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


Free Press: The ‘Boondoggle Budget’

Free Press: The ‘Boondoggle Budget’

This Thursday, the Government will deliver its first Budget.

The level of waste and extravagance that will be packed into Grant Robertson’s offering – from free degrees for tomorrow’s elite, to billions in corporate welfare, a regional slush fund, and pensions for millionaires – means it deserves to be called the ‘Boondoggle Budget’.

Free degrees for tomorrow’s elite

Chris Hipkins’ $3 billion bribe will pay for the education of well-off kids who would have gone to university anyway and who will earn $1.4 million more over their working lives than non-graduates.

The policy hasn’t even led to an increase in university participation rates.

Share the burden

ACT says it’s only fair that students contribute to the cost of their education given they benefit the most from a degree.

Provincial Growth Fund

The purpose of the $3 billion NZ First re-election fund is to buy the party support in the regions.

There’s no good economic reason for a government to fund a tourist attraction in the Hokianga or a nursery in the Bay of Plenty.

This fund will simply transfer some economic activity from the cities to the provinces, but the economic pie will shrink because of the higher taxes needed to pay for it.

Scrap the slush fund

These businesses should stand on their own two feet. If consumers don’t support them, they are saying they don’t want what is being offered.

It’s wrong to take taxpayer money anyway and dole it out in the form of corporate welfare.


The education portfolio will get more money. Teachers may even get a pay rise.

But Chris Hipkins – for ideological reasons – won’t pay good teachers more.

Incentives matter

It’s wrong that the best and worst teachers are paid the same.

ACT would increase funding for teacher salaries by $1 billion, paying good teachers more and attracting the best graduates to the profession.


The Government has softened us up for the health sector to get more funding.

More money, poorer results

The state has delivered health services for decades. Budgets have increased year after year, while patient satisfaction is at its lowest level since 2006.

Leaky building issues at Middlemore Hospital show the problem with government running the health system.

Bureaucrats and politicians have little incentive deliver good results.

ACT says we need greater private sector involvement to ensure we get the best possible health services for our tax dollars.


The Government will also splash out $2 billion on KiwiBuild.

This is sign of the complete failure of successive administrations to change the rules to allow the private sector to more easily build houses.

David Parker has all but confirmed he won’t fundamentally reform the Resource Management Act.

The worst law on our books

The Resource Management Act restricts the supply of new land for development, pushing up the price of houses.

It could be adding up to $500,000 to the cost of the average Auckland home.

ACT has long pushed for changes to the RMA. Reform should be at the top of the Government’s agenda.

Money down the back of the couch

The Finance Minister asked his ministerial colleagues to identify low-value spending in their portfolios and they have found $700 million worth.

Give it back

You would think that if the Government found $700 million of your money it didn’t need it would give it back to you. Sadly, Robertson has no intention of doing so.

ACT would return this money to its rightful owners.

Bracket creep

Middle income earners will continue to be dragged into the highest tax bracket because successive Finance Ministers have refused to adjust tax thresholds for inflation.

It’s your money

Bracket creep costs the average earner $500 a year. It will cost taxpayers $2.8 billion between 2011 and 2018.

ACT would link tax brackets to the rate of inflation.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: The End Of ‘Objectivity’ In Journalism

... and the dawn of something much better?
2019 looks like it might well be another really bad, terrible, not so good year for the traditional journalism model globally. Already in January three leading US digital outlets—BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, and Vice announced layoffs that have left many accomplished journalists unemployed. Consolidation of journalism looks set to continue unabated as larger (sharky) media conglomerates swallow up smaller players globally. We also appear to be witnessing the death throes of the concept of ‘objective’ truth in journalism. However, perhaps that is not at all as bad as it sounds, and we are just finally waking up to the reality that it never really existed in the first place... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>


Health: Prohibiting Smoking In Vehicles Carrying Children

Under the change, Police will be able to require people to stop smoking in their cars if children (under 18) are present. Police will also be able to use their discretion to give warnings, refer people to stop-smoking support services, or issue an infringement fee of $50... It is expected that this amendment will become law by the end of 2019. More>>


Waitangi Day: Nationwide Events Commemorate Treaty Signing

“From large-scale events attracting tens of thousands of people such as those at Hoani Waititi Marae in Auckland and the Porirua Waterfront, to smaller gatherings in areas as far flung as the Chatham Islands and to the significant commemorations at Waitangi, these events are an opportunity for us to reflect on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.” More>>





InfoPages News Channels