Budget 2013 maintains a steady course, but does not do nearly enough, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
"The first big negative is the mediocrity of the projected economic performance in 2014/15 and beyond,” Mr Banks said.
“After the Christchurch rebuild, real GDP growth is projected to slip down to 2.2 per cent for 2016/17. Treasury expects the unemployment rate to be still above five per cent by 2016/17 when the current account deficit in the balance of payments is projected to be 6.5 per cent of GDP.
"What is needed is much greater determination to free up the labour market and reduce the wasteful and unnecessary government spending that is sucking resources out of the industries that are trying to export and compete with imports.
"The second big negative is the failure to put New Zealand on a track to deal with the unsustainable welfare and health policies that are set to take a much greater proportion of GDP in the coming decades.
“Everyone knows that the age of eligibility for superannuation will have to be increased and many people understand that the funding burden will need to be further reduced, perhaps by indexing the benefit to the CPI rather than to wage inflation. In the health area there needs to be much more attention to securing the benefits of competitive supply, price discovery and competitive private insurance.
"Perhaps the biggest disappointment from an ACT perspective is the failure to put in place institutional changes that would make it harder for spendthrift governments to repeat the mistakes of the last Labour government.
“A regulatory responsibility act of the type recommended by the Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce is still needed to protect citizens from foolish, costly government regulations, and greater spending disciplines on government are still desirable.
"Making greater use of competition in ACC and more widely would make providers more cost conscious and promote price discovery.
“Finance Minister Bill English’s Budget represents an oasis of fiscal sanity in the face of Opposition parties whose primeval instinct is to spend, regulate, impose new taxes and print money.
“But if we want our young people to stay in New Zealand and achieve their potential, National needs to do more,” Mr Banks said.
I rise on behalf of the ACT Party and the people of Epsom to support the Appropriation (2013/2014 Estimates) Bill. ACT will support this Budget and associated legislation.
The Budget is a good budget in difficult circumstances.
But it’s not a great budget.
On the OECD’s measure, the government sector is spending about 43 per cent of everything that New Zealanders produce.
That’s 43 per cent. In Australia it is 34 per cent.
Government is taking too much. And it’s making us poorer.
We have lost many of our productive young people to Australia because their economy offers a better future.
The 2025 Taskforce found the income gap with Australia was 35 per cent in 2008. Stats for 2011 indicate that it has risen to 41 per cent.
This gap is unprecedented.
Unless we close it we can expect more and more New Zealand grandparents crossing the Tasman to visit their grandchildren.
There is no mystery. They are richer in part because more of the wealth of Australia is left in the hands of its people.
Yet the Labour Party wants even more spending. You would have to go back to the 1970s to find a Labour Party less ready for Government. They are not serious about addressing the challenges faced by New Zealand.
The future isn’t about outbidding the old dudes and young fogies of the Green Party.
When I first came to Parliament the Government was trying a command and control approach to the economy. It didn’t work then and it won’t work today.
How does this Budget measure up in terms of getting government off-the-backs and out-of-the pockets of hard pressed taxpayers?
Well first the good news.
The size of government is set to decline under this Minister of Finance providing we continue to restrain expenditure.
Spending growth has been reined in, despite the Christchurch earthquake. This Budget continues that trend.
The Government has not blown out the fiscal deficit like so many other countries and the last Labour Government.
The Government has stayed the course on partial privatisation, despite Court action and the dodgy referendum by Labour and the Greens.
There have been significant welfare reforms. We are starting to tackle the culture of dependency and hopelessness.
There is no tampering with the Reserve Bank Act.
There is a willingness to improve the quality of regulation.
We will have a regulatory standards proposal for the House to consider.
There will be meaningful change to the RMA.
The Government recognised that house prices are too high because land values are too high. The Government is moving to free up the supply of land which ACT has long called for.
In education, Partnership Schools are on the way. The Budget provides just under $19 million over the next four years. I want to thank Cabinet and the Minister of Education for making Partnership Schools happen.
The Government will spend $9.7 billion on education in this Budget. The annual funding for Partnership Schools makes up less than half a per cent.
From 1999 to 2008, Labour increased spending on education by 47%. They spent billions and had no significant impact on the tail of underachievement in our schools.
Partnership Schools are a new and innovative option specifically focused on raising achievement for our most disadvantaged students.
Anyone who claims that spending less than half a per cent of the total education budget on a new initiative to raise achievement for our most disadvantaged students is playing petty politics.
Now for the not so good news.
The macro outlook - growth and unemployment - is still mediocre. We look good because most member countries of the OECD look bad. We will not close the gap with Australia without lifting growth and productivity.
The balance of payments outlook points to an international competitiveness problem.
Taxes are too high because of wasteful and unnecessary government spending.
The more expensive the government, the poorer the citizen.
The Government needs to roll back Labour’s poor quality programmes - interest free student loans and Working For Families.
Here is what ACT will be urging National to do in a great Budget.
We regard $78 billion dollars of gross public debt to be too high. So we need to reduce debt through less spending.
We need to put the avgas into the assets sales programme.
I welcome the announcement that Meridian is up next.
Air New Zealand is performing well. Running an airline is a risky and tough business. We don’t need to issue a prospectus. Why not sell all the Government’s shares?
National should dump the Cullen Fund. Let’s use it to pay off our debt. Progressively raising the age of eligibility would help make superannuation more affordable.
We have stopped the growth in Government spending. It is time to start tackling the size of Government.
We have to aim for around 30 per cent of GDP on the OECD measure. That means confronting middle class and corporate welfare.
The 2025 Taskforce found that given the surpluses at that time, reducing core Crown operating expenses to 29 per cent of GDP would allow a top personal, company and trust tax rate of 20 per cent.
The Budget projections through to 2017 start to make this lost opportunity available again. That’s a long haul but it’s a goal worth pursuing.
Spending reductions and partial use of surpluses could fund tax cuts.
Tax cuts would improve economic growth and international competitiveness. The risk with future surpluses is that they are simply used to expand the size of Government.
Finally, this House needs to be braver on regulatory reform.
Further regulatory reform would help New Zealanders to understand how dopey policies like the nationalisation of electricity would be.
Regulatory reform would highlight how poor policies lead to poor laws and that results in poorer citizens. We have a Regulatory Standards Bill on the Order Paper that would help.
The ACT Party and the people of Epsom back this Budget.
We say it’s a good Budget in difficult times.
But in order to tackle the challenges New Zealand faces we need a great Budget.
Unfortunately the most significant risk we face is from bad policy and bad politics generated from the Opposition benches. Labour has debased itself by entering into a bidding war with Russel Norman and the Greens.
My job, indeed my duty, is to ensure they don’t get their hands on the levers of power.
Budget 2013 will provide $19 million in contingency funding to establish the first Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua with a focus on accountability and high educational outcomes for New Zealand children.
The initiative will see a small number of schools established, with greater freedom and flexibility to innovate and engage their students in return for stronger accountability for delivering educational results, Associate Education Minister John Banks says.
The schools will have a particular focus on the Government’s priority groups of Māori, Pasifika, children from low socio-economic backgrounds, and children with special education needs.
“This is about raising educational achievement, in particular for those groups of students who have historically been under-served by the system,’’ Mr Banks says.
“We already have a number of different types of schools operating in New Zealand, such as Kura, faith-based schools, single-sex schools, and private schools.
“Partnership Schools are another option, giving parents and students more freedom to choose the type of education that best suits their learning needs.”
The Ministry of Education has received proposals from potential sponsors for Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua. The establishment of the schools is subject to the passage of the Education Amendment Bill 2012. The Bill sets out the legal framework for the schools.
This funding has been put in contingency and will be drawn down once the legislation passes and as decisions are made later in the year.
Fact File - Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua
- Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua are a new way of delivering public education which will bring together the education, business, and community sectors to provide new opportunities for students to achieve education success.
- Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua are fully-funded schools outside the state system, accountable to the Crown for raising achievement through a contract to deliver a range of specified school-level targets.
- The most fundamental difference between Partnership Schools/ Kura Hourua and state or state-integrated schools is that their relationship with the Ministry of Education will be contractual as well as regulatory.
- Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua will have more freedom over how they operate, so they can innovate to better meet the needs of their students, and achieve their targets. This includes greater flexibility over curriculum, staff qualifications, employment, hours of operation, and school leadership.
- Partnership Schools/Kura Hourua will be in areas where learners are currently underserved by existing education provision, and will be open to all students who apply for entry, regardless of background or ability.
- They will have no tuition fees.
Achievement and other performance expectations specified in the contract, and monitored through a combination of the Education Review Office and the specially appointed Authorisation Board, will use National Standards and other recognised measures set out in a performance measurement framework.
小企业部长John Banks建议希望扩展业务的中小企业业主加入由Business.govt.nz举办的ANZ Flying Start商业计划大赛”。
这项竞赛已经连续举办了三年 — 从年营业额低于100万元的中小企业和初创企业中评选出最佳商业计划，并设价值8万元的奖品。
“ANZ Flying Start商业计划大赛能成为一项定期举行的赛事自有它的原因，“Banks先生说。
Marketing Bureau 提供的价值1万元的咨询和开发服务
Lane Neave Lawyers 提供的价值5千元的法律咨询
Servcorp提供的价值3千8百元的Virtual Office 办公软件
十四名区域优胜者各将获得Ernst&Young, MYOB, OpenHost 和Servercorp提供的1千元现金奖励。
Business.govt.nz 和ANZ银行将会对商业计划或竞赛有关问题在Linkedln网站上的 ANZ Flying Start Competition小组中解答。
参加第三届ANZ Flying Star 商业计划竞赛，请访问www.business.govt.nz/business-plan-competition。
I rise to speak in favour of the second reading of the Education Amendment Bill.
The Bill provides the legal framework for Partnerships Schools | Kura Hourua.
I want to join with the Hon Hekia Parata in thanking Dr Cam Calder the Chair of the Education and Science Committee and the members of the Committee for their hard work.
They have improved the Bill. The first change is to require the existing independent review option to now be a mandatory term of all sponsorship contracts.
I can advise the House that officials are working on some default dispute resolution options that will be focused on the educational needs of the student. These will be superior to arrangements in most state schools.
The second change is a partial extension of the jurisdiction of the Ombudsmen to suspensions, stand-downs, exclusions and expulsions. This change both protects the students and ensures sponsors who are non-government organisations have their status preserved.
I want to acknowledge all those who took the time to make a submission to the Committee. Even when we disagree, I know that our education system can only improve with the passionate engagement of learners, parents and educational professionals.
This Bill as it relates to Partnership Schools is drawn from a proposal in the ACT and National Confidence and Supply Agreement. That proposal was given life by the Partnership Schools Working Party ably led by Catherine Isaac whose work shaped this Bill.
Partnership schools spring from the values of the ACT Party. In education we believe in parental choice and the funding following the child whatever the school type.
We know that in education, one size does not fit all.
In essence we believe in the transformative potential of education.
That is why we backed Aspire Scholarships last term and why we promoted Partnership Schools this term.
Every child has potential however humble their origins.
Every child has inherent value.
And every child deserves the opportunity to get a world class education.
No member in their heart-of-hearts can say that New Zealand is delivering on that.
So this Bill is important. It will determine whether this House is on the right side of history.
I believe we will stand with young Māori and Pasifika who deserve to discover the spark of learning.
We will stand with those with learning difficulties or from low socio-economic backgrounds who yearn to achieve.
We will stand with the dedicated educators including Māori and Pasifika educators who are able to inspire and lead and achieve for our most vulnerable learners.
We will stand with the proposition that greater freedom to educators should be coupled with higher levels of accountability.
Partnership Schoolswill help to address the endemic problem of underachievement of our most vulnerable leaners.
The good news is that the current education system works well for the majority of our young people. Our best students are best in the world.
There is more good news. There have been significant recent gains for Pasifika students and slight gains for Māori.
The bad news is that still too many of our vulnerable students are being left behind. In terms of equity, which is the size of the gap between our highest and lowest achievers, we are among the worst of OECD countries.
The good news is that Partnership Schools are on the way.
Being a first world nation means five out of five students gaining the knowledge and skills to be successful citizens in the 21st Century.
This country has huge potential. However we waste that potential because of the continuing disparity that characterises our education system.
Partnership Schools will help target the problem of underachievement.
In the Partnership School model, the Crown enters into a contract with a sponsor, who operates the school.
Sponsors vary from school to school and could be, for example, groups of parents, not-for-profit community groups, businesses, churches, Iwi or Pasifika groups, or Trusts.
The term ‘partnership’ captures the essence of what these schools represent – a partnership between the Crown, the business sector and the community.
They will introduce more choice, and more flexibility, into our education system.
More choice for parents – who will have greater freedom to choose the education that best suits their children’s learning needs.
And more flexibility – as Partnership Schools will have greater freedom around how they operate.
They will be given more autonomy from the usual rules and regulations under which state schools are required to operate.
This includes the freedom to offer a different curriculum so long as it can be mapped against the New Zealand curriculum and its principles and qualifications framework, and adaptable operating hours.
They must employ teachers who are trained and qualified in their fields, but they may, in certain, limited circumstances, be teachers who are not registered with the Teachers’ Council.
This flexibility will allow them to do things differently. They will be allowed to use new and diverse approaches to teaching and learning, and property and school organisation.
They can focus on specialist areas of learning, such as art, music or sport, and they can answer a particular need in their community, such as for faith-based schooling or holistic development.
In exchange for this flexibility, Partnership Schools will have higher levels of accountability with a unique evaluation framework.
I’m pleased to advise the House that we have received 35 applications from potential sponsors for Partnership Schools.
They are currently being considered by the Authorisation Board, an expert panel of independent advisors.
The Authorisation Board will make recommendations to the Minister of Education.
No final decisions will be made, or contracts with potential sponsors entered into, until this Bill is passed. Contracts are expected to be in place by the middle of this year.
This ensures successful sponsors have enough time to prepare their schools to open in 2014.
Can I once again express my appreciation for the work of the Select Committee. Can I also place on record my appreciation for the support of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and the Maori Party for Partnership Schools.
Roll on day 1 term 1 2014
Small Business Minister John Banks says SME owners looking to grow their business should enter the ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition run by Business.govt.nz.
The competition – now in its third consecutive year - seeks out the best business plans from businesses and start-ups across New Zealand with an annual turnover of less than $1 million. There is $80,000 worth of prizes up for grabs.
“The ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition run by Business.govt.nz has become a regular fixture in the business calendar, and for good reason,” says Mr Banks.
“Having a detailed, well-researched business plan is a real advantage. It helps sell your enterprise to others, but more importantly it helps you identify the risks and opportunities ahead so you can make the best decisions for your business.
“We are a nation of small business owners in which 97 per cent of all enterprises employ less than 20 people, so competitions like this and online resources like Business.govt.nz are incredibly valuable.
“They encourage and support Kiwi entrepreneurs to keep delivering the kind of innovative new businesses that keeps New Zealand at the cutting edge.”
The supreme award winner will receive $58,000 worth of prizes. This includes:
- $30,000 cash from ANZ for approved growth opportunities
- $10,000 of consulting and development services from The Marketing Bureau
- $5,000 of business education or management training from Stellaris
- $5,000 of advertising/editorial in NZBusiness Magazine
- $5,000 of legal advice from Lane Neave Lawyers
- $3,800 for a virtual office package from Servcorp
The second and third prize winners each receive $5,000 in cash from ANZ.
The 14 regional winners each receive $1,000 cash from Ernst & Young, MYOB, OpenHost and Servcorp.
Mr Banks says interested SME owners should check out the competition and sample the online tools, calculators and resources at www.business.govt.nz.
The team at Business.govt.nz and ANZ will also be on hand to answer any questions about business planning or the competition through the ANZ Flying Start Competition group on LinkedIn.
Entries into the third annual ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition can be placed at www.business.govt.nz/business-plan-competition
The Sky City Convention Centre proposal is a good deal for taxpayers and Auckland ratepayers and has my support, ACT Leader John Banks said today.
“Auckland is an international city and needs a world class convention venue. But running a convention centre is an economically tough and risky business,” Mr Banks said.
“Globally, taxpayer or ratepayer-owned convention centres often run at a substantial loss and attract on-going subsidies.
“It is essential that any convention centre proposal is taken forward by a seasoned operator that can compete in the highly competitive entertainment industry.
"It is also important that it is the operator that carries the risk, and not the taxpayer or Auckland ratepayer. The Sky City proposal satisfies both those requirements.
"I also support this deal because it does more to protect the few gamblers who cannot control their behaviour. I acknowledge there is only so much that can be done to protect people from themselves. In the end it’s up to individuals to take personal reasonability for their actions. However, the proposal introduces systems to allow data to be analysed for problem gamblers and ups the host responsibility monitoring to 24/7.
"I am satisfied that the regulatory concessions in the Convention Centre proposal are both necessary and reasonable in the circumstances. I will be supporting any necessary legislation," Mr Banks said.
ACT Leader and MP for Epsom, John Banks, today announced Ellie Bishop as his Epsom Youth MP for the 2013 Youth Parliament.
Ellie, 17, is a student at Epsom Girls Grammar. Mr Banks says he chose Ellie for her get-up-and -go attitude and drive to succeed.
“Ellie is active in her school community. She is a member of the school advanced debating team, is heavily involved with the UN Youth organisation and is a member of several school committees, including committees on humanitarian assistance, child cancer and sustainability.
“While juggling her own studies and commitments, Ellie still finds the time to help other students in her role as deputy tutor captain. She tutors English, classics, social studies and business studies. Ellie also holds two part-time jobs.
“I was very impressed with Ellie’s ability to manage so many commitments with such success. I look forward to seeing Ellie represent Epsom in the 2013 Youth Parliament. I know she will make her school and community proud,” Mr Banks said.
Ellie says she applied to become a youth MP because it is a wonderful opportunity to become actively involved and to understand more about the workings of Parliament.
“I have a passion for politics and after I finish studying politics and law at university, my dream career would be to work at the United Nations.
“It is an honour to represent Epsom in the 2013 Youth Parliament and I look forward to improving my skills, learning new things and meeting new people.”
ACT Leader John Banks today said he was shocked to learn of Parekura Horomia’s death.
“At 62, Parekura Horomia was still a relatively young man and while his health struggles have not been a secret, his death has still come as a surprise,” Mr Banks said.
“His passing is a significant loss to Maoridom, the Labour Party and the Parliament.
“On behalf of the ACT Party, I offer my condolences to his whanau and friends at this time,” Mr Banks said.
Minister for Small Business John Banks is encouraging small business owners to apply for the Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships.
Prime Minister John Key opened the scholarships today and is calling for ambitious executives looking to expand their international management expertise.
“These scholarships offer an excellent opportunity for small businesses to build their capability and develop skills to help internationalise their business,” Mr Banks said.
“Last year 14 scholarships were awarded, which included two small business recipients looking to increase their presence in international markets. The scholarships cover up to fifty per cent of the course related costs of attending prestigious institutions such as Harvard and INSEAD.”
One of the 2010 Scholarship recipients, Marina Hirst-Tristram, from Tasman Bay Food Group recently returned from studying a Global Executive MBA through the University of Sydney. She encourages SMEs to apply for the scholarship as it provides an opportunity they would not usually be able to afford.
Applications close on 27th May 2013.
For more information visit: www.med.govt.nz/scholarships