Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Strong, Well-funded Public Services Will Keep New Zealand Safe

With Public Service Association members in the health sector, customs, immigration and elsewhere ready to tackle the coronavirus threat, the union says this crisis illustrates the need for properly funded public and community services.

The National Party this week attempted to draw a tenuous link between the economic impact of coronavirus and their perennial advocacy of tax cuts, but the PSA says this is a dangerous mistake.

"Whatever day of the week it is and whatever the question might be, you can bet good money the National Party will say the answer is tax cuts," says PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay.

"Most New Zealanders want to feel confident that if they end up in hospital, the health system will have enough money to hire enough staff, provide enough medicine, and put enough beds on the ward. Most New Zealanders want to feel confident our borders are protected from the spread of disease and dangerous substances. This is what our taxes pay for, and it’s worth it."

The virus has yet to establish a significant foothold in New Zealand and its effects are difficult to predict.

The PSA says the public should be reassured to know thousands of government workers around the country are painstakingly preparing for all possible scenarios.

"It’s interesting to compare this situation with the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Our region dodged the worst of that, as we have so far avoided the worst of the coronavirus, but when capitalism entered its crisis a decade ago it wasn’t tax cuts that got us through," says Mr Barclay.

"Investment in public wellbeing, infrastructure spending and the maintenance of a strong welfare state is the best way to keep our economy strong and New Zealanders safe. In Australia following the GFC they used tax revenue to provide special payments to pensioners and low-income families, and it made a difference helping them weather the storm. We should be prepared to take a similar approach here."

The union believes knee-jerk advocacy of tax cuts will provide minimal or no benefit to working people, relative to the costs they could incur dealing with public services starved of funding.

National’s tax cuts in previous years overwhelmingly benefited high earners, and have contributed to a legacy of housing unaffordability and growing inequality.

"We have a growing population and there is already chronic underfunding in health, education and infrastructure. DHBs around New Zealand are cash strapped, and we don’t yet have funding in place to ensure all women and Māori people receive equal pay to their male counterparts," says Mr Barclay.

"It is reckless and short-sighted to propose draining more money from the public coffers as we head into increasingly uncertain times. New Zealand deserves better."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Problems The Pandemic Is Causing For Big Oil

Chances are, climate change won’t kill you overnight, and that’s got to be significant. Yet while we were all in lockdown listening to the birdsong, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that if governments can up-end the economy for an unexpected reason – the coronavirus – surely, we can act just as decisively to counter the known threat that climate changes poses to planetary survival.
Currently, those twin threats from Covid-19 and climate change are converging: on the extent of oil production... More>>


National: $4 Billion Investment To End Wellington’s Congestion Woes

A National Government will invest another $4 billion in transport infrastructure across Wellington, igniting the economy and delivering the congestion-busting solutions the region has long been crying out for, National Party Leader Judith Collins says. ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Virtues (and Fluffed Opportunities) Of The Operation Burnham Report

One unspoken rule of thumb in any official public inquiry is : whatever you do, don’t conclude you were made to listen to “a litany of lies” even if the evidence of a deliberate cover-up is right there under your nose. In that respect, the report ... More>>


Office Of The Speaker: Parliament Is Revamping Its Rules

Today, the Standing Orders Committee’s report on the review of Standing Orders was presented to the House. The Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard, chairs the committee. He said today that the 2020 review will make our rules more ... More>>

Economy: Investing In The Tourism Sector’s Recovery

More than $300 million in funding has been approved to protect strategic tourism businesses, drive domestic tourism through regional events and lift digital capability in the tourism industry, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. A $400 million ... More>>


National On MP Bill: Waka-Jumping Repeal Bill Passes First Reading

The Electoral (Integrity Repeal) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading, marking one step closer to Parliament getting rid of NZ First’s ‘waka-jumping’ legislation, National List MP David Carter says. “I’d like to thank the Greens for voting ... More>>


Your Vote 2020: Bringing Election Coverage To Viewers Across TVNZ Channels And Platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election. TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme ... More>>

Economy: 30% Believe Households Worse Off, 298,000 Expect To Lose Jobs

64% of New Zealanders feel the economic position of their households is the same or better than a year ago – and 30% think it is worse or much worse, while 298,000 think they will lose their jobs in the next 12 months. Households’ perceptions ... More>>

State Services Commission: Findings Of Investigation Into COVID-19 Active Cases Privacy Breach

Deputy State Services Commissioner Helene Quilter has today announced the findings of an investigation into a breach of privacy regarding sensitive personal information. The investigation looked into who or what caused the disclosure of the information, ... More>>

International Security: New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

The New Zealand Government has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China’s decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says. More>>


Energy: 100% Renewable Electricity Grid Explored With Pumped Storage ‘battery’

The Government is taking a significant step toward its goal for 100% renewable electricity generation in a move that could be a game changer for consumers and the creation of a low-emissions economy, Energy & Resources Minister Megan Woods said. ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels