Peters: Plan Or Perish – There is No Choice
EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY
An address by Rt Hon Winston Peters at AMI Netball Stadium
44 Northcote Rd Takapuna, Friday August 19th at 1.00pm
“Plan Or Perish – There is No Choice”
It would be good to stand up here and say how wonderful things are in the land of the long white cloud.
By nature, most of us are optimists and always try to look on the bright side of life. Our generation was a lucky one.
Although our childhood was tough growing up on a farm milking cows, we always seemed to have a lot of fun and plenty of laughs.
We cannot remember a time when the family was rolling in cash but there was always enough to feed and clothe us – all eleven of us children.
We were educated and made our way in the world.
It makes one weep to see what is happening in our country now.
For nearly thirty years New Zealand has been creating a young underclass that could one day explode like they have in the riots in Britain.
There always was going to be a day of reckoning and now it is upon us.
The riots in Britain are not simply a failure of policing. They are a symptom of the failure of irresponsible capitalism and unfocused welfarism.
Britain is an economy of massive inequality.
The inequality of incomes, wealth and opportunity is the worst it has been in nigh on 90 years.
The wealth of Britain's richest 1000 people rose by 30% last year in the throes of a credit crunch. Britain has a lost generation about which it has done far too little.
What of New Zealand? A number of the features just described have been present here for some time.
Last year those on our rich list enjoyed wealth growth of 20%.
The gap between our rich and poor has been growing over the last 25 years.
And the present government rather than addressing the symptoms is just adding to them.
A day of reckoning has arrived on many accounts. Accounting for the past, securing the future. That's what the 2011 election is going to be about.
Well before the fanfare of the National party conference we pointed out the neglected areas of youth employment and trade training.
Unemployment in the 15-19 year old bracket is 27.6 percent. In the 15-24yr olds it is about 18 percent.
In some areas such as Northland the unemployment rate is much worse. No country can afford such a shameful outcome.
We have a generation of unwanted teenagers on the streets and some people in official places wonder why there is a strong culture of offending and drunkenness.
Add to this some teen pregnancies, the option of a life on the domestic purposes benefit and a series of boyfriends who have learned to accept a lifestyle that involves anything and everything except work.
We have advocated programmes to throw open the doors of every trade training establishment in the country and drag them inside. That’s once we have taught them to read and write.
For those employers willing to take on a young person and train them, we suggest that the government consider paying an incentive in a system that works like this.
A young person receiving the dole would be offered a job with training. The firm would pay wages and would receive a top up from the dole payment.
There would be a carrot and stick for the young person. The carrot would be training and some wages.
The stick would be no dole without taking part in the programme.
Now this scheme would not suddenly solve the problem of youth unemployment but it would be a start.
It does not involve food coupons or making women with babies work at non-existent jobs.
New Zealand First also believes that it is pointless announcing big training programmes without the jobs to match.
Unless of course we are continuing to train young people to work in Australia.
That is the greatest challenge – the creation of jobs. The statement in the Budget that 171,000 new jobs were being created is a lie.
Hundreds of jobs are being lost every week.
You know that buried underneath all the spin and bulldust pouring out of the Beehive there is a sense of denial.
From the prime minister down there is an overwhelming silence about the true reasons for the state of the world economy.
It has been caused by greed, speculation and corruption.
The culprits are these - and we”ll list them.
• Futures traders
• Sub-prime mortgage manipulators
• Foreign exchange speculators
• Shonky finance houses
• Shonky insurance companies
• Greedy bankers
This financial crisis was not caused by ordinary people.
It was caused by irresponsible capitalism and the greedy capitalists who ran the system.
In the United States the government is pumping created money into the rotten system to keep it afloat.
If and when it stops unemployment in the United States is expected to read 30 percent!
That is horrifying. We are on the verge of the world’s biggest depression and financial chaos.
Governments throughout the Western world are in trouble because they have pumped trillions of dollars into their shonky banking systems.
In New Zealand we are a bit better off and it has nothing to do with John Key or Bill English.
You can thank Michael Cullen – who was mercilessly targeted by the National party for not handing tax cuts to the rich.
Cullen’s prudence has been undermined by giving the rich tax cuts and lifting GST to pay for them.
These are the facts. John Key and Bill English know as much about running an economy as Rodney Hide knows about ballroom dancing.
They go into a spin and then drop their partners on their heads!
And talking about spin – all the spin in the world won’t make the problems caused by some finance companies go away.
Thousands of elderly investors have collectively lost billions of dollars through the failure of a number of these companies.
Taxpayers are also taking a big hit. The government poured $1.8 billion dollars into South Canterbury Finance.
The latest report on that sorry business says the government will get back only $600 million.
So, $1.2 billion down the gurgler. This money is of course, sucked from somewhere else.
It’s an indictment on our society that billions of dollars can be poured into finance companies while thousands of school children go to school hungry.
The people who built this nation must be spinning in their graves.
Although all the news this week has been about the young, New Zealand First has remained aware of the needs of senior citizens.
We are alert and vigilant as the propaganda pours out about how the aged are a burden and somehow they should keep working at non-existent jobs to keep the economy afloat.
Make no mistake a government led by John Key and Don Brash will soon target senior citizens.
Sure – Mr Key has said he won’t cut super but remember he also said he would not raise GST.
Some of you may have already noticed that the method of calculating national superannuation was subtly changed after this government came to office in 2008.
Guess which way super went with this subtle change?
That’s right – it went down just like it always does when these subtle changes are made.
Let me remind you that the only political party defending senior citizens is New Zealand First and we have the record to prove it.
If by some strange quirk of fate New Zealand First left the political scene it would be all over for the elderly.
The status of senior citizens would change.
They would “officially” be designated as a burden on society.
Make no mistake there are a lot of highly paid people in Wellington in Treasury and other places of privilege who believe that money spent on pensioners is wasted.
New Zealand First has always respected senior citizens.
We have kept the pension at 66 percent of the net average wage while the others tried to cut it. And we believe it is an entitlement – not state charity.
We have a policy of one free medical check a year and doctors’ visits capped at $10 after that.
This policy will save expensive hospital care later on.
Just a reminder - New Zealand First brought in the SuperGold card giving access to free off peak public transport on the buses, trains and ferries.
We know that there has been huge support for this initiative from seniors on the North Shore and throughout New Zealand.
It has been life changing for tens of thousands of elderly, allowing far easier and less costly travel for those who deserve it.
We also have a policy of extending the SuperGold card to cover a ten percent discount in electricity prices for over 65s, and by winter 2012.
This was announced earlier this year at the GreyPower annual convention.
New Zealand First is the only party to have kept trying to prepare for the retirement of the baby boomers.
We tried to bring in a compulsory pension scheme – paid for by tax cuts in 1997.
Our political enemies poured scorn on us. We hate to say we told you so but we told you so!
We would not be in this mess today. Since 1997 and over those lost last thirteen years Australia saved over a trillion dollars. We’ve saved very little.
Now for something different.
Let’s look ahead to the election. It’s time for you to make a statement about the state of New Zealand.
It’s all very simple.
It’s what we call a win-win situation.
We stand on our record.
- Getting rid of the Surtax
- Increasing Super to 66%.
- Bringing in the Gold Card
- and much more
You Party vote New Zealand First.
We win. You win.