Whether it’s ‘band-aid’ or ‘trickle-down’ economics, our main parties are stuck in a status quo that needs to go. Fiddling at the edges will not deliver the change that is needed to support our people, planet and prosperity.
It’s good to see NZ Herald run a series (paywalled!) on some of the key issues and how we can ‘build back better’. We heard a lot about this back in 2020/21 but little action, with the Government never really even engaging with it.
The monetary response to the pandemic was over-cooked and mis-directed, and now we are seeing negative outcomes of that, with interest rates 2.5% higher than they were pre-Covid.
The fiscal response was also overdone with large infusions of income support and spending. Supporting households and businesses through lockdown was necessary, but unlike interest rate rises there has been no action to drain out that overspend.
Whilst the Government is still looking for its tax principles, major imbalances remain. Without serious reform nothing will change. The Government accuses the opposition of being stuck in a fiscal ‘Bermuda triangle’, yet they are stuck in a fiscal ‘spider’s web’.
We need tax reform, affordable housing, debt write-downs, and major investment into public services and infrastructure. We need some bold ambition and a clear focus on the challenges ahead. We need to build a sustainable future with opportunities for all.
Tax reform: the tax switch from income to land.
Affordable housing: funding to build communities.
Writing off debts: yes, you heard that right. The worst off, having to borrow to survive. Rip it up and start again.
Extra income support for those who really need it: our children and people with disabilities. And getting rid of unfair and punitive sanctions, abatements and discrimination in our welfare system.
And, finally, we should use our Crown balance sheet to invest in the public infrastructure and services we need as a nation. We should run our economy at full capacity as much of the time as possible, instead of adhering to ad-hoc public debt targets.
We missed many opportunities in our Covid response and recovery. It’s not too late though, if we have the courage to make the long-term decisions we need. The status quo has to go. The Opportunities Party can play a part in that. Join us.