Today at 1400 hours in the House of Representatives, the Government will deliver its budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. As a person who sees different spending priorities to those of National, I have prepared a little alternative budget of my own.
In simple terms I believe the major problems in New Zealand right now to be housing, crime and health. Roading, closing the loopholes in corporate tax and investing more in science are not far behind. Tackling these issues will increase the income available to individual New Zealanders, save the country hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money for redistribution and enable some of the more pressing social issues to be addressed.
My stance on who can buy property in New Zealand is already well known. What is not well known is that I believe as a first measure, all of the existing state housing stock must be able to be used by New Zealanders in need before we spend money on building new ones – if that means $50 million worth of damage and repairs being fixed, then so be it. The current problems with W.I.N.Z. emergency grants needs to be tackled by a legislative change, but whether or not any additional money is needed, can be sorted out once the law has changed.
Crime is a pretty simple case. I addressed it a few weeks ago, following one of the ram raids in south Auckland. The Police budget is simply not large enough to cover all that they are expected to do, which helps explain – but not necessarily justify – the emphasis on revenue.
The health budget has been the subject of substantial cuts over the last 7.5 years. Across the board there are significant problems that could be addressed – or start to be – in the budget. One that bothers me enough that I think a one off lump sum injection of money is necessary is the waiting list for major operations such as hip, knee and organ transplants. To some extent it is possible that some of people on the waiting list would pay the cost back from being able to join the work force once more, whilst retirees might be able to use more of their savings if they are in a position to do activities that require them to use those savings.
I have mentioned roading, closing loopholes in corporate tax and investment in science in previous posts. These I will be elaborating on more following the Fiscal Budget.