The government is pleading poverty thanks to the tax cuts for the rich (and even though government debt is under control). This is their excuse for welfare and spending cuts and asset sales. This is shown to be pure spin by the fact that they’re passing over the opportunity to save the economy $75 million because they won’t spend $28 million.
“Under the regime, businesses would use a standard language to report financial information, making it easier for government departments and businesses to electronically import and analyse data, cutting firms’ compliance costs.
Mark Hucklesby, national technical director at accountancy firm Grant Thornton, said a 2008 study found that if New Zealand spent between $18m and $28m implementing the programme over three years, the estimated annual savings to businesses would be between $55m and $75m a year.
He believed those estimated savings were conservative and it was disappointing that the Government had shelved the programme – on which about $4m had already been spent – in last year’s Budget.”
This would be a geniune gain for the economy. We would be getting an enhanced government service and spending less as a nation to get it – we invest $28 million ($4 million already sunk cost) through our government and save $75 million in business costs. Brilliant, eh?
Unfortunately, Simon Power says no:
“Mr Power said a board made up of Inland Revenue, ACC, Statistics New Zealand and Economic Development Ministry staff had determined the regime would provide businesses with substantial benefits, but the Government could not meet its costs.”
This dumbarse thinking reminds me of the Kiwirail decision. The government was told it could add $500 million to the economy (nearly as much as the Rugby World Cup), create thousands of jobs, and net itself over a hundred million in tax if it spent a little more on having Kiwirail build its new electric rail units here, rather than buying them from abroad. But Steven Joyce insisted this government entity act as if it were an independent company and only consider its own bottom line.
Pity we have a government that thinks along the narrow commercial lines of small business owners, rather than understanding that the State’s role to tailor its activities for the benefit of the country as a whole.
Oh, and the government won’t fund locator pendants for dementia patients with a history of wandering. In a trial in Auckland, they’ve saved huge amounts of Police and Search & Rescue time, and maybe lives. But $280 each is too much.