Friday, February 21, 2014

Bill English on spending "other people's money"

Yesterday Bill English explained to Sue Moroney that it prioritises spending "other people's money" on those whose lives would most benefit from the expenditure. Even that spending is too much for at least one of my readers but frankly I'm with English on this approach.The promise of more middle class welfare is a vote buyer. A sharp focus on young people at risk of becoming lifelong beneficiaries is a far more pressing priority.
8. SUE MORONEY (Labour) to the Minister of Finance: Is it still his intention to use a financial veto against my Bill which proposes to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks?
Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): The Government has not made a final decision, but quite possibly.
Sue Moroney: Does he think a financial veto would be justified for a bill supporting families that would cost just $36 million in the forthcoming 2014-15 financial year?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Government will take into account a number of factors, including the fact that the cost rises pretty quickly after that. Another factor is that the focus of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill excludes a significant number of families in much more difficult and challenging circumstances with much lower incomes, who may be more deserving of Government support.
Sue Moroney: What does the Minister of Finance propose to do for the families that he has just spoken of who miss out on paid parental leave?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: It would be a very long answer if I went through the wide range of ways in which the Government is endeavouring to help those families. They range from extensive investment through the investment approach—for instance, to get sole parent families out of welfare
dependency and into work, because when they do not have a job but they could have one, they are not eligible for paid parental leave at all. So that is just one measure, and there are many others.
Sue Moroney: Does he agree with the Prime Minister when he said in reference to the Tīwai Point subsidy that $30 million is not a major outlay, and does this cause him to reconsider his threatened use of the financial veto when it comes to a similar amount for families in this forthcoming financial year?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: As I think the member may have picked up over the last year or two, the Government is less focused on spending large amounts of money to try to show it cares—that is, other people’s money—and more focused on actually supporting the people who need it to change the course of their lives, which is what taxpayers expect us to do. So in that sense the amount of money is less important than the impact of the intervention, and we believe that there are other groups that are a higher priority for very necessary support from the Government, to bring some order and aspiration to lives that may be chaotic and lacking hope. The old Labour Party used to be interested in those families. The new Labour Party is not.


Anonymous said...

Even that spending is too much for at least one of my readers

For many more than one, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Mostly this shows the crazy state of NZ politics:

ACT MPs boasting about their upbringing in slums and the excellent state educations they received.

A Multimillionaire Labour Party Leader pushing policies that will be of most help to people on over $100,000 per annum --- and pushing other policies that will directly harm manual "Labourers" (notably the superannuation cuts)

A Green Party policy launch that makes headlines because - unlike all their other policies - this one was actually about the environment.

A National party PM who is a state-house kid (and DPB and state-schoo to boot!)

And most of all, a National party government introducing and maintaing policies that even Radio New Zealand has to call Key a communist