Only ACT supports a serious conversation with millennials

National’s defence of the failed interest-free student loan scheme leaves only ACT prepared to discuss the policy.

“Today’s New Zealand Initiative report confirms what ACT has believed all along," says ACT Leader David Seymour.  "The 2005 decision to remove all interest from student loans was a cynical bribe that has not made access more equal or millennials better off.

Government is in dreamland over P-licence safety

The Government is in dreamland if it thinks the outdated P-licencing system is safer than GPS-tracked, consumer-rated rideshare services, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Simon Bridges’ confession that P-licenced drivers are operating with drink driving or dangerous driving convictions contradicts his defence of P-licencing as an assurance of safety.

“Meanwhile, he’s threatening to ban services which ensure safety through real-time GPS tracking and two-way evaluation. The Government’s attitude toward taxi safety has been leapfrogged by technology.

Fourth Partnership Schools application round opens

David Seymour, Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Education has welcomed the opening of the fourth round of applications to establish Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua (Partnership Schools).

This round, announced last month, will see successful applicants opening their school(s) in 2018.

Tracey Martin spreads misinformation

Tracey Martin is spreading misinformation about teacher qualification at Partnership Schools, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Tracey Martin has said that Partnership Schools can ‘put untrained and unqualified individuals into classrooms’,” says Mr Seymour.

“That is simply untrue.  Any Partnership School teachers that are not registered with the Education Council must have an exemption provided by the school showing their alternative qualifications, skills, and experience and demonstrating how these assets will lift achievement.

ACT applauds Teach First expansion

ACT Leader David Seymour has applauded the Government’s decision to push on with the Teach First policy.

“We need a wider range of pathways to ensure that talented individuals are put in front of Kiwi students. Teach First fulfils this need,” says Mr Seymour.

“We know that teacher quality is one of the most important determinants to ensure student success, so targeting top graduates is a no-brainer.

Regulation is the problem – not Uber

The Government’s standoff with Uber shows we need to simplify transport regulations, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“As Uber flouts licencing rules, Simon Bridges says NZTA is ‘considering all available options’. This ought to include simply scrapping the red tape around licencing,” says Mr Seymour.

“If the Minister capitulates to taxi lobbyists and bans Uber, it would send the completely wrong message about New Zealand’s attitude toward technological change.

Greens’ private healthcare ban is dangerous (and mad)

The Green Party’s idea of abolishing private healthcare shows they are as kooky as ever, says ACT Leader David Seymour, the only MP to have lived in a country where private healthcare is banned.

“Private healthcare is illegal in Canada.  During my time there I travelled to the USA to receive healthcare, as do many Canadians.  Even one MP, Belinda Stronach, infamously took her doctor’s advice to skip the Canadian system in favour of the USA’s when diagnosed with cancer.

Government must consider open-source software

ACT Leader David Seymour today called on the Government to take a new approach in its software procurement policies, allowing substantial savings to the taxpayer.

“A substantial number of civil servants could generate the same output using open source software and open document formats, instead of proprietary software like Microsoft Office.

“Departments should see what functions government employees need in their software, then source software that fulfils those functions.

E-cigs must not be used as a cash grab

ACT Leader David Seymour welcomes moves toward legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, but says the government must pledge not to put excise taxes on the products.

"Taxing vapers the way we tax smokers would destroy the benefit of legalising e-cigarettes," says Mr Seymour. "There's currently a strong financial incentive for smokers to switch to vaping. Taxing e-cigarettes would discourage smokers from switching from a harmful product to a relatively safe one.

Councillors must approve 400,000 homes

Auckland Councillors must approve the proposed Unitary Plan’s goal of allowing 422,000 dwellings in the next 30 years, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Solving a housing shortage is simple: let people build houses. The proposed Unitary Plan allows for 422,000 houses over the next 30 years. It’s an ambitious and necessary target.

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