs.

We know anything is possible however humble your origins, if you simply give New Zealanders the freedom to achieve.


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