The worldwide recession is not your fault.
It was caused by the greedies in the banking and finance industry.
To make extra profits and to earn huge bonuses, US financiers created a scheme by which they packaged shonky mortgages and sold them as prime investments.
As well, banks and finance houses in many parts of the Western world went on a lending spree that pushed up property prices, creating a big bubble that burst.
Governments and ordinary people were left to clean up the mess. The cleaning up is continuing and it will take a long time.
Not content with crashing the democratic world’s financial systems, the greedies are back in action gambling on the price of commodities.
Food, oil, whatever you can think of is being bought and sold many times before it even gets to the factory that processes it.
It’s a new way for the greedies behind computer screens to suck billions out of the pockets of ordinary people.
You are at the bottom of the food chain.
It’s called “globalisation” and you’ll hear just about every so-called financial expert saying what a good thing it is.
What they really mean is that it is a good thing for them.
The New Zealand economy is the plaything of international currency traders and speculators.
Our currency is one of the most volatile on the planet.
We keep hearing about the virtues of the free market. Trouble is it’s not free to the families trying to make do on low incomes or pensioners facing a long cold winter with big power bills.
You are being softened up for cuts in social spending in the next Budget.
Every day the Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers tell the nation how bad things are.
And every day a new figure of ten, fifteen, twenty billion is thrown about as the amount of extra money the government will need.
This is a clear signal that more state assets will be sold than the government is letting on.
Surely someone, somewhere in this government knows the folly of selling state assets.
For example, the state companies that generate electricity are going to be partially privatised.
Now why would anyone of sane mind sell off its only renewable sources of energy.
Make no mistake.
If our power stations are part of a public share float they will end up owned overseas.
Probably by China because China is one of the few countries that are in the black.
Why are they in the black?
Because they are a one party state with a planned economy, a strictly controlled workforce and a forest of factories handed over by industrial leaders in the West.
They’ve gone to China because manufacturing is cheaper where the workers get paid a few dollars and a bowl of rice a day.
So why would we hand over our energy generating resources?
Between 1984 and 1996 Labour and National governments privatised and sold off huge chunks of state owned assets.
They were sold for a song and companies like Telecom have made a killing for their overseas owners.
The most important party for senior citizens for the next few years will be New Zealand First.
People in powerful places have decided that our party stands in the way of their grand designs so they have tried to take us out.
If we were gone your pension would be reduced tomorrow and your SuperGold card would be worthless.
As well, the age of eligibility would be lifted.
We are your insurance so don’t forget to pay it!
And remember we are extending the SuperGold card into senior medical care next year when we get back.
There will be a free medical; check each year for over 65s and doctors visits will be capped at ten dollars.
We cannot continue with a situation in which elderly people cannot afford to go to the doctor.
Position For Election
So let me explain what our position is for the election this year.
If you don’t want to vote for National, vote for New Zealand First.
If you don’t want to vote for Labour, vote for New Zealand First.
If you don’t want the others, vote for New Zealand First.
If we have to, and if that is what NZ First decides, we will be pleased to sit on the cross benches guarding the interests of ALL New Zealanders.
We have done it before.
National and Labour can look after themselves.
We will support legislation that’s in line with New Zealand First policies.
And we will always support any policy or idea that’s good for the country – no matter where it comes from.
We have done it before.
In return we will expect support for our initiatives.
This makes our position clear.
No pre-election deals, no nudge-nudge, wink-wink political horse trading before you the voters have spoken.
Those who argue for pre-election deals are trying to weaken your vote.
Don’t let them.
Instead of doing pre-election deals, we will concentrate on the big issues facing New Zealanders.
You were promised before the last election there would be no increase in GST.
That’s right – you will find the clip on YouTube in which John Key says National would not increase GST.
To that we say …yeah right!
If we look back at that exercise in tax fiddles this is what happened.
The wealthy people at the top – the people this government looks after did very well.
Look for example, as the boss of the Australian bank Westpac in New Zealand.
His salary is $5.6 million dollars.
When John Key handed out his tax cuts – the bank boss got more than $5,000 a week extra.
That’s right $5,000 a week extra because of his tax cut.
Now for the unfairness of it all.
National recently lifted the minimum wage by 25 cents an hour to $13 an hour.
That means someone on the minimum wage – and there are thousands of them – now receives just over $27,000 a year.
That amounts to about $437 a week take home pay.
It’s easy to see the people this government is looking after.
If you are a bank boss on $5.6million, helping cause a recession, you get an extra five thousand a week.
If you are on the minimum wage – you get an extra 25 cents an hour.
And hope you don’t have too far to walk to the local foodbank.
This policy also hits the pockets of those people receiving the pension.
If pay rates are kept down, your superannuation payments are kept down as well.
And here’s something else to think about. How can a single pensioner live on just over $330 a week in these times of explosive food prices, rising power costs, rising petrol costs and government charges that go up every time you look at them?
Times are tough through no fault of your own. And we commend those thousands of New Zealanders who look after each other and help each other out.
You paid your dues while in the workforce. You raised your kids, did work for the community and kept your side of the bargain.
Now you are regarded as a public expense when you really are a public asset. Each and every one of you.
Your parents and their parents tried to make this country special. WE led the world in social advances.
It is our duty to restore our country to the caring egalitarian society they were proud of.
WE CAN do it again. Help us make it happen.
Speech by Winston Peters, NZF, to Ashburton Grey Power, 21 March 2011.