Speech by New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters: The Fictional Surplus and You
Speech by New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters
Forbury Racecourse, Bart Winters Room,
45 McAndrews Rd,
10.30am, Wednesday, May 24, 2017
THE FICTIONAL SURPLUS AND YOU
It is always a pleasure to visit the home of the Highlanders Super 15 rugby team.
You have much to be proud of:
The peninsula, the Octagon, your museums, Olveston and much more.
But it is sad day when you are losing one of the icons for which you are known throughout New Zealand.
The planned closure of Cadbury’s factory with the loss of 360 jobs is a bitter blow to this city.
Corporations like Mondelez believe only in loyalty to the almighty dollar.
Tomorrow we have the Budget.
Expect a lot of smoke and mirrors.
The prime minister has already crowed about having a supposed operating surplus of $1.14 billion for the last seven months to January despite that surplus being fictional.
New Zealand First call it a bogus surplus
How can you have a surplus when you make making massive cuts elsewhere and everywhere?
You can conjure up a bogus surplus if you have frozen the police budget since 2010.
Or cut funding to district health boards by $1.7 billion.
Or slashed DoC funding with $53 million less each year from 2008 until 2015.
Allowed a huge housing shortage of over 40,000 houses in Auckland alone.
Allowed a huge roading deficit everywhere.
Made billions outstanding in defence promises yet kept none of them.
He talked of tax cuts.
National boasts about New Zealand’s GDP growth rate of 3.0%.
But New Zealand’s population is now growing at 2% annually.
Accordingly, 2% has to be deducted from GDP numbers before any real growth can be claimed. That means New Zealand’s GDP growth is 1%.
Because without the population growth adjustment, the numbers are totally deceptive and well below the OECD average.
One figure the Government never mentions is the current account deficit which is running into billions of dollars.
Last year it was $7 billion.
And behind that number is New Zealand’s net international investment position – what we owe the rest of the world
That number is now a negative $156 billion!
The true state of our society can be seen all around us and that tells a different story to Bill English’s surplus “spin”.
Behind the boast that “NZ has the third highest growth rate in the OECD” ordinary New Zealanders see:
• More than 92,000 young New Zealanders aged 15 to 24 who are not jobs, training or education.
• Around 130,000 unemployed.
• And in the last 12 months we have taken over 71,900 migrants to stay here permanently.
This is the city of Rotorua being added year after year.
• We have stagnant incomes and more and more workers in casual and low paid jobs.
• A housing crisis in Auckland that has spread to the regions and that is turning young Kiwis into renters for life.
• Hospital and medical services under intense pressure and surgery waiting lists that are growing longer.
• Overcrowded and understaffed schools.
• Overloaded roading and public transport infrastructure swamped by population growth.
• A growing gap between rich and poor that is getting worse and with levels of homelessness and family poverty rising.
• New Zealand land and businesses are being flogged off to overseas buyers.
According to the Overseas Investment Office 466,000 hectares of land was sold to offshore buyers in 2016 – five times more than in 2015.
There is constant cry that NZ Super is unaffordable.
It is affordable.
Here are the facts:
NZ Super’s actual net cost to taxpayers is around 3.8 per cent of GDP.
That NZ Super is taxed is being deliberately overlooked.
NZ Super as a percentage of GDP will stay the same even with an ageing population if New Zealand doubles its GDP by 2050 and we improve our productivity.
The opponents of NZ Super have four features about them:
- They can’t make out a financial argument to support their view.
- They mistake population trends,
- They ignore the 87,000 we have allowed in here in the last 15 years to get full NZ Super after just 10 years,
- They recite overseas population trends and percentages when they know they have no relativity to NZ‘s situation.
INFLATED BY IMMIGRATION
Affordability has been threatened by mass immigration for much of the last two decades.
When Labour was bringing in 50,000 net the equivalent figure in Australia was just 80,000 - for that far bigger economy.
It is utter madness to take in net almost 72,000 new immigrants a year as we are now doing. When the UK target is just 100,000.
New Zealand First will end the Section 70 anomaly in the Social Security Act. Just as we did with the surtax and tinkering with the Super formula. (Our 66%)
This affects a specific group of people who are entitled to an overseas state pension.
As a result of section 70, around 70,000 people receiving NZ Super have some level of deduction made.
It is an anomaly and unfair to those affected.
NZ First is committed to ending this anomaly.
Realm countries and NZ Super
And we are going give retired, or near retireds, in the Realm countries, Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau, the right to pick up their NZ Super in the Cooks, Niue and Tokelau without the “five years back in NZ rule” being so unfairly applied to them now.
It is an abject disgrace that the National Party says we can’t afford to do this which will be available to only a few hundred yet give full NZ Super to over 87,000 who have come to this country and acquire full NZ Super, and all its benefits, after just 10 years residence here whether they have made any contribution or not.
A HISTORY YOU CANNOT TRUST
Unlike National and Labour, who have repeatedly back-tracked on NZ Super, we have never diverted from our stand.
SECRET TO AFFFORDABILITY
The secret to maintaining NZ Super’s affordability is increasing the size of our economic cake, restoring productivity, and controlling immigration.
This is achievable, but not with present and recent policies.
We have unlimited economic potential.
But we cannot sustain the large number of immigrants who are coming here.
With a stable population and increased productivity, the affordability of NZ Super will increase further and raise our living standards.
It’s as simple as that.
NOT OPPOSED TO IMMIGRATION
New Zealand First is not opposed to immigration.
But we want controlled immigration.
We need to take our foot off the accelerator and bring immigration back to sustainable levels.
To 10,000, not nearly 72,000.
We must have high quality skilled immigration.
What we have instead is mainly low-skilled immigration.
WORKING FOR GREY POWER
New Zealand First values our relationship with Grey Power.
We have shown our loyalty to Seniors in countless battles.
We continue to fight for your interests.
In 2015 we brought our SuperGold Health Check Bill before Parliament.
The intention of the bill was to provide three free GP visits with the SuperGold Card each year.
Grey Power supported this bill.
Unfortunately National, Act and United Future did not.
This gruesome threesome made sure our bill did not pass its first reading.
It lost by a single vote.
We are not giving up.
We intend bringing this bill back to parliament.
Also we want free eye tests for SuperGold Cardholders once a year.
It is a great concern to us that one in seven New Zealanders over 50 will develop Macular Degeneration.
This condition causes 48% of cases of blindness in New Zealand.
About 1.5 million New Zealanders are at risk of developing Macular Degeneration and by 2030 the number of sufferers will increase by 70%
It is estimated that Macular Degeneration annually costs New Zealand $200 million, from lost productivity and increased medical costs – including people entering care facilities at an earlier age.
We believe prevention is better than cure.
PUTTTING NEW ZEALAND AND NEW ZEALANDERS FIRST
New Zealand First is a party which stands for equal opportunity for all.
We are a party which believes in looking after our citizens, young and old, and working in their best interests.
It’s all about putting New Zealand first, and Kiwis first.