Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Free Press, 28 July 2020


Best ACT Polling in 16 Years

Both major TV polls are now showing ACT has its strongest support since 2003 and 2004, respectively. The last three public polls place ACT at 3.1, 5, and 3.3 per cent, enough to elect between 4-7 MPs. The momentum is real with ACT’s events up and down the country well attended and merchandise selling like hotcakes. If you’d like to attend our events, volunteer, donate, or even buy an ACT t-shirt, please click on these links.

Amongst the Madness

You may wonder what’s gone wrong with our politics. The world has changed and New Zealand needs to change with it. At exactly the time we’re facing really difficult choices as a country, the political process appears to have imploded. ACT continues to put out serious public policy proposals on everything from the budget to mental health to firearms and the outdoors. If you haven’t checked out our policy page, please do.

New Zealand’s Policy Choice in a Nutshell

The Government is giving $51 million to schools to make up for having no international students. There are 2,500 schools in New Zealand and Free Press knows principals whose schools have lost up to $1 million. Indeed, an Education New Zealand report found that secondary schools took in $600 million a year back in 2016. The Government cannot borrow enough to replace normal economic activity, as the end of the wage subsidy will show.

Taxpayers Can’t Pay For It

Schools don’t need handouts and taxpayers don’t need borrowing. We all need to safely reconnect with the world. What the schools are facing is what the whole country faces on a larger scale. Treasury forecasts that interest on debt will cost more than the entire education budget by 2034. This is not sustainable. ACT’s five point plan includes balancing the books. It has been widely read and is still available here.

Not Going To Say We Told You So, But...

ACT has said for months that, to safely reconnect with the world, we need to get proactive, and smart. Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford says universities can manage their own isolation. It’s a very good example of how we could do better. The Government now needs to tell us: Is it just battening down the hatches until the election, or does it plan to keep the country locked up indefinitely if it wins? Either way, it would be helpful for the public to know.

The Free Market Solution for Tiwai

If you missed last weekend’s Free Press, there is an answer for Tiwai that is principled and effective. Simply remove the regulatory barriers to a competing transmission line from Manapouri to Tiwai. The threat of competition will make Transpower drop its $65 million per annum transmission price. This is a principled solution. Legislating the price of power, as some have suggested, will never happen. (Hint: The 12-year schmozzle that was the Electricity Pricing Review produced little change).