NZ First right to pull support for poor public policy

Fri, 29 Nov, 2019

“NZ First has made the right call in pulling its support for next year’s tobacco tax hike and it should consider opposing a range of other Labour policies”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Tobacco taxes take $2 billion from the pockets of New Zealanders, a sum which outweighs the cost smokers impose on the community. Massive tax hikes have failed to significantly reduce smoking rates but have taken hundreds of millions from the poorest New Zealanders and incentivised thugs to wreak havoc on small retailers across the country.

“Next year’s tax hike has already been legislated for, so will Labour bring a bill to Parliament to repeal it?

“NZ First should also consider pulling its support for firearms legislation. Experts and submitters have warned that: proposed regulations for clubs would cause them to fold, driving activity underground; that a gun register, if leaked, would become a steal-to-order list for criminals; and, that people would forego medical treatment if they thought their affairs could be reported by medical professionals to Police.

“Winston Peters should also veto Shane Jones’ corporate welfare machine. Governments have seldom spent money better than the people who earned it, especially when giving it to businesses. Add in a series of questionable conflicts of interests with Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund, and Peters would be smart to lance the boil before it engulfs him.

“Mr Peters might also say ‘no’ to Labour’s ban on vaping flavours and advertising, which would make it more difficult for 500,000 smokers to quit.

“Also on the chopping block should be Fair Pay Agreements. FPAs would introduce additional complexity and uncertainty into labour law and would harm productivity because people will end up spending more time arranging to do work and less time actually doing work.”