More than a third of the way through the term of the Labour – New Zealand First – Greens government, it is fair to take stock of delivery so far.
Here’s 8 important issues that the Prime Minister avoids mentioning:
- Job creation has slowed from 10,000 a month under National to 650. No surprises since the Government’s job schemes have been exposed as smoke and mirrors. Example: Just 54 jobs created from the Provincial Growth Fund.
- Economic growth is slowing with plans to tax Kiwis more. The Reserve Bank lowered its track for GDP growth over the next four years. The Government thinks it can tax its way to prosperity. That is economic nonsense.
- Unemployment has increased by 10,000 in the past three months. While the jobless rate remains relatively low, New Zealand has dropped five places to 14th in the OECD rankings. The number of people not in education, employment or training rose by 26,000 in the latest quarter.
- A Capital Gains Tax on hard working Kiwis. The last thing New Zealanders need is more taxes and this one would be a doozy – retirement savings, small businesses, farms, family baches, investments would all be under attack.
- Plans to reduce emissions while safeguarding the economy. The Government has gone for cheap soundbites over credible policy. The ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration without considering how gas is an ideal transition fuel (less emissions than coal).
- $5 billion stripped out of New Zealand’s roads. It is wishful thinking that you can migrate all the road journeys that Kiwis take onto rail. Roads are a vital network for our economy and don’t deserve to be robbed of funds to pay for a tram in Auckland.
- Plans to reduce the cost of living, such as rents which have gone up $40 a week. The Government is enacting policies that hurt low-income families. Extending the bright-line test, ring fencing of losses, more burdensome regulations, the ban on foreign investment and a Capital Gains Tax all serve to drive up rents.
- Plans to reduce serious crime and keep victims safe. The Government appears intent on emptying our prisons. Of course National wants criminals to be rehabilitated but we don’t want to put their rights over their victims and the vulnerable in our communities who deserve to be protected
The vast majority of New Zealanders have the capacity to succeed on their own. They look to government to provide quality infrastructure, good education and health, regulatory restraint and not to take too much in taxes.
It was that recipe that led to the progress we have made in the past decade. Momentum has carried us through the past year pretty well, but unless the government seriously rethinks some of these policies, we risk undermining the foundations of our prosperity.