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A Drag Race Fuelled with Taxpayer Money

A Drag Race Fuelled with Taxpayer Money

The current Government taxes and spends $80 billion every year, a figure surpassing the wildest dreams of the welfare state's architects. After this campaign cycle, the figure will be even higher.

“The Government already spends $17,000 per person and under a Labour-led government, spending would only grow exponentially. The election drag race between National and Labour is fueled by New Zealanders’ hard-earned dollars”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“This election, National and Labour have made promises worth billions, with Labour promising over $20 billion in new spending, including $100 million to upgrade urban cycleways and $105 million to resurrect rail between Hamilton and Tauranga.

“And their solution to pay for these bribes? Water tax, capital gains tax, tourist tax, land value tax, and an asset and wealth tax are all on the table in this campaign.

“ACT believes taxes are paid with the expectation that they’ll fund core public services, delivered to a high standard.

“Here are just a few examples of the culture of wasteful spending that ACT intends to confront:

• $56 million-a-year Marsden Fund, which bankrolls select 'academic' research, some of which includes, a study on Cultivating chamber music in Beethoven's Vienna: a study in socio-musicology ($580,000); or anti-trade activist Jane Kelsey's Transcending embedded neoliberalism in international economic regulation ($600,000)
• NZ on Air, using around $130 million to subsidise programmes like season two of The X Factor NZ ($800,000); Mastermind ($685,360); Jono and Ben 2016 ($1,717,042); The Adam and Eve Show ($3,080,400); and Find Me a Maori Bride season 2' ($590,000).
• Taxpayer-funded advertisements such as "change your lightbulbs" (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's advertising comes to $8m)
• The Major Events Development Fund, costing taxpayers $77.5m since Budget 2009 for causes like The Ultimate Waterman stand-up paddle boarding event ($1.2m) and the New Zealand Golf Open ($1.9m).

“The Government wastes at least $1.3 billion a year on ‘corporate welfare’: grants, funds, and subsidies. ACT says government should stick to the basics, funding core services, paying down debt, and cutting tax, rather than splashing out on golf games, ‘research’, and handouts for business,” says Stuart Pedersen.
“Then there’s the bloated bureaucracy – the Government employs an army of 2500 policy analysts (salaries averaging $90,000) and over 5000 managers (salaries averaging $124,000) – that's almost $900m. Why not have fewer top-down planners and more frontline workers with skin in the game?

“ACT’s fundamental belief is that the Government should spend less of your money and ACT is the only party that has supported reducing wasteful government spending. While every other party bribes voters, ACT will identify more waste to cut before the election.”
ENDS

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