Regulation is the problem – not Uber

The Government’s standoff with Uber shows we need to simplify transport regulations, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“As Uber flouts licencing rules, Simon Bridges says NZTA is ‘considering all available options’. This ought to include simply scrapping the red tape around licencing,” says Mr Seymour.

“If the Minister capitulates to taxi lobbyists and bans Uber, it would send the completely wrong message about New Zealand’s attitude toward technological change.

Greens’ private healthcare ban is dangerous (and mad)

The Green Party’s idea of abolishing private healthcare shows they are as kooky as ever, says ACT Leader David Seymour, the only MP to have lived in a country where private healthcare is banned.

“Private healthcare is illegal in Canada.  During my time there I travelled to the USA to receive healthcare, as do many Canadians.  Even one MP, Belinda Stronach, infamously took her doctor’s advice to skip the Canadian system in favour of the USA’s when diagnosed with cancer.

Government must consider open-source software

ACT Leader David Seymour today called on the Government to take a new approach in its software procurement policies, allowing substantial savings to the taxpayer.

“A substantial number of civil servants could generate the same output using open source software and open document formats, instead of proprietary software like Microsoft Office.

“Departments should see what functions government employees need in their software, then source software that fulfils those functions.

E-cigs must not be used as a cash grab

ACT Leader David Seymour welcomes moves toward legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, but says the government must pledge not to put excise taxes on the products.

"Taxing vapers the way we tax smokers would destroy the benefit of legalising e-cigarettes," says Mr Seymour. "There's currently a strong financial incentive for smokers to switch to vaping. Taxing e-cigarettes would discourage smokers from switching from a harmful product to a relatively safe one.

Councillors must approve 400,000 homes

Auckland Councillors must approve the proposed Unitary Plan’s goal of allowing 422,000 dwellings in the next 30 years, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Solving a housing shortage is simple: let people build houses. The proposed Unitary Plan allows for 422,000 houses over the next 30 years. It’s an ambitious and necessary target.

Auckland Council must step up or step aside

All eyes will be on Auckland Council tomorrow as they respond to the Independent Hearings Panel’s proposed Unitary Plan, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Prospective homebuyers have already waited too long for a workable solution to Auckland’s housing shortage," says Mr Seymour.

“We know that homeowners in the centre of the city are not opposed to intensification and in some cases welcome it, but they have specific, and in my view legitimate, concerns over school zones and funding, congestion, and community character.

ACT welcomes National adopting ACT policy

While it is light on specifics, ACT is glad that John Key’s conservation proposal draws heavily on ACT’s Sanctuary Trust policy, launched in February, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Prime Minister is absolutely on the right track, predator extermination is an important goal, it will take a very long term commitment, and that will require taxpayer funding distributed to private partners through an agency at arms-length from the Government of the day.

Cannabis debate must consider social impacts

Research on cannabis law reform must measure social impacts, says ACT Leader David Seymour in response to a Treasury note estimating cannabis law enforcement plus lost tax revenue costs $550 million.

“What Treasury’s brainstorm didn’t estimate was the human costs of prohibition, such as the impact of imprisonment on families or mental health issues caused by prolonged cannabis use.

Reserve Bank action an indictment of Govt

New restrictions on lending announced by the Reserve Bank show how dysfunctional housing supply has become, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In a normally functioning market, housing investment would stimulate supply, eventually bringing down prices," says Mr Seymour.  "The Bank is trying to reduce demand because it knows the market isn’t functioning.

“National and opposition parties support the Bank’s intervention, suggesting they’ve given up on responsive housing supply.

Newmarket school building funds welcome – Seymour

Epsom MP David Seymour has welcomed Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye’s commitment to building eight new classrooms at Newmarket Primary.

“I frequently visit the school and it is an outstanding learning environment led by a great principal,” said Mr Seymour.  “It is good to see the Government investing in expanding quality schools.”

The announcement comes as Auckland Council seeks to concentrate growth in the centre of the city.

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