Daniel’s Election 2011: ACT New Zealand

This is part eight of a nine part series, Daniel’s Election 2011. For the first part on the Green Party, click here. For the second part on the Mana Party, click here. For the third part on New Zealand First, click here. For the fourth part on the Labour Party, click here. For the fifth part on United Future, click here. For the sixth part on the Maori Party, click here. For the seventh part on the Conservative Party, click here. When the final part has been published, it will appear down the bottom as a trackback.

ACT New Zealand, which came out of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers in 1994. The party is now in a significantly worse position than it’s start. In the 1996 election, ACT ended up with eight seats, nine in 1991. However, the party started to fail from the 2005 election, when they only just managed to stay in Parliament. They are back up to five seats, but you really wonder how long that will last, given leader Don Brash has openly said that he doesn’t care about the longevity of the party.

Economy

ACT says that New Zealand is in a fight with the rest of the world, particularly Australia, to get investment. This is true, as there is only a certain amount of investment dollar to go around. ACT says that they want to get New Zealand a bigger share of this through eliminating wasteful Government spending, locking in lower tax rates, ensure a lack of red tape, sell state assets and allow more mining when the economic gain outweighs the environmental impact.

How ACT is going to reduce “wasteful” spending is likely to be (though their policy doesn’t say this directly) by making it more difficult for the vulnerable to get welfare payments, reducing funding to healthcare and other things that will greatly harm the people of New Zealand. I don’t see what they are going to cut back, if it’s not things like that.

New Zealand can’t have a lower tax rate when we’re still trying to get back into surplus. The Public Finance Act 1989 says that the Government must do this as quickly as possible, so ACT would be in breach of the law if they were to reduce taxes at this point.

Reducing red tape is good, but how is ACT going to ensure they aren’t just allowing people to take advantage of the system? That is a question that hasn’t really been asked, let alone answered, of the ACT Party.

I am entirely against the sale of a state’s assets. Partial ownership is highly beneficial to the country, but complete sale is wrong. It will mean these assets will no longer be working for New Zealanders – the last thing we need. Look what happened in Africa when water services were sold to American companies. No only did people get killed for collecting rain water (the company insisted the rain water was owned by the company) but people had to pay hugely inflated prices for water. It killed people. Is that what we want for New Zealand?

In terms of mining, I am simply going to link to a post I have done on the matter – https://politicalisation.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/do-the-same-as-others-get-the-same-result-unless-youre-a-green-supporter/.

Environment

ACT seem to be confusing what’s good for no one with what’s good for the environment with some of their policies here. An example of this is to introduce road pricing. This basically means if you drive on certain roads, usually inner-city roads, you get a bill for it. Other than the fact it pushes people off the roads that we are spending billions on now, I don’t see what good this will do. Billions are being spent on these roads, so if the right, including ACT, this private vehicles are the way of the future, then why discourage road use?

Something they do make sense with though is continuing to explore for minerals both onshore and offshore. How can we make informed decisions if we don’t know what we’re making an informed decision about? It is not an informed decision to say “No, we’re not mining for minerals because they’re natural resources.” If there are minerals that are positioned in such a way that will make minimal impact to the environment, why not get them? But to make those decisions, we need to find out where these things are.

For the full ACT New Zealand policy, head to http://www.act.org.nz/policies.

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Posted on November 21, 2011, in Daniel's Election 2011, New Zealand Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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