David Clark | Issue 14

David Clark | Issue 14

Government Choices

The government has to make choices. Limited tax revenue, increasing costs of superannuation and burgeoning healthcare expenses all add up to pressure on our country’s budget. That said, politicians have the job of prioritising spending, and it should be done in a way that creates opportunities for all.

That’s why I was frustrated when I discovered Minister Steven Joyce had overseen a programme of wasteful spending. $400 hair straighteners in office bathrooms, $70,000 street signs, $140,000 display screens and a $260,000 sun deck were all approved for installation in his ministry’s office.

Minister Joyce approves these expensive amenities with one hand, but continues to take with the other. For example, he refuses to make an exception for medical students to complete their study when their 7 EFTS cap is reached. This means that some students will not be able to afford to finish their studies.

But does he care? I bet a $260,000 sun deck that he won’t show it if he does. His pattern is predictable and sadly one that New Zealanders have come to expect — he rolls up the ladder of opportunity for hard-working Kiwis, making it more difficult for people to get ahead.

National is prioritising the interests of multinational corporations and a wealthy few over the interests of hard-working taxpayers and value-adding entrepreneurs. Our government is making the wrong choices.

A government should prioritise people who work hard day in and day out to make ends meet. It should prioritise small businesses, which employ local people and give back to their communities.

It shouldn’t be the business of government to waste your tax dollars installing hair straighteners in the bathrooms in our public service. Politicians have choices. Are you happy with the ones the government is making on your behalf?

This article first appeared in Issue 14, 2015.
Posted 2:46pm Sunday 5th July 2015 by David Clark.