Category Archives: Politics

Say it your way competition


This competition was officially opened on the 17th February 2009.

Student loans, student debt and user pays are responsible for much of the inequality in New Zealand. Many New Zealanders have been unable to partake fully in society because of their student loan payments. Many New Zealanders have been unable to get together a deposit for a house because of student loans and user pays.

This is your opportunity to express your dissatisfaction with user pays and student loans. With loans at $10 Billion and rising there has never been a more crucial time than now to call for an end to the madness that is student loans and user pays.

Make a short film, write a short story, a poem, design a poster, write an essay, or something else. The choice is yours.

Just fill out the form below and send it in along with your entry form.

First prize: $150 Voucher of your choosing

Second Prize: $50 Voucher of your choosing

Third Prize: A copy of Kitchen Caucus, a collection of recipes including some from the MPs of the Labour/Alliance coalition of 1999 – 2002.

Entering the Competition

You can enter the competition by uploading your entry here or you can download the entry form here and enter by posting your entry to: PO Box 69026, Glendene, Auckland 0645, New Zealand

http://www.dropdebttoday.com/index.php/say-it-your-way-competition/

Affiliation

The time has come for unions that are affiliated to any political party to question their apparent blind loyalty. As far as I can see, it makes no sense to continue to support a political party that works against the ideals of unionism. Most unions that do have affiliations are affiliated to the Labour Party. It makes no sense to continue to support them given their tendancey to sign free trade agreements. Free trade agreements do nothing but open up our markets, threatening the job security of those of us here. Also Labour had to be argued into raising the minimum wage UP to a pitiful $12.50 and hour which, after tax, is even more pitiful.

I wonder if anyone remembers that they also had to be argued into accepting that both paid parental leave and kiwibank were good ideas. Without their coalotion partner of the day (one Alliance Party of New Zealand) fighting to make these things a reality, they would never have seen the light of day. Labour would have been happy for them both to remain dreams of the people.

So I ask all unions with affiliations to immediately review and justify this blind loyalty to a party that has done little to help the working class. The argument that they are better than National continues to lose water faster than a broken sieve. Both major parties are in favour of user pays and free trade, policies that continue to undermine the ability of the working class to make ends meet.

Poverty

About two weeks ago I had the priviledge of attending a forum on poverty organised by the Palmerston North Catholic community. My speech notes can be found here. Although the philosophical meanderings of some of my fellow political represenatives did nothing to advance the cause of eliminating poverty some did make a little sense. The need to invest in the plight of the less fortunate was apparant. Where I differed from my collueges at the forum was how we should go about it. The question before us what about how best to assist those who are less fortunate. While some said that they should be left to their own devices others outlined the need to reallocate resources. What they didn’t do, but we did, was to outline how this would be achieved.

As a result of this forum I am concerened that the public of New Zealand will be entering the polling booths in an informational vacuum. We must ask all candidates how they intend to eliminate poverty. What is their plan? If they cannot come up with something as basic as a taxation plan or even a budget for how they would do things if in power, then alarm bells should ring.

Societies are often judged on how well they take care of the poor and sick. How well does New Zealand take care of its por and sick? Can we do better? Yes we can. Ask your candidates what they intend to do about those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder.

Alliance delivers their alternative budget

Earlier this week we released our budget.  I’ve been looking forward to this for a while now because it means that we can now tell you where we get the money from and how it will be spent. Follow this link to see it in detail.

We’re the only party suggesting that it is possible to not only remove GST but actually increase our social spending by replacing it with another, fairer system, FTT. I personally would rather pay 2 cents out of every $100 in tax that the current $12.50 paid through GST. That just makes sense to me. it leaves money in my pocket. Isn’t it better to leave more money in the poket of those who have a low income so they can afford to pay the rent, the power bill, the grocery bill?

People on low incomes tend to spend their money on domestic products like food as they can’t afford to pop off overseas or import expensive items. So I figure that logically, if you leave more money in their hands, its better for our economy and better for them too.

What do you think?

National Party policies

I must admit that I am a little bemused as to why people are waiting so expectantly for the National party to announce their policies. The policies will be the same as they have always been. User pays, reduction of the health and education vote and the privatisation of anything they can get away with. It would be a miracle if they went with anything remotely different.

The announcement that they would look at ways to open ACC up to competiton must be een for what it is. Privatisation. They have said they won’t sell off any assets in their first term so they need to find other ways to open up ACC to their big business mates. Anyway, they will no doubt spend their first term in power (if they get there) preparing to sell off the family silverware.

Of course, they might say this now and sell them off anyway. Stranger things have happened in New Zealand politics.