The most penalised segment of our society are the middle income earners, those who's hard work generates themselves an income of between 100k and 200k. Ms Turei wants to penalise them some more in the interests of fairness. That in itself is a staggering statement. In effect she is saying the harder and better you work, the more we will take from you. How can that be fair? And the reason she wants to do this? To wave a magic wand over child poverty in NZ.
She plans to "fight", an interesting choice of word, like some later day crusader, this appalling state of affairs which in her own words is afflicting "hundreds of thousands" of Kiwi children. Hundreds of thousands? Really? Either her definition of poverty is a very strange one, or that is a barefaced lie. I know about real poverty, believe you me. For a period of my life I lived rough on the streets of London. I begged and I scavenged. I was unwashed, unkempt and unwanted.
In later years I spent a much longer period first amongst the tribesmen of the southern Ethiopian Highlands, and then with the nomadic peoples of the Nubian Desert in northern Sudan. The nothings they had included hope, support and prospects. No-one in NZ lives like that unless they choose to, no-one.
Granted their are people who are poor. Granted there are those for whom life is a financial struggle. But the simple fact of the matter, like so many issues espoused by the Greens, is that the problem as she would have us believe, simply does not exist. That is why they constantly refer to child poverty. Because by invoking the image of children suffering, even the hardest of hearts will melt. Any naysayer will be pilloried for their lack of compassion.
Ms Turei thinks that throwing money at a problem will solve it. She would be better served, if she wanted to improve the lot of the lower economic groups, to address the causes, and achieve a sustainable solution. A sustainable solution. You would have thought that would be popular with her lot. She could understand why people struggle. I'm going to do her a favour and tell her.
- Lotto and Pokies - get rid of these because they drain too much income from the poorer sectors of society.
- Cigarettes - as above;
- Alcohol - treble the tax on alcohol. Make it punitive.
- Monopolies - our meat and grocery prices are obscene. This occurs because two companies sell over 80% of these necessities between them. No other Western society would tolerate it. Break them up.
- Local Government - our rates are the worst, most unnecessary waste of money there is. Local government should provide basic services, and that's all. Whoops, I have just removed 85% of rates!.
- Utility companies - power bills, telecoms bills, again revoltingly high. Regulate them, including mandatory reinvestment in infrastructure and profit levels.
I guarantee that those six steps would alleviate involuntary poverty in New Zealand within 1 year. In fact they would make the entire country far better off. Now, if that sounds like a load of socialist claptrap to you, you are only partly right. It's not claptrap. But yes, these are ideas most normally associated with socialism, and you may find that strange coming from someone who most may assume is a staunch right winger.
Actually, you couldn't be more wrong. I am at heart a socialist, just as I am at heart an environmentalist. But I am driven to the right by the absurd policies of featherbed communists like Ms Turei. I vote National generally, not because I especially agree with their philosophy or policy, but because I agree that their positive solution driven approach is the right one.
Don't try and create a more level playing field by penalising those who create wealth. Try and give those who 'do not' more chance of doing so. Let them see the benefits of endeavour. And then you are left with a far smaller pool of those who need the help of society. A far less costly group. Because as Robin Hood, Ms Turei's inspiration, found out there's only so many 'rich' you can steal from.
And one final point. Ms Turei, that champion of the poor, is, through such policies, only widening the divide. She demonises the 'rich', paints them as evil, and creates a culture of hatred and envy amongst the poorer. Hardly the approach a real leader should be taking, is it?
By Jerry Flay