What would you like for your birthday?
It's awful. It's boring. To quote Victor Meldrew “I do not believe it”. We're in the middle of an election campaign and we've heard nothing (well, I haven't) that will convince voters that whoever becomes the government has any vision to bring us all into a better New Zealand. Of course, the NZ Democrats for Social Credit Party receives no mention and no attention - sound principles and a positive approach in favour of New Zealanders is deemed not worthy of consideration.
So the Maori Party co-leader tells us how it is - both leaders coming up with targets on the hoof to attract voters. Look at Labour. Cutting through the media hyperbole of Jacindamania, it intends in government to have school children learn a second language and to help in this objective will import teachers with the skills to do so. There's no idea mentioned in the press of how many they have in mind, do we have the housing for them (no), will they want to bring in families, (probably) and how this affects any immigration policy Labour might eventually determine. Labour intends to abolish student loans – this will certainly scoop up votes – but doesn't tell us how they will pay for them.
Labour's Grant Robertson says a Labour government would grow the economy more so they will have more money to play with. How ? They are going to build 100,000 “affordable” homes at $300, 000 - $600,000 in 10 years. First of all, to me, those prices don't sound affordable, not without massive pay increases and tax cuts. But then Labour intends to stop National's tax cuts. National's counter offer is to build 21,000 in Auckland at an affordable price of $650,000. Where have National and Labour party members been? Don't they know what is affordable? What about interest charges on loans?
Then Labour says it is committed to continued surpluses and debt reduction. How? Wasn't it Labour who promised us one thing in 1984 and did the opposite? They claimed they wanted to reduce debt ( of $18 billion) and to do so they had to sell off public assets. How is Labour to reduce the current debt of over $613 billion? How many assets have we left for them to sell off this time?
National have little to offer so they offer big. As Chris Leitch, DSC candidate in Whangarei, says “In Northland where I live, $500 million for a four lane highway from Whangarei to Ruakaka, $5.5 million for school improvements, $7 million for the new Hundertwasser arts centre, $17 million to burn tyres at the Portland cement works........ “
Where's the money coming from – a foreign bank again?
The only one sound realistic statement I have heard comes from the Greens in regard to immigration. It intends to “regularly review immigration levels based on factors including the ability of the environment to cope with population increases, and the ability to encourage settlement outside areas with infrastructure under stress.“ That's better than giving numbers. The only trouble with the Greens is the rest of their neo-liberal economic policies.
The parties selected to appear in opinion polls have yet to answer this question: why are you borrowing money at interest when you could have it interest free from the Reserve Bank ?
- contributed by Geraldine McCurchie, Rotorua
Published: September 2017