Racing industry jockeys for more PGF welfare
Earlier this morning, Radio New Zealand's Jo Moir revealed that the racing industry is set to receive funding for all-weather tracks from the Provincial Growth Fund, along with funding for a digital centre in Dunedin and a sports hub in Northland.
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones described the projects as: "a coalition dividend", and that "the origins go back to the formation of government."
These projects are just new examples of Winston's Dowry - the cost of entering into coalition 'marriage' with New Zealand First.
It's an open secret in Wellington that New Zealand First is a long-time friend of the racing industry, which is why it was no surprise that the Government announced subsidies for hot horses on Budget Day. Now we know that the racing industry was an important part of the coalition negotiations.
If this Government is committed to being "the most open, most transparent Government" it should release the full terms of the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First. Taxpayers deserve to know which projects and subsidies were promised prior to the formation of this Government.
Winston's Dowry as at 23 August: $5.168 billion ($2989 per household)
The total cost so far is $5.168 billion - or $2989 for the average New Zealand household, although if officials continue to increase the expected cost of policies, this figure will grow.
"The Dowry" to date:
- Provincial Growth Fund: $3 billion or $1735 per household, which includes funding for the racing industry revealed today.
- Additional funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: $1.144 billion or $661 per household
- Additional funding for the Ministry of Defence: $426 million or $246 per household
- Additional funding for learning support: $272.8 million or $157 per household
- Additional funding for Oranga Tamariki: $269.9 million or $156 per household
- Adjusted 'Hot horses' tax break, the new Forestry Hub, and a rename for the Ministry of Children: $55.4 million or $32.05 per household
- Haumaha Inquiry: $150,000