Monday, 31 August 2020

Free Press, 31 August 2020


Next Up, Alert Level 2.25

As recently as last Monday, Auckland needed to stay at Level 3 for another week to defeat the virus. Yesterday it turned out that Level 2.5 was sufficient. New Zealanders want to trust the Government, but changes without rhyme or reason make it difficult. What new information did the Government receive between Monday and Sunday?

Flying Over The Road Blocks

Have trouble getting to work through Auckland’s road blocks? You may have chosen the wrong vehicle. 13,000 people found that an Airbus A320 or an ATR72-600 were far more effective than any car. That's how many left via the airport, according to Newshub. The Government cannot even manage a border within New Zealand. This may be why the South Island remains in Level 2.

A Better Approach

ACT has never been a party to just complain. As our co-founder, Sir Roger Douglas, wrote nearly 40 years ago, ‘There’s Got To Be A Better Way.’ On Covid, ACT’s Wellbeing Approach to the pandemic shows how we can make elimination affordable. We’d do it by learning from the best countries instead of indulgently comparing ourselves with the worst, as the Government has.

Let’s Talk About Debt

The Government has committed to borrow $140 billion on top of the $60 billion debt it had pre-Covid. That’s an extra $140,000 on behalf of a family of five making a total of $200,000. For many families, their biggest debt will be the one the Government took on for them. Amongst the Covid panic, people have missed the massive deterioration in our fiscal position.

Why Have We Missed It?

We are being lulled into a false sense of security by cheap money and low interest rates. Two years ago, the Government was paying four percent interest. Ten years ago, it paid over six percent. Cheap money won’t last, and the impacts of government borrowing will be felt keenly by future generations.

Time To Show Some Interest

Even at current government borrowing rates under two percent, a family of five will soon pay over $5,000 in interest on the public debt each year. The Government has left New Zealanders with a debt equivalent to having every family max out their credit cards. By the end of Treasury’s forecast period, interest repayments will be larger than education.

On So Many Levels

The Green Party voted to decimate the Taranaki economy with the oil and gas exploration ban. The Green Party voted to destroy charter schools that served disadvantaged students. The Green Party opposes any funding for private schools. The Green Party gave $12 million to a private school in Taranaki to help the local economy recover. The Green Party now cannot reverse the situation because their ‘friends’ in Government are hanging them out to dry. The Green Party will not make five percent. The Green Party will be gone from Parliament. New Zealand will be better off without them.

ACT’s Approach

ACT has a principled approach to this problem. Student Education Accounts would allow parents, not the Green Party, to take their share of education funding to any public or private school that would enrol their child. The Government spends $250,000 per citizen on education. ACT would put parents in charge of how it is spent.

We Love What You Do, But...

We don't see enough of ACT on TV. ACT has massively disproportionate influence for a single MP, but we take the point. Fortunately, we live in a world where we can reach voters directly, and a recent Newsroom analysis showed ACT is the fastest growing party on digital media. The catch is we pay for the exposure. The extended election has meant our budget has extended 30 percent. Please help us reach more voters by donating here. Every dollar counts.