John Key’s got to be taking the piss with his decision to appoint ACT MP Heather Roy as Minister of Consumer Affairs in the new National/ACT government.
I guess it could have been worse (say, ACT in charge of Labour or Social Development) but you do have to wonder how the Consumer Guarantees Act and regulations protecting the public from unsafe products sit with ACT’s ‘Red Tape and Regulation Policy‘.
That’s the policy where they promise to take an axe to regulations they believe have “smothered productive people with red tape and bureaucracy” (that’s “most of them” according to the policy) and pass law to “make it harder for governments to pass bad regulations in future”.
This is because ACT’s strange libertarian ideology sees regulations as a threat to “freedom”; the freedom, that is, for businesses to do as they please without regulation and for the rest of us to take what we’re given.
It’ll be interesting to see whether John Key can keep ACT under control in the portfolio that makes sure we don’t get ripped off and that the products we buy for ourselves and our families are safe. Given his weak handling of Rodney over the last few days I don’t like his chances.