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ACT’s vision for of future is a nightmare for NZ

ACT’s vision for of future is a nightmare for New Zealand

ACT’s ‘Budget 2010: Combating Government Waste’ document paints a barren vision of New Zealand. It sees no need to support a sustainable land management programme, research into bio-security or advice on climate change despite the country’s reliance on agriculture.

Support for science, research and technology is decimated in Sir Roger Douglas’ discussion paper which lists vital areas as, “government waste”.

Cultural institutions like a symphony orchestra, an indigenous television broadcaster, a National Library and Film Archive are also absent - jewels in the crown of many other nations.

Health, education and social development fare badly too. Early childhood education programmes are slashed, as is funding to reduce violence within families and programmes targeting obesity and healthy eating.

ACT considers such areas, “wasteful” and “unnecessary”, deemed superfluous because they return less in monetary terms than they cost - thus they’re extinguished. ACT’s vision would turn New Zealand, a progressive, educated, culturally rich nation into a poor, unenlightened, cultural wilderness. This is ACT-land.

“Is this really the kind of society New Zealanders want to live in? Of course not”, says Public Service Association National Secretary Brenda Pilott, “ACT’s vision of the future outlined by Sir Roger Douglas in his discussion document is a nightmare.”

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Released on the eve of the budget, Sir Douglas’ paper identifies what he calls $3.1 billion of Government waste.

“Included in Sir Douglas’ list are essential programmes that support our agricultural sector which remains the backbone of our economy, interest free student loans that encourage young people into training enabling them to contribute to the nation’s future.

“Sir Douglas also targets free early childhood education as wasteful and unnecessary, that’s despite that it enables many parents to work when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to and provides children with proven life-enhancing skills.

“That might not be easy to measure in monetary terms but providing our children with skills and experience that lift their life chances can only be good for the country as a whole”, says Brenda Pilott.

“Sir Douglas’ list is aimed at delivering greater tax cuts and reducing the deficit. But doing away with essential public service programmes that support the economy and the population’s health, education, social and cultural development would turn New Zealand back decades”, says Brenda Pilott.


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