As election bribe season kicks into full swing, both Labour and National are taking turns to give money to people that don’t really need it. Yesterday Labour announced their free tertiary package, which we have already critiqued here. Then National followed that up with an announcement about extending paid parental leave to 22 weeks, despite cynically vetoing Labour’s attempts to do the same.Read more
Labour has re-committed to free tertiary education – including 3 years of free post-school education over a person’s lifetime. As an added sweetener they have boosted student allowances and loans by $50 per week in a package that will cost $2b over 4 years. Their initial announcement last year sparked a bidding war over tertiary education; United Future has matched Labour’s initial policy, the Greens are promising to “move towards” zero fees and universal allowances and New Zealand First top the lot with a $4.6b offer to provide universal allowances and to write off all loans.Read more
TOP promises to be a fearless advocate for an independent, transparent public service. Here’s three reasons for the public service to Vote TOP.Read more
Full credit to Winston Peters for paying back the extra money he received from the taxpayer through superannuation over payments. But doesn’t the fact that he didn’t even notice the mistake show how broken our benefit system really is?Read more
We’ve had a lot of questions about how TOP’s policy on testing would work in practice for National Standards and NCEA.
TOP’s Education Policy is committed to reducing the amount of testing in our primary and secondary education system. Testing has little bearing on student performance and takes up valuable time that could be used for learning. Besides, the most important skills in the 21st Century are soft skills like communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking, which are not amenable to traditional testing.Read more
Earlier this month The Opportunities Party released it’s Alcohol Reform Policy which focuses on reducing the overall harm caused by drinking to both individuals and society.
The policy was greeted with an overwhelmingly positive reaction, with the majority of respondents agreeing that the current social harms caused by alcohol consumption (which cost our country around $6 billion a year) need to be addressed.Read more
What do the military know about sorting out seriously troubled youth? Apparently a lot. National thinks so anyway. More than, you know, social workers, high-school teachers, psychologists…Read more
There is growing awareness of the need to tax assets in New Zealand, but this morning the Labour leader ruled out any tax on the family home. Taxing the family home may be politically unpopular, but exempting it will kneecap any serious attempt to reduce inequality and improve the allocation of investment in our country. Labour want to get experts to review our tax system, but this has already been done in 2001 and 2010, and those experts stated that it was a ‘no brainer’ to include the family home. This blog explains why TOP’s tax reform includes the family home, and why we should not make an exception.Read more