28 October 2008 – No. 268
National’s Economic Plan of National
Dr Richard Worth
On 6 October 2008, the New Zealand Treasury delivered its independent Pre-Election Fiscal Update which is required under
the Public Finance Act. The verdict was damning. Under current policies, the government of this country will run its
account in the red for the next ten years.
Ten years of deficits is the legacy of Government policy. That is not acceptable.
Clearly wealth consumption has been pursued at the expense of wealth creation.
All of this is occurring in the context of a critical international situation where the consequences for New Zealand
§ A substantial tightening of credit which will impact not only on existing borrowers seeking to refinance but
on the securing of new lines of credit
§ The probability that New Zealanders will hunker down with substantial cuts in discretionary spending. That
will impact across the entire business community and particularly will affect retail activity.
National supports the current Treasury and Reserve Bank initiatives relating to the guarantee of bank deposits. We also
need to make progress on a wholesale lending guarantee scheme that covers banks lending to other banks.
National has a clear economic plan with five central points.
§ An ongoing programme of personal tax cuts - The right incentives need to be put in place to encourage people
to work and save and get ahead. Boosting after-tax wages will help stem the flow of New Zealanders overseas. It will
help New Zealand keep the skilled workers we need to grow our economy and improve our public services.
§ Bringing discipline to government spending - The government should be just as careful with our tax dollars as
households are with the weekly budget. We need to direct spending away from low-quality programmes that push up
inflation, towards frontline services like doctors, nurses, teachers, and police.
§ Tackling bureaucracy and red tape - The number of bureaucrats in the core public service should be capped.
Substantial reforms are required to the Resource Management Act and the Building Act to cut high compliance costs.
§ An unwavering focus on lifting education standards - National Education Standards in primary and intermediate
schools need to be introduced to improve literacy and numeracy. Trade training in schools needs to be boosted.
§ Strengthen infrastructure to help this country grow - Ultra-fast broadband should be brought to businesses,
schools, hospitals, and homes. Public Private Partnerships which are commonplace in many countries would boost
investment in roads, electricity, and water.
Law and Order in Epsom
The Government’s claim that there has been no significant increase in crime are completely wrong.
The statistics show that there is now:
§ A violent crime every 9 ½ minutes
§ A sexual attack every 3 ½ hours
§ A robbery every 3 ½ hours
In Epsom which is part of the Auckland City Eastern Police area the statistics are:
§ overall crime is up 11% since 1999/2000
§ violence is up 16% in the last year, and 34% since 1999/2000
§ property damage is up 42% since 1999/2000
§ violence by youth (14-16 year olds) is up 144% since 1999/2000
So whilst the economy might be a key issue in the election so is deteriorating law and order.
National’s policies include making our communities safer by ensuring the worse repeat violent offenders are not eligible
for parole. But they go far wider than that across issues such as victims rights, DNA testing of arrested persons,
clamping down on gangs, strengthening bail laws and youth justice.
Political Quote of the Week
“Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself” – Henry
James - American-born writer (1843-1916)