Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Free Press, 15 July 2020


ACT’s Best Poll Result In 17 Years

Roy Morgan, an Australian pollster, just reported ACT at five percent. Last time ACT polled this high in any poll was 2003. The momentum is real. ACT is packing out pubs every night. People are donating thousands of dollars after hearing David Seymour and ACT candidates speak. If you’d like to join or support ACT, there’s never been a better time.

A Triumph

ACT supporters packed the ASB Waterfront Theatre on the weekend to launch the 2020 election campaign. It was the biggest and best ACT event in over a decade. The buzz was palpable, and the media had to work to the edge of their capabilities to find a negative angle. Most failed. The calibre candidates was the highest in many elections and Free Press profiles them below.

And We Can Still Win

The trickiest thing the National Leader has to do is win the centre. We wish Judith Collins well, but it ultimately might be events rather than personalities that decide the result. The media will focus on the personalities, and this is always its mistake. The issues voters need addressed have not changed. In his speech at the weekend, David Seymour identified three. You can watch the full conference proceedings including David’s speech here.

Issue One

How do we get smart about public health and safely reconnect with the world? The world’s changed. It will likely stay changed for years. Borrowing money and waiting for a vaccine is unsustainable. We need to take a leaf from the Taiwanese book, and aim to lead the world at smart public health.

Issue Two

How do we deal with the debt this Government has accumulated? The Government has just committed to borrowing $200,000 on behalf of a family of five. That’s on the assumption the economy bounces back to normal by 2023. It could be much worse. ACT’s Alternative Budget shows how we could balance the budget by 2023.

Issue Three

How do we seize the opportunities of being an island nation on a pandemic planet? This could be the kickstart we have long needed. We could attract back skilled New Zealanders who left, and investment capital, too. We need to reform the RMA, free up foreign investment from friendly democratic countries, and welcome innovation in areas such as genetic modification and fintech, where outdated laws drive innovation away.

Great Candidates and Policies

Our candidates wowed the crowd at the weekend.

Brooke and Mental Health

Experienced pundits described Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden as ‘polished’ as she rolled out ACT’s new mental health policy. A single funder of mental health services nationwide would remove the bureaucracy and fragmentation in the system. It would also point to mental health as something modern New Zealand takes seriously enough to put on the same level as physical health. The same money will be used to achieve more choice and efficiency.

Nicole and Employment Insurance

Too many people languish on the dole for generations. On the other hand, others pay $500 or $1,000 a week in tax, but if they lose their job through no fault of their own, they find $200 on the dole is nothing like what they paid in, nor sufficient to cover their outgoings. ACT’s employment insurance policy means you pay 0.55 percent of your income (offset by tax reductions) into a ring-fenced fund, and can claim 55 percent of your normal income if you lose your job (time-limited).

And After Employment Insurance?

If you run out of employment insurance, you can still go on the dole but it will come in the form of electronic income management. Sole Parent Support (the DPB) is unchanged except if you continue having kids while receiving it, in which case it moves to electronic income management so kids get the benefit. All other types of welfare remain the same. The full policy is here. It has sparked enormous discussion and shows the impact Nicole McKee will have as an MP.

Chris and Small Business

Chris Baillie is a former police officer, secondary school teacher, and employer of 30 people in his own business. His passionate defence of free thinking and free speech for the next generation was a highlight of the conference. He also launched ACT’s small and medium enterprise policy, a series of positive, practical steps to lower compliance costs and make it easier to focus on generating value for customers.

A Tour de Force

Altogether there’s never been a better time for ACT. If you agree, please join us, donate, or volunteer for our growing movement.