To build a brighter future for New Zealand we need to invest in it.
We need to build our national savings, so that we don’t need to borrow from overseas or sell our assets, sending the profits of Kiwi work to foreign capitalists.
We need to put money into R&D so that we don’t have to rely so heavily on hi-tech imports, so that we export more valuable goods overseas, get our economy on to an environmentally stable platform, and sell our knowledge to the world.
What has National done? Cancel the Cullen Fund contributions, gut Kiwisaver, kill the Fast Forward Fund, end the R&D tax credits, knee-cap the ETS, and make half a billion worth of tax cuts for the rich.
The Nats talk a big game about aspiration but it’s vague stuff. When it gets to detail we repeatedly hear from the Nats that New Zealand can’t do better, that we have to be reliant on foreigners for manufacturing and investment. Look at Steven Joyce’s dismissal of the railway workers’ proposal to build rail cars here.
National’s not about building a more sophisticated, productive economy – it’s just about doing the same and more of it. The Nats’ economic ‘plan’, if you can call it that is: dig up more stuff, turn more water and topsoil into milk.
Now, it looks like they’ve at least smartened up enough to put some more money into science in the Budget. But it’s clear the priority remains upper-end tax cuts, just another wealth transfer from working Kiwis to the rich – more short-termism, rather than investing in the future.