In its first six months, the coalition government has missed some key opportunities to deliver sensible solutions for some our most pressing issues.
Resource Management Act reform
“In Auckland, land use regulation could be responsible for up to 56 per cent, or $530,000, of the cost of an average home. But Cabinet hasn’t yet considered whether to reform it. The Resource Management Act is the most economically vandalous law on our books. It should be at the top of David Parker and Phil Twyford’s agenda.
“Phil Twyford has also missed an opportunity to both incentivise more housing consents and provide funding to councils for infrastructure.
ACT would share a portion of GST revenue collected from the construction of new housing with the local council. The shared revenue would help cover the cost of infrastructure which councils must build to support new development. The cost of infrastructure currently disincentivises the approval of new houses.
Rewarding self-improvement in prison
“Given the Government’s goal of reducing the prison population by 30%, it is disappointing Kelvin Davis hasn’t picked up ACT’s policy of rewarding prisoners who complete literacy programs and driver licensing tests with reduced sentences.
Under ACT’s proposal, eligible inmates would be able to earn up to a maximum of six weeks for every year of their term, but final decisions on release would be left with the Parole Board.
Prisoners need positive incentives to become productive, law-abiding citizens. 70 per cent are functionally illiterate, lacking the skills to lead normal, productive lives. It’s no wonder they return to crime after leaving prison.
Tax bracket indexation
“The previous National Government collected an extra $2.1 billion in tax as a result on the non-indexation of tax brackets. Grant Robertson’s Families Package allowed new benefits to rise in line with inflation, but kept tax brackets at their current levels, which will push many middle income New Zealanders into the highest bracket.
Disappointingly, the Government voted against my amendment which would have allowed the Minister of Finance to index tax brackets to the rate of inflation.
“Superannuation is a ticking fiscal time bomb. At $11 billion a year and growing, it is completely unsustainable. Grant Robertson, like Bill English before him, appears unwilling to face up to this reality.
ACT would raise the age of entitlement to Super from 65 to 67, at a rate of two months per year, finishing in 2032. We are the only party advocating for future generations of taxpayers.
“Despite ACT giving Grant Robertson an opportunity to come clean on his plans for corporate welfare, it appears he will continue National’s approach of handing out billions to ‘Most Favoured Industries’.
Mr Robertson should adopt ACT’s position – cut corporate welfare and use it to lessen the tax burden on hardworking New Zealand families.”