The Government would have it that we went hard and early, then achieved gold standard contact tracing. But six months in, we require six weeks of nationwide restrictions to contain a single outbreak. Either we do need the restrictions, or the Government’s systems are not what they claim. There has to be a better way.
A Better Way
ACT has consistently called for a Taiwanese approach to fighting Covid-19. A multi-disciplinary, public and private sector, epidemic response unit would be a big improvement on the Government’s over-reliance on the Ministry of Health. The rest of the plan is set out here <[link removed]>.
The Debt Destroyer
We need an honest conversation about the Government’s debt. No student of human history believes that money can be free forever. The numbers are staggering and ACT’s Debt Destroyer <[link removed]> allows you to play with the numbers to see what it takes to balance the budget. Please check it out and share it. The next generation depends on you.
On Thursday, Stats NZ will release GDP figures (note to the Prime Minister, this is different from the government’s accounts). It will likely confirm a second quarter of negative growth, meaning the New Zealand economy is officially in recession. A statistical milestone, perhaps, but likely to make it official.
Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update
Treasury will release the PREFU tomorrow. Besides an economic outlook, the PREFU will also show the true state of the government’s books. It is effectively an update on the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update, showing the effect of massive expenditure as well as (likely) reduced tax revenue.
Saint Ruth of Selwyn
The Economic and Fiscal Updates are a tribute to former Finance Minister Ruth Richardson. She passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act that mandates the EFUs. Having been given a hospital pass by the preceding Labour Government (who got an even bigger one from Muldoon), Richardson set about ensuring the books would be opened before each election. It is a devastating practice and a huge contribution by one politician to our democracy.
The 2008 PREFU was a major factor in finishing off the Clark administration. Free Press believes most of the Covid-19 impact was priced into May’s BEFU, but the PREFU may still have a big impact on voters’ consciousness as the Green School and its many stablemates add up.
Energy and Resources
ACT’s Environmental Spokesman, Simon Court, released our Energy and Resources policy on Monday night. The gist is that the oil and gas exploration ban was economic and environmental folly. It must be reversed. Not all conservation land is equally valuable and mining low value conservation land could pay for conserving higher value conservation land. The Zero Carbon Act should be replaced with a no-nonsense climate policy that ties the New Zealand carbon price to that paid by our international competitors. The full policy is here <[link removed]>.
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