Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The Future According to Bill.
A letter in today's Southland Times questions the logic of selling off our public-owned utilities to foreign corporates and likens the sales to "giving our heritage away for two blankets and a musket". Local MP Eric Roy defends the indefensible by attempting to promote the sell off as "gilt-edged" investment opportunities for kiwis and the freeing up of capital for other investments (presumably more motorways). Bill English also contributes his penny's worth in his regular column "From the Beehive" by repeating the party spin expressed by Eric. Bill also makes the bizarre claim that selling state assets will "get our economy growing sustainably".
I have often talked about the coming election providing a choice between two distinct futures and this idea shaped my speech at our campaign conference earlier this year. It is important that the voting public consider where the National led government is taking us and where we will be 5 or 10 years from now. A Green future is one that understands the true meaning of "sustainable" and offers us the best chance of prosperity for all New Zealanders than the current regime. I tried to compare the two futures in this letter to the Southland Times, the 250-300 word limit creates some challenges however.
This coming election will give voters a clear choice between two futures. The future under the current government is not a prosperous one. It is a future where almost half of our state assets will be sold and much of the profits they will generate will probably disappear overseas. Those who are already wealthy will continue to reap huge tax cuts while the majority of New Zealanders, earning less than $39,000, will have to survive increasing living costs and cuts to state services.
A future where $11 billion dollars will be spent on Northern motorways at the expense of public transport investment and the upkeep of southern roads and a future where skilled workers, such as those based at Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops, are laid off in favour of outsourcing. Our growing prison population will continue to cost us over $90,000 a year per prisoner while 20% of our children live in poverty and early childhood education will still be under funded. A future where scientists and professional experts are ignored while secret lobbyists have the government’s ear.
The future under a Green influenced government will open lobbying to public scrutiny and keep valuable strategic assets in New Zealand ownership. We will ensure shared responsibility for rebuilding Christchurch through a levy based on what people can afford and not resort to continued borrowing. We will invest in our children, not prisons, and value and support our local expertise and skills through liveable wages and jobs that add value to our economy and communities (like our home insulation scheme that has benefited over 100,000 households). We would shift government banking to our own Kiwi Bank and make sure hugely profitable, but polluting industries pay their way.
A Green future will be a prosperous and sustainable future.
Invercargill Candidate for the Green Party