Taxpayer Update: A Tale of Two Taxes 🥝⛽ | Kiwis think public services getting worse 🏥📉 | Māori Health Authority’s $1 million website 🔍💻
It's definitely election season with the spending bribes announcements coming in thick and fast. Your humble taxpayer advocates are keeping count and will be 'keeping 'em honest' in the weeks to come.
The main news this week has been Labour's new tax policy. Here at the Taxpayers' Union we love tax relief. But Chris Hipkins has achieved the impossible: Proposing a tax cut that even we don't like! We didn't think it was possible.
While the heath system declines, we blow the whistle on a one million dollar 'wellbeing' website funded by the Māori Health Authority, sorry, taxpayers.
And last of all we respond to the hundreds of emails received last week questioning whether Ruth Richardson really still uses a Blackberry.
A Tale of Two Taxes: A few cents off fruit and veg 🥝🥕
On Sunday, we had Labour's much anticipated tax announcement. But it was something of a damp squib. The Prime Minister made just two announcements: A big bit of jam for the base in the form of an increase to the Working for Families tax credit and one to get the headlines, the removal of GST off fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables.
This is same policy that Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, described as a 'boondoggle'. The old Mr Robertson clearly understood that the reduction in GST would unlikely be passed onto customers in full and would simply line the pockets of the big supermarket chains while also making our tax system more complicated.
These policies coupled with things like previous announcements on free prescriptions, free childcare and public transport subsidies are sticking plaster solutions that fail to tackle the root cause of the financial problems Kiwi families are facing. High inflation has been driven by high government spending and this, in turn, has forced Kiwis to pay a higher share of their wages in tax each and every year. If politicians really want to help Kiwi families, those are the issues they need to tackle.
Here's how: Cut wasteful spending and provide proper tax relief across the board to Kiwi families and job creators. Fundamentally, tweaking GST carve outs and increasing welfare isn't charting a course for a more ambitious and prosperous New Zealand.
But another massive fuel tax hike to come ⛽🤑
Rather than tax relief, on Thursday we got an announcement of another tax hike. To fund their new $20 billion transport plan, the Government intends to hike fuel taxes by a 14c per litre (that's 12 cents plus the GST) over the next three years. Let's not forget that fuel taxes were only just increased by 29c per litre on 1 July this year!
Kiwis think public services are getting worse 🏥📉
Spending on health is up 48% since the last election yet A&E waiting times are through the roof. Law and order spending has increased by 27%, but the country is gripped by ram-raiding and violent crime. And education spending is up 15% while attendance problems persist and literacy and numeracy rates remain poor.
This week The Post reported on our Taxpayers' Union – Curia polling that showed New Zealanders clearly see they are getting a raw deal with more respondents saying they thought services had got worse rather than better in all five service areas we asked about. Even Labour voters thought education, transport, health and criminal justice have got worse.
Christopher Luxon put our poll's findings to the Prime Minister at Question Time on Wednesday, but Mr Hipkins refused to engage. We have a Government whose only answer to any problem is to blindly chuck more of taxpayers’ money on consultants and middle-managers. We urgently need to see a reduction in wasteful spending.
Taxpayers' Union Investigation: Māori Health Authority’s million dollar website 🔍💻
This week, Taxpayers' Union, Investigations Co-ordinator, Ollie Bryan revealed that Te Aka Whai Ora (Māori Health Authority) has spent an eye-watering $1,000,000 on their new Aroā Wellbeing website that invites users to 'scroll through the forest' to 'cleanse', 'breathe' and 'connect'.
While $300,000 was spent on the website's design and creation, the Ministry could not provide the detail of how the remaining $700,000 was allocated as it did "not hold information on breakdown of costs into areas such as music, voice actors, and graphic design." The website has only been viewed 47,784, which translates into $20 for each single view.
Kiwis are still struggling to get the mental health support they despite a $1.9 billion spend and action needs to be taken to improve outcomes. This money could have instead be used to fund thousands of counselling sessions through a charity or more mental health nurses.
Taxpayer Talk with Mark Mitchell 🎙️🎧
This week on Taxpayer Talk, our Executive Director, Jordan Williams, sits down with National Party Police Spokesperson, Mark Mitchell, to discuss National’s plan for law and order if they are successful in the election later this year.
Jordan and Mark discuss the increasing levels of crime in New Zealand, gang numbers, and what the National Party would do should they be in Government after the election. They also cover the new firearms registry, whether it will make the country more safe and if it is worth the significant establishment costs.
And one more thing: Yes, Ruth Richardson still owns a Blackberry 🤳🏻📞
Last week, Ruth Richardson sent many of our supporters an email about New Zealand's serious debt problem. We were surprised to receive quite a number of replies from people who couldn't quite believe the 'Sent from my BlackBerry' sign off at the bottom. We asked Ruth to furnish us with photographic evidence of her preferred telecommunications device and, yes, she is, in fact, possibly the last remaining BlackBerry user on the planet. You can't beat that full keyboard!
Thank you for your continued support.
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