Remember wastewatch.co.nz? It’s National’s site listing all the â€˜government waste’. From six years of Labour government it managed to find a grand total of $1 billion in waste (0.32% of Government spending or a 10 cent a week tax cut) and most of that wasn’t â€˜waste’ it included the entire $400 million for the new prisons, for example. Wastewatch has been on â€˜a few months hiatus’ for two years now but, as National is now bringing back ‘cut waste to fund tax cuts’, we thought we would resurrect wastewatch for them.
Here’s the waste National has identified so far:
Embassy in Sweden – approx $3 million capital, $3 million operating
Why it’s waste: an embassy, in Sweden, hello! What are they going to do, create an ABBA cover-group exchange?
Why it’s not a waste: Sweden is a major source of tourism and many kiwis visit there. Having embassies in-country enables tourism and helps tourists when they get into distress. Sweden and neighbouring countries are potential growth markets for our products. Sweden is also a major player in the EU and it would be valuable to have more influence on EU trade decisions. We share many common values with the Scandinavian countries and often cooperate internationally, an embassy helps build on that. We don’t have an embassy in Scandinavia at present.
Potential tax cut instead of this â€˜waste’: 2 cents a week each.
Cumulative total of National-identified â€˜waste’: 2 cents a week or, since cheese has become the prime denominator of value in our political discourse (thanks, Irish), 1.5 grams of Mainland Mild cheese a week
We’ll update wastewatch for National if they identify any more ‘waste’.