John Tamihere: Budget 2016 - Everyone wants more, but won't pay more

Finance Minister Bill English during his Budget 2016 presentation. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Finance Minister Bill English during his Budget 2016 presentation. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Everybody wants more out of the Budget but no one wants to pay extra taxes to cover it. Everyone wants to go to heaven no one wants to die.

This eighth English Budget continues to invest in the social space by lifting the visibility of the taxpayer on what their bang for the buck in health, welfare, education and justice delivers. This is known globally as the social return on investment policy.

It is an outstanding intergenerational policy that will be a lasting legacy for English and Key.

Programmes must be delivered shaped by the community and into the community not by a large group of third party bureaucrats.

The new investment in data collection and capture allows us all to know from the Ministry of Health to the individual recipient of health services to follow their value and whether they're getting a service that works for their particular needs rather than the person that provides those services.

This follows in education welfare.

$650 million is being invested targeting the vulnerable. But $731 million is being paid to lawyers and jailers and police to ultimately lock them up. This is a very expensive policy response. The Social Return on policy will be rewarded by dragging more money away from prisons and hospitals and into enriching and uplifting vulnerable communities.

Auckland is the new capital city of the Pacific. It is the largest Maori and Pacific capital in the world. It is a growing unstoppable vortex and nothing in this budget addresses its massive infrastructure requirements let alone its dire housing position.

Releasing taxpayer land to property developers to supply over priced housing and making windfall profits at the expense of the very taxpayer that releases land is unacceptable policy. A suite of policies addressing the cost of supply and price fixing needs to occur.

Some form of capital/land tax package must apply. Finally the State on behalf of all New Zealanders must re-enter the market to make it honest as it did in the 50s 60s and 70s.

The so-called rigged free market turns Auckland into a casino that only a few can play in but is a casino of no losses.

• John Tamihere is the chief executive of the Waipareira Trust and a former Labour politician and broadcaster.

- NZ Herald

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