Winston Was Right: Australian Media Backs Peters On Budget & Immigration

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Well this is interesting, isn’t it. The Australian media’s managed to join the same dots Winston has in the run-up to today’s Budget – yet which mysteriously appear to elude the general comprehension of our National party.

New Zealand’s public services are, in some areas, being run down. We’ve already seen tangible evidence of this in the form of the government’s decision to close up a number of police stations in the name of cost-cutting. They’re also refusing to engage in much-needed new spending in core areas such as paid parental leave.

Why is the government indulging in cost-cutting rather than engaging in service provision?

Because they want to pay down debt.

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Why do they want to pay down debt?

Because they want to be able to dole out several billion dollars worth of tax cuts either just before or just after the 2017 General Election, as part of their bid to win a much-vaunted – indeed, nay mythical post-MMP – 4th Term.

They certainly need something potent to distract the electorate’s attention from the steadily increasing overweening arrogance of the government in general and the Prime Minister specifically.

The trouble with this (well, one issue out of very many) is that there is a dual-ended squeeze going on with our public services.

At the same time that our government is attempting to put less money into service provision in the name of reducing taxation, strong population growth through high net migration to New Zealand means that shrinking level of public services is spread out over an ever-increasing number of people.

This means that even if we WEREN’T adding 68,110 people a year to our country – a population easily the size of Nelson – we would be feeling the pinch. As it is, large scale immigration (arguably used by the Nats to keep the economy buoyant by adding demand and the cash immigrants bring with them to settle here) is inarguably exacerbating these problems.

Now I’m a bit different from some in New Zealand First, in that I don’t tend to believe that simply cutting immigration is the first-line or even largest part of the solution to our upcoming public service crunch.

Instead, I’d much rather the conversation were focused around sensible alterations to our national tax regimen designed to put more revenue into the government’s coffers so as to pay for proper, first-world public services. We could start with reversing Bill English’s “fiscally neutral” 2010 tax cuts – which apart from putting a hole in the books that’s now equivalent to well over six billion dollars, also regressivized our tax system and lead to lower income families and beneficiaries actually paying MORE tax in order to fund taxation-cuts for the wealthy. We could also review mechanisms around tax evasion and tax avoidance, to open up some of the anywhere between two and seven billion dollars sucked out of the government’s revenue stream (and therefore service provision) through tax fraud and evasion. And speaking of foreign arrivals, the accounting tricks used by big multi-national firms to avoid paying their fair share of taxes here in New Zealand (responsible for tax-losses of perhaps $500 million a year) need to be stamped out.

It’s probably completely unsurprising that the government’s been well appraised of that last issue for some years now, and doesn’t appear to have done anything substantial in the interim to solve it.

But if the National party is going to insist upon persisting with its economic austerity-lite agenda of service cuts in the hope of future election-bribe tax reductions … then it needs to be clear and honest about whether what even Bill English concedes to be fiscally problematic population growth delivered through substantial immigration numbers is, in fact, sustainable.

The only party leader who’s publicly noted that we’re in this situation is Winston Peters.

Which means we effectively have a choice as a nation. We either restrain population growth, or we start taxing properly.

Unfortunately, the government seems to have the gumption to do neither. And as a result, we all pay the price in reduced services – regardless of where we come from.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Winston has a real vision and long learnt knowledge from many years seeing our successive Governments struggling of those years and failing us all.

    So Winston is a wise owl and is a walking history of being in parliament witnessing all the political mistakes made before.

    So he wont repeat those mistakes others made, and if we don’t use his wise knowledge to benefit our future we are plainly responsible for our own demise.

    Throw this government out and put Winston in as a principal planner in a new coalition Government please!!!

  2. All I can say, and I am not a natural NZ First supporter at all, rather more to the left, I think Winston’s speech was DA BEST today, by far!

    Go Winston, Go!

  3. “At the same time that our government is attempting to put less money into service provision in the name of reducing taxation, strong population growth through high net migration to New Zealand means that shrinking level of public services is spread out over an ever-increasing number of people.”

    It is time the left, Labour and Greens, stop shying away from naming the elephant in the room, who cannot be blamed for the troubles, but for which the crap government we have is responsible running rampant and out of control.

    Ignoring the challenges that come with immigration is ignorant, to put it mildly. Those that believe in “internationalism”, and that we should have open borders, should by now have learned what open borders means when it comes to capital and capitalists exploiting open borders.

    Inviting endless competition to local workers will NOT win you much support, Labour and Greens.

  4. I admit to as of recently becoming a fan of Winston, as he addresses matters that neither the government and nor the Labour opposition dare address. That includes matters of immigration. I do not oppose immigration and do not oppose cultural diversity as such, but I ask for a cap and more stringent application for some time, as this country is NOT coping with the influx and the stresses on the services needed.

    We also have natural limitations.

    We need to address this, but so many dare not address it, for wrongly understood PC reasons. We cannot grow endlessly and the planet cannot grow endlessly, so study the details that are available.

    So let us work for a better, sustainable and peaceful future. Winston may not be the final answer, but he may be included, as he dares to speak matters out, and as we need to take note, so also remember the revolutionary reflections of a passed away South American singer I highly respect, who spoke wisdom then, maybe not directly relevant, but it says this capitalist crap we get is not working:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Rvas3PBjQ

  5. I like Winston’s succinct summation of today’s budget :

    ” Its the ‘get stuffed’ budget ”.

    Short and sweet. He then goes on to address the housing crisis, poverty and a raft of other issues shamefully glossed over in this latest budget by this govt.

    Now… a few people have mentioned Winston’s addressing of unbridled , rampant immigration. He has been doing so for years and a lot of mud has been thrown his way by the PC brigade.

    Yet he was almost prophetic. And he saw through the reasons behind it. It was not all about NZ’s zero pop growth at that time. It had a lot to do with such things as raising the shrinking tax base for an ageing population… but there were other reasons… one of which was creating downwards pressure on wages .

    The fact that we were jollied along about being ‘ tolerant’ , about being ‘ multicultural’ , that we needed ‘skilled migrants’… ( we did have skilled people of our own until low wages and massive student debt – so they left these shore for better wages !!! ) .. that there was a ‘ brain drain’…

    I find it grimly humorous we were told to be all these things and yet China – who we have a free trade deal with – wont allow Kiwis to buy land there but they can come here and buy property’s and speculate – and in some cases purchase ‘sensitive lands’ as well…and BTW … not so long ago there was a party on the North Shore ( Auckland) that was found to be being funded from Beijing !!!

    But back to the point… this poorly planned , rampant, unchecked immigration, has come home to roost. Now we have massive housing and infrastructure problems in Auckland – and that is having a knock on effect across the country. To the point of our own citizens having to sleep their family’s in cars , become grossly in-debt by staying in motels coupled with a govt that allocates $781,000,000 to the SIS and GSCB – yet only half that to the humanitarian issues AND RIGHT of a warm ,safe house for its own citizens !!!

    This then , is the sort of priority’s we can expect from a neo liberal govt who abhors any notion of govt intervention and would rather let the ‘ market’ be the determining factor in deciding who goes hungry , homeless and which children will die through common communicable and TOTALLY treatable ailments due to poverty and homelessness.

    And then there’s the issue of first home buyers with family’s who cannot afford to buy in Auckland – yet another example of a demographic sector affected by this govt’s inept neo liberal ‘hands off ‘ attitude.

    The REAL face of just who John Key is … and this incredible situation of Paula Bennett running round spouting a policy of bribing poor family’s to relocate to the middle of nowhere – just days before the budget was to be announced with Bill English having no knowledge of it whatsoever !!!

    And to areas with little employment opportunity’s for low skilled workers, where infrastructure ie : medical , schooling facility’s and such were not as accessible.

    Was any thought given to disruption of family ties, proximity to medical centers for special needs children, disruption for children at schools, elderly concerns?

    No. it was nothing more than a panic stricken attempt at preventing a political rout.

    Winston was right all along.

    And he was right in calling it the ‘ Get stuffed budget’.

    • I stand corrected… it is 178.7 million dollars over four years allocated to the SIS and GSCB .

      However , as I have said elsewhere …an apology is cheap – unlike the social costs of having whole family’s living in cars while working for minimum wages. In that I retract not one thing.

  6. 1000% WK.

    Most politicians cant see the trouble ahead through all the Bullenglish dribble, as Winston always can!!

    So Winston certainly is badly needed for our future to be a key strategist for the new coalition Government who will take over in 2017.

  7. Instead, I’d much rather the conversation were focused around sensible alterations to our national tax regimen designed to put more revenue into the government’s coffers so as to pay for proper, first-world public services.

    The government doesn’t need revenue. It can create all the money it needs and not go into debt at the same time. Sure, it’ll be in deficit but that’s not debt and if you have a growing (read: getting bigger) economy then the government actually has to be in deficit to fund that growth.

    Now if the government, in a spate sheer stupidity, went nuts with the money creation then we might, just might, end up with hyper-inflation but it’s unlikely. At the moment the private banks are creating huge amounts of money (in the billions of new money every year) and we’re not seeing any hyper-inflation.

    Now, if the government started to be the sole supplier/creator on NZ$ then the private banks would have to stop creating money (actually essential if we want a sustainable economy) and taxes would become a restriction on inflation.

    Oh, and the UBI would become the base funding for the entire economy. Other government spending would fund all of the infrastructure and government services that we need. We’d never see a recession again as the economy would no longer be susceptible to the vagaries of rich people betting on the horses stock-market.

    which apart from putting a hole in the books that’s now equivalent to well over six billion dollars, also regressivized our tax system and lead to lower income families and beneficiaries actually paying MORE tax in order to fund taxation-cuts for the wealthy.

    The whole purpose of GST was to fund tax cuts for the rich. It’s what started the increasing poverty that we’ve seen over the last thirty years. Essentially, what we have now is the poor paying the rich for being rich.

    It’s probably completely unsurprising that the government’s been well appraised of that last issue for some years now, and doesn’t appear to have done anything substantial in the interim to solve it.

    National will never do anything about that as they themselves probably engage quite extensively in similar practices and, of course, their backers certainly don’t want to have to start paying tax. Much better, as far as they’re concerned, to put the taxes upon the poor by raising GST.

  8. i have to laugh i like winston he hits it on the nail mind you he is still a sell out, i am so into maori taking the hard line, you would think we had of learned our lesson lol sadly not, but hey there is a movement slowly brewing, maori have had enough,pakeha you are on notice we are going to treat you the same as you have treated us do not be surprised, pity we cant confiscate your land, but we can buy it from underneath your feet, what goes around comes around. stuart kent ngai tahu hard

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