Sunday, November 18, 2012

John Key and Don Quixote

John Key attacking yet another neoliberal fantasy!

This National led Government thinks we have an education crisis in New Zealand and has spent millions on supporting private schools, and introducing National Standards and Charter Schools.

This Government thinks we have a roading crisis and has $12 billion earmarked for motorway developments.

This Government thinks we have a crisis with welfare fraud and has pushed through much legislation to limit access and coverage for beneficiaries.

This Government thinks we have a crisis with over regulation and business stifling regulatory bodies and wants to change the RMA, get rid of  environment councils.

This National led Government is spending all its time and energy on crises that are largely a figment of its neoliberal imagination. It has refused to acknowledge or tried to ignore the real crises that are confronting New Zealanders. When it can't ignore these crises it shifts the blame away from itself, ignores the causes and invests money in dealing with the damage left at the bottom of cliffs instead.

There is no crisis in Education, our system performs amongst the top five in the world. This government invested $60 million into a flawed assessment system that delivers nothing for children and $6 million on a child abuse data bases and a dob in an abuser line. It has cut funding to education programmes dealing with domestic violence and although alcohol is the major cause of abuse it backed down on tougher legislation on the sale of liquor.

There is no roading crisis, road traffic numbers are stagnant but there is increasing demand for good public transport and rail freight tonnage is increasing. The closure of the Hillside railway workshop is another sign of underinvestment in rail and the loss of another skilled workforce through outsourcing.

There is no crisis in welfare fraud, while it is estimated that such fraud does cost us around $39 million a year, by far the biggest cost to government revenue is tax evasion. This Government had to spend millions in court costs to recover $2 billion of owed taxes from Australian banks and it is estimated that up to $6 billion is lost to evasion by businesses and the wealthy. When you consider that our wealthiest New Zealanders also earn around 40% of their income in untaxed capital gain, there must be billions of potential revenue from those who saw a 20% increase in their income last year. It is also costing the Government around $2 billion a year in lost revenue to pay for the tax cuts to the already rich.

There is no general crisis from over-regulation. In fact 80% of our lowland rivers are polluted through uncontrolled intensive farming, 29 miners died largely because of deregulating the mining industry and we have to spend $11 billion to cover the cost of deregulating the building industry. We are also the third easiest country in the world in which to do business.

We do have a major crisis regarding the governance of our country. This National led Government largely ignores child poverty, family violence, the degradation of our environment, a massive shortage of affordable housing and a crippling exchange rate while instead attacks nonexistent enemies like some deluded Don Quixote.




1 comment:

LynW said...

Excellent summary of affairs! Shame on National!