Lower Hutt Mayor David Ogden is offering free swims for seniors. My letter to the Hutt News;
Is David Ogden morphing into Winston Peters? His campaign promise of 'free' swimming for seniors sounds very nice but must be recognised for what it is. A vote-buyer. And politicians can only ever buy votes with somebody else's money. It's called pork-barrelling. Rife in central government, it is a shame to see it appear so unabashed in local government.
Mayor Ogden cloaks his vote-buying with the well-meaning intention of encouraging "healthier and more active lifestyles." Is that where we want local government to go? Using ratepayer's money to nanny them?
He says it is time to "invest in the people" . It is the individual's prerogative to decide for themselves what they want to invest their money in. There are probably far more elderly folk worrying about paying their rates than fretting over paying $4-50 for a swim in the local pool.
The worst of it is, his only opponent agrees. In fact Ray Wallace will no doubt soon be upping the ante. Those who want lower rates and a focus on core services are faced with choosing between the lesser of two evils.
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