Who manages the the economy best?
With the elections upon us, all those writing for the "Press Various" suggest the crux of all voting will be based around managing Covis-19 and its aftermath.
One wonders why the National Party has the reputation of being the "party of economic responsibility". The Nats introduced sky-high debt during the early 80s. The Nats led the 90s with (mostly) negative growth. Sure, the Nats' economy did OK after the recession of 2008 – but only on the back of their major trading partner, China. Meanwhile, the National Party introduced tax and spending cuts resulting in sky-high poverty and homelessness. History provides revealing lessons. Twenty years ago, both the coalition partner the Alliance and the supporting Greens nudged the Labour-led government in the right direction. They raised top-end income taxes for the wealthy. They increased spending on health and education. They bought back state-owned businesses and houses run into the ground by their private owners. As a result, NZ's long-stagnating economy achieved sustained growth. As they say, history doesn't repeat itself; it rhymes.
It's voting time
The incoming Government has a huge task on its hands. This Labour-led Government has failed its housing promises, child poverty continues to rise, we have seen vast areas of land sold to foreigners to plant trees with no profit to New Zealanders, gun laws that leave all the wanted firearms still in criminal hands and $50 million spent on the Pike Mine with no positive outcome, despite ignoring previous advice.
Actors have been allowed in ahead of many desperately needed skilled workers, many secondary roads under government control are falling apart; just take a drive on Highway 50, the Napier-Taihape road or over the very busy road between Ashhurst and Woodville.
Under Covid times, thousands of businesses and individual workers face a very uncertain future, while civil servant numbers rapidly mount, all comfortable in the zone of government pay. Farmers battle after becoming enemy number one over the past three years and are facing endless government controls, while left with the job of getting the country through this crisis.
But the most worrying aspect long-term, is how our nation is being divided at every turn by Labour – Māori and the rest of us, instead of promoting and governing us all as one nation. We are all New Zealanders and should be encouraged to all think of ourselves together as one large family and progress from there, but that is not happening. Sadly and quite wrongly, we are being put into two different baskets.
This election is definitely not just about Covid-19.