Saturday, March 05, 2011

ACT on message

Brief and simple so re-produced in full;

Hide - Vaulting Matilda March 4
Friday, 4 March 2011, 7:53 pm
Press Release: ACT New Zealand

ISSUE 15, March 4 2011

These are grim times for Canterbury, and indeed for New Zealand. Our second largest city is devastated and the people of Christchurch are enduring the hardest of times.

We are now forced to make hard choices, to focus intensely on only the highest priorities – we need to face reality.

Our starting point is not good. Our government has been borrowing a massive $300 million per week simply to keep afloat. That’s almost $200 per week for each and every Kiwi household.

And now we have Christchurch to rebuild.

However it’s not just government that overspends – as a nation we have built up overseas debt of $162 billion, 85% of GDP.

We have seen the economic and social turmoil in the most highly indebted European countries. The future has arrived for them. Those in deep trouble were the countries with the highest current account deficits, the highest levels of overseas debt and the highest levels of government debt. If you need to know what the future holds on our present track, just look at the so-called PIIGS: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

The reason we have so much wasteful, pointless and counterproductive government spending is that politicians have every incentive to spend more, and promise too much. As voters we encourage them.

The middle class want free childcare. Students want interest-free loans. Pensioners want pensions and gold cards. On and on it goes. Every interest group wants their own government department or agency. Helen Clark’s Labour government perfected the art of spending money on key interest groups to hold on to power at all cost.

We couldn’t afford that before the earthquakes and we absolutely cannot now. Government capital spending is going to increase as we rebuild Christchurch.

We must ensure now that the general good prevails over narrower self-interest. Government must live within a budget as tight as the budgets that ordinary households face.

Rodney Hide

Leader, ACT Party


Anonymous said...

All ETS and Carbon initiatives suspended for 5 years. All Maori settlements suspended for 5 years. All public servants not on the frontline earning more than 100K 20 percent pay cut. All other public servants 5 year pay freeze. All public servants with climate change in job title or description bye bye.
Reserve bank drop OCR to 1 percent.
Earthquake levy for 2 years.
QED under a state of emergency!

Manolo said...

I agree 100%.

mawm said...

I agree with Rodney................but he now needs to get into specifics like binning the ETS, closing down wasteful and unessential Ministies and Departments, aligning Treaty settlements to the country's financial status, reduction of the bloated welfare (in all forms) system, etc. There is absolutely no reason to increase tax.

Put it on paper and make it non-negotiable - for both the election and in coalition deals, and ACT will get my votes.

pdm said...

An excellent statement by Rodney - is this the truning of the corner for ACT?

I hope so - New Zealand needs them with 10 to 15 MP's in Parliament.

Oswald Bastable said...

It's called 'suck it up and make do with less'- as households have to do when an unexpected big bill comes in.

Dave Christian said...

Won't get fooled again.

Anonymous said...

"as voters we encourage them" What Rodney is saying is that politicians use handouts to buy votes. I've always thought this was so but I didn't think I would hear a politician admit it. On reflection though, I think Helen Clarke would could have said that she was going to buy everyones' votes and wouldn't have lost one vote. The games over now though, voters are accustomed to a higher standard of living, but now have to pay off the debt. It may be the voters fault as Rodney says, "as voters we encourage them" but the voters will blame the politicians for the resulting pain. Why don't we invite Helen Clarke back, if we join the PIIGs?