ACT announces Clutha Southland candidate - Don Nicolson

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte is pleased to announce ACT’s candidate for Clutha Southland.

“Our Clutha Southland candidate will be Don Nicolson, who has strong ties and commitment to this region. I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte.

“Don farms near Invercargill and is well known nationwide as a strong advocate for the primary sector. Farmers remember his huge commitment to the sector both in his role as Federated Farmers of New Zealand president until 2011 and then as ACT’s 3rd ranked candidate in the last election. Don has been our primary industry spokesman since then.”

“Within ACT I discovered a strong similarity with the Federated Farmers’ ethos, so joining up with ACT to continue work in the same vein is energising”, says Don.

“I'm looking forward to introducing the Clutha Southland electorate to ACT's policy ambitions. Like saying ‘no’ to any form of carbon tax, ‘yes’ to the introduction of  lower, flatter taxes and smaller more efficient government, and ‘yes’ to a three strike policy for burglary”.

“I became self-employed in 1979. Over the years I have reflected on how expansive and intrusive government takes away basic freedoms and slowly destroys an individual’s confidence to control their own destiny. I learned early on that subsidies breed failure and over-taxing breeds contempt. If more tax and more spend really works, why is it never enough? Are hardworking taxpayers getting value for money?”, Don reflects.   .

"I will be seeking the party vote in the Clutha Southland electorate", said Don.

 

Jamie Whyte, ACT Leader

Ph: 021 024 81006

Don Nicolson, Clutha Southland Candidate & Primary Sector Spokeman

Ph: 027 226 6331

Another Union row

“ The teachers union the NZEI is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves,” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte.

“National has increased centralisation and the bureaucratic control of teaching. If National had carried out National Party policy and bulk funded schools we would have no more nationwide disputes as schools would hire, negotiate pay and conditions like every other business does successfully every day. And we would not have a multi million dollars white elephant the Nova pay system,” said Dr Whyte.

“ACT advocates letting all schools become partnership schools but as a first step National implementing National policy and bulk funding schools would be a good start,” said Dr Whyte.

Speech to Grey Power Dr. Jamie Whyte – ACT Party Leader Rotorua

 

National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security.

Let me set out what ACT has been saying on superannuation, health and saving for retirement.  Then a little on the economy, because a strong growing economy makes all these issues easier.

One of this National government’s legacies they will be seen to have failed to tackle major economic issues that will come back and bite us.

The first of these is superannuation.  We have had sixty years notice of a demographic time bomb that is destroying the economies of Europe today.  Like all Western countries, we have fewer working aged people and more retired people.

There are a number of answers but one is to lift the working age and lift the age of entitlement to the universal pension.  Australia is moving this age to seventy.

Of course, some people would lose the ability to work before they meet the new, higher retirement age.  This does not automatically arise at age 65.  There are people at age 55 or even younger who, through illness or accident cannot work.  The answer for those people who cannot work is access to a benefit.  There is a good case to make access to a safety net easier for those over the age 60, as manual work becomes no longer viable for them.

However, all such benefits should be means tested.  We cannot afford to carry able bodied adults, whether they are 18 or 65, if they can fend for themselves.

Lifting the age for universal superannuation should be a no brainer.  Lifting the age helps fix the problem of the future cost to taxpayers – your children and grandchildren – and makes superannuation affordable in the long term.

No one advocates increasing the age of eligibility overnight.  Adequate notice must be given. We would phase or rise from 65 to 67 in over many years. No one now close to retirement would have the deal changed on them and every one affected would have time to change their plans.

Those on fixed incomes by definition cannot change their income. So they need to be protected from inflation.  This is one reason ACT favours CPI indexation rather than wages indexation.

In short, we can fix superannuation without hurting anyone who is already retired or about to retire.  But that still leaves a bigger problem, where the answers are not easy: namely, healthcare.

The costs of healthcare are greatest up to the age of 5 and over the age of 65.  As we age our health care costs rise.  Most of our adult health care costs occur after we are 65 and are highest in the last year of our lives.  There are more of us living longer lives and so health costs are going to balloon.

National’s failure to make real improvements in healthcare will come to be seen as an even greater failure than the blind refusal to touch the age of eligibility for superannuation.

The present solution is to throw more and more money at the health sector.  National has increased health spending not just in real terms but also as a percentage of the economy.

This last point is important.  If you draw a graph there comes a point when health spending is no longer sustainable.  Treasury has been pointing this out to successive governments.  The point at which the health system becomes unsustainable could be just when you need it.

Even more worrying is that the productivity of the health sector is falling.  We are getting less healthcare for our money.

This is alarming.  The reason we have a standard of living our grandparents could not dream of is because productivity has made things like food, cars and electrical appliances affordable.

There are huge advances in medicine, so why are we not seeing a productivity improvement?

Do not say medicine is different.  The World Health Organization compares countries’ health systems.  We do not come out well.  We have poorer outcomes for illnesses like cancer and we spend comparatively more.

The country that comes out top or close to it is Singapore.  They have a universal health system and spend less than we do.

Singapore’s health system makes more use of choice, the private sector, insurance and competition.  Our monopoly, one-size-fits-all system is expensive and inefficient.  Monopolies are always inefficient, wther they are private monopolies or state monopolies.

ACT wants to see much more use of all the features of the Singapore system – the private sector, insurance and competition – and less monopoly one-size-fit-all healthcare.

If you want the health system to be there when you need it, then you should be in favor of a significantly improved and more efficient health system.  Simply throwing more money at it won’t result in a better health system.

Finally, a word about compulsory savings, even though this is more relevant to your children and grandchildren.

The ACT party does not favor compulsion.  When you are young, investing in your education, buying a house, starting a business or providing for children may be a much better use of your money than putting it in Kiwi Saver. Money forced into Kiwi Saver is money that cannot be spent on things that may be more valuable, not only in the short term but as investments for the future. You cannot spend your money twice.

Compulsory saving may make fund managers rich but it is not the answer for your children or your grandchildren. Nothing beats personal responsibility. The evidence is New Zealanders are saving in many ways other than Kiwi Saver.

I will not waste your time discussing the other opposition parties’ absurd spending promises. National’s policies have the merit of being better than the left’s policies, but they fall far short of what we need.

New Zealand needs serious economic reform.

Our present growth is built on milk and Christchurch.  In Christchurch we are just rebuilding what we had. So while it makes GDP look good, it does not make us any wealthier.

Strip out milk and the earthquake, both of which are unsustainable sources of growth, and things do not look so good.

The answer is not crony capitalism – politicians picking winners.  If politicians could pick winners, they would be making millions working on Wall Street. When the likes of Russell Norman and Winston Peters tell you that they can “run the economy”, the only reasonable response is laughter – or tears.

To get the economy moving we must do the opposite of letting politicians run it. We must cut the red tape that politicians create and which strangles investment.  It can take millions of dollars of expensive planning applications to start new ventures and, even then, then you may well be turned down. The cost and uncertainty means people with good business ideas often give up before they even start.

Second, we have to recognize New Zealand now has one of the highest effective company tax rates in the world, higher than the high tax European Union average.  High company taxes discourage investment, growth, jobs and wages.

ACT says we should reduce the company tax rate from 28% to 12.5% to encourage investment, jobs, growth and real wages. We can pay for this cut by scrapping all the corporate welfare – the tax-funded subsidies – that favoured companies currently receive.

The economists who have modeled this say it will increase the rate of economic growth by a third. Over just 15 years, that will make us 20% richer than we would have been.

Why is that important?  An economy that is a 20% larger can afford pensions and health systems that are 20% larger.

Of course, just being in favour of sustainable superannuation, a more efficient health system, personal responsibility for saving and a larger economy is not enough. 

To get it you have to Party vote ACT on 20 September.

 

 

Local Government should not go into business- Stick to the knitting

“No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those whose jobs are on the line,” said Dr Jamie Whyte ACT Leader today

"Infracon is not just any construction company. “Infracon “is one-third owned by a Central Hawke's Bay District Council with Tararua District Council owning two-thirds.

“ACT strongly opposes Local Bodies getting into the construction business. It is a sector of the economy where large companies have been building up their resources over the years, honing their skills and delivering value for money to their shareholders, their workers and their clients, Local Bodies and the Central Government.”

“For a council charged with looking after the interests of its ratepayers to imagine it could compete with well-funded capable road companies was folly,” said Dr Whyte.

“It may be a tad boring for councillors to stick to figuring out ways to keep the sewers open, get the roads fixed and buses running on time. Commerce can look an exciting prospect. It is. However, it is best left to the private sector. It’s what they do best.”

“ACT will seek to amend the Local Government Act so that councils stay out of business, stick to their knitting and serve the ratepayers".

Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan

“The Alternative Budget released by the Greens does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics,” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte.

"Infometrics' review of the Greens' fiscal plan found revenue estimates to be very much on the high side and said it would be much more prudent to estimate considerably lower revenue from the party’s tax hikes.

"The revenue forecasts of the Greens simply did not take into account quite predictable behavioural responses to the massive increase in both the top tax rate and the trust tax rate that is paid by hundreds of thousands of small businesses and family farms in New Zealand. Infometrics had to call the Greens out on this."

To quote the relevant passages in full, so there is no mistaking the dodgy numbers in the Greens' Alternative Budget:

“Our second more substantial concern is that the estimates make no allowance for behavioural responses to the tax change. The type of impact is demonstrated in Figure 1, which presents the way that declared income evolved following the introduction of a 39% tax for incomes over $60,000 in the early 2000s. The majority of post 1999 income growth occurs at income levels below $60,000. In particular there is the development of an income spike precisely at $60,000 – a spike that did not exist prior to the tax change in 1999."

“If the incentive is large enough people will rearrange their affairs to reduce their tax exposure. The Green Party proposals to change the tax rate for trusts and to increase tax enforcement activities reflect an awareness of this propensity, but the revenue estimates do not reflect this awareness. Tax avoidance is not necessarily illegal, but usually reflects a combination of people perceiving that the system is not equitable and an overly complex tax system. The former creates the incentive, the latter the means, for tax avoidance. Taxpayers will be surprisingly fast at changing their affairs, and most changes will be quite legal."

"The Green Party tax revenue estimates take no allowance for a decline in the tax base and as such must be viewed as high-end estimates. We think it would be prudent to base fiscal estimates on considerably lower revenue estimates.”

The full review can be read here: https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Appendix-Infometrics-Revie...

“The Greens cannot with any credibility claim that putting the top tax rate up to 40%, and putting up the trust tax rate to 40%, which affects hundreds of thousands of small businesses and family farms, will have no behavioural effects,” said Dr Whyte.

“The Greens cannot have any credible claim to a senior ministerial portfolio after putting out so naive an alternative budget.

"On one hand, the Greens' proposals for a carbon tax are pointless unless there are behavioural changes – people will buy less carbon intensive products. But the Greens then go blind to the obvious behavioural effects of large tax increases when trying to hide their ropey economic analysis and ideological hatred of success, choice and personal responsibility.

"The Alternative Budget of ACT explicitly took account of behavioural of responses of taxpayers to cuts in the top tax rate to 24% and cuts in the company tax rate to 12.5%. Some of the revenue offsets from these behavioural changes are immediate increases – to the order of 10% of revenue.

"The ACT party looks forward to a prosperous New Zealand.

"The Green party wants to tax and regulate New Zealand into poverty."

ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pedersen

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte is pleased to confirm ACT’s candidate for Tauranga.

“Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte.

Stuart, 53, grew up in the Eastern Bay and now lives in Mt Maunganui with his wife Pamela. Their two children are currently studying in Auckland. He has worked in the economics and investment fields, and is currently a private investor and an active volunteer in the community through Rotary and as Chairman of the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust. 

“I have been a strong believer in ACT’s principles from the start,” says Stuart.

“I want to live in an open, progressive, liberal and compassionate society where everyone is free to pursue their aspirations, provided they respect others, and where nobody is left behind. Those are the principles which drove ACT’s founders to free us from the creeping repression of the Muldoon era, and the party’s new leadership is really renewing our focus on those sound principles.

“I'm looking forward to showing Tauranga ACT's plans to introduce lower and flatter taxes and a three strike policy for burglary.

“My career in economics and investment taught me that taxes don’t just take cash out of the private sector, they can screw with people’s household and business decisions and in doing so, shrink the economic pie. Lower and flatter taxes, funding a smaller government which doesn’t waste money on middle class and corporate welfare, will help us grow the pie for everyone’s benefit.

“National needs a reliable coalition partner so New Zealand can retain a stable government that values freedom, choice, and personal responsibility. They also need sharp, energetic allies who can keep them on task, should they risk falling prey to third term malaise - or arrogance. Dr Jamie Whyte and his team are perfect! So whether you are in Tauranga or elsewhere, the best way to achieve this is by giving your party vote to ACT.”

 

ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte is pleased to confirm ACT’s candidate for Ohariu.

“The ACT candidate for Ohariu will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has close links to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in this electorate,” says Dr Whyte.

Sean lives in the Northern Suburbs. He has been a personal trainer and professional musician and currently is a small business owner, having opened a full time family oriented martial arts academy in the heart of Wellington.

“My life experience has been that, whatever the circumstances, one can overcome setbacks and achieve wonderful things for oneself and for others, provided one is given a chance to do so. The only voice in New Zealand politics that expresses these values clearly and unequivocally is ACT,” says Sean.

“I'm looking forward to introducing Ohariu to ACT's plans to enact lower and flatter taxes and a three strike policy for burglary.

“The message of the ACT party is inherently positive and is aimed at that which is best in human nature: fairness, tolerance, industriousness and respect. By contrast other parties seek to appeal to that which is most base in human nature; greed, envy, bigotry and indolence. My whole professional and personal life is aimed at encouraging people to seek out the best in themselves and others, so ACT is a natural political home for me.

“New Zealand dearly needs a voice in parliament for individual freedom and personal responsibility. There is no question the best choice for that voice is Jamie Whyte and the only way to make sure that voice is heard is by giving ACT your party vote on September 20th."

ACT has a plan to double cycle use

"The National party yesterday announced a $100 million cycle-way that just happens to go through the marginal seat of Hutt South," said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte.

"The Greens want to spend many hundreds of millions on cycle-ways. ACT’s contribution to this bidding war for the cyclist vote would double cycle use and cost nothing," said Dr Whyte.

"We need only abolish the law that makes wearing a cycle helmet compulsory. Since 1994, when Parliament established an instant fine of $150 for failing to wear a helmet, cycling has declined by over 50%. Overseas experience also indicates that laws making it compulsory to wear a helmet dramatically reduce cycling.

"This nanny state law does not even save lives," said Dr Whyte.

"On the contrary, it costs lives. Before the legislation, few people died from cycling accidents and, of those who did, only 20% died from head injuries alone."

"Research reported in the New Zealand Medical Journal (see http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/125-1349/5046/) shows that, over a 10 year period, only 20 Aucklanders were killed in cycle accidents and only 4 might have been saved by wearing cycle helmets. This same New Zealand Medical Journal article concluded that life years gained from the health benefits of cycling outweighed life years lost in accidents by 20 times" said Dr Whyte.

"The diminished health resulting from the reduced cycling caused by compulsory helmet-wearing costs 53 premature deaths a year. ACT would simply abolish the $150 fine for not wearing a helmet. That would save $100 million on cycle-ways in marginal seats, double cycle use and save 53 lives a year,"  said Dr Whyte.

ACT announces Tauranga candidate - Stuart Pedersen

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte is pleased to announce ACT’s candidate for Tauranga.

“Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to this region and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte.

Stuart, 53, grew up in the Eastern Bay and now lives in Mt Maunganui with his wife Pamela.  Their two children are currently studying in Auckland. He has worked in the economics and investment fields, and is currently a private investor and an active volunteer in the community through Rotary and as Chairman of the Bay of Plenty Sailing Academy Trust. 

“I have been a strong believer in ACT’s principles from the start” says Stuart. “I want to live in an open, progressive, liberal and compassionate society where everyone is free to pursue their aspirations, provided they respect others, and where nobody is left behind. Those are the principles which drove ACT’s founders to free us from the creeping repression of the Muldoon era, and the party’s new leadership is really renewing our focus on those sound principles.

“I'm looking forward to introducing Tauranga to ACT's plans to introduce lower and flatter taxes and a three strike policy for burglary.

“My career in economics and investment taught me that taxes don’t just take cash out of the private sector, they can screw with people’s household and business decisions and in doing so, shrink the economic pie. Lower and flatter taxes, funding a smaller government which doesn’t waste money on middle class and corporate welfare, will help us grow the pie for everyone’s benefit.

“National needs a reliable coalition partner so that New Zealand can retain a stable government that values freedom, choice, and personal responsibility. They also need sharp, energetic allies who can keep them on task, should they risk falling prey to third term malaise - or arrogance. Dr Jamie Whyte and his team are perfect! So whether you are in Tauranga or elsewhere, the best way to achieve this is by giving your party vote to ACT.”

 

Stuart Pedersen can be contacted on:

stuart.pedersen@act.org.nz
021 878882

ACT announces North Shore candidate Nick Kearney

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte is pleased to announce ACT’s candidate for North Shore.

“Our North Shore candidate is Nick Kearney.  Nick was raised in the electorate and went to school there.  He was a policeman from 1991 to 1996 and patrolled the streets of the electorate and is now a partner in a law firm in the heart of North Shore.  He has very strong ties to the area and I’m confident he will do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte.

“Everybody who enters into politics does so to make this country better and I am no different.  Although I do not expect to enter parliament after September 20, I will still be campaigning hard for the party vote and explaining to voters how hard work and personal responsibility for one’s life is the only way the less well off can prosper going forward.  Further reliance on the State can only harm those in poverty. My values of individual enterprise, family and community match the values of the ACT Party perfectly,” says Nick. 

“I'm looking forward to introducing North Shore to ACT's plans to introduce lower and flatter taxes, greater educational choice and a three strike policy for burglary.

“I know from investigating burglary when in the police that it is a hideous and invasive crime and deserves greater attention than it gets from our legislature.  I am absolutely confident ACT’s three strikes for burglary policy is exactly what this country, and this electorate, needs.

“ACT has been a reliable and trustworthy coalition partner for the National Party for six years and there is no reason why this shouldn’t continue.  Every party vote for ACT will count and so voters in this electorate can be sure that with a party vote for ACT, New Zealand will have a stable government that values freedom, choice, and personal responsibility.”

ENDS
 

Nick Kearney

nick.kearney@act.org.nz
0274 483038

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