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LETTERS: ‘The future looks challenging’

Tuesday 19 July 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Opinion

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LETTERS: ‘The future looks challenging’

Dear Editor, with the political campaigns gaining some momentum it is easy to see that the political parties are going all out to capture the hearts, minds and voting souls of the populace.

For the Demo’s this is especially an important watershed they are facing. There are a couple of things here that are important for people to understand, because for many current Demo MPs and their leader this is a do or die effort. They have been out in the political wilderness through some poor team and organisational strategies that saw a minority coalition party gain the treasury benches.

Secondly the policies they are proposing seem to most pundits like desperation tactics because someone must pay the tillerman. The question is to pay for all this, who or what people or worthwhile or must have initiatives such as disabled, aged care, youth, those vulnerable and at risk in our communities, which of these are going to be cast aside with the financial extravagances being proposed to get the voters over the line. Especially when the coffers are bare, and the deficit keeps mounting what worth are those promises going to be?

Thirdly a loss will send them into a downward spiral, finger pointing, leadership challenges, electoral challenges, and a deepening black hole into which their time, effort, resources and more importantly the money they don’t have, pouring down the drain. Political wilderness or political implosion and on the back foot and back bench. Cementing in their supporter’s minds at least, the worst 12 years of political bumbling, poor oppositional response and with another four years of the same to come. 

Offering to increase the old age pension and the child benefit is either a fantastic and plausible policy by the Demo’s or it’s a bait and hook designed to catch those struggling, living beyond their means and or sitting on the fence. Let’s look at this dispassionately. To most readers it is laudable that the pension and child benefit be raised and that pulls at the heart strings of the public and quite understandable in the current climate exasperated by the last two years of the pandemic. Where is the money to come from, we ask?

From the statistics office comes this data – 2021 figures. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) guess which industry provided the most receipts, yes, tourism, a whopping 77%. Goods producing industries 11%, taxes on products 12%, primary industries 3% and Fixed Income Securities Market (FISM) -3% i.e., they provide periodic income payments at a predetermined fixed interest rate. One doesn’t have to be a scientist to note that if tourism falls off, the country takes a massive hit, because all our eggs are in that one basket, we are vulnerable. We hear that Air New Zealand are dropping flights off from November, so what does that mean for receipts into Government coffers, with less tourist visitors to the island?

With the increase in the hourly rate in Australia and NZ which is more than double the Cook Islands this is a situation that our employable labour will exploit through their NZ passports. Further putting pressure on tax receipts and falling household incomes and discretionary spend, rising prices, inflation, a vicious circle and a desperate tourism and accommodation sector crying out for labour. Immigrant workers to the rescue (again). If as the experts are saying, that we are heading into a recession, prices for goods and services rising, this is going to have a flow on effect for Government spend. So, all those promises start to sound like straw houses built on shifting sands with the wind driven sea of circumstances creating havoc.

The money to pay these extravagant promises means zillions of dollars has to flow across the business tills for the Government to collect their PAYE, VAT, this fee and that fee. That’s a big ask. Especially with labour shortages and those left are being paid far more than the current hourly rate, and still, they are leaving. Who do you think pays for this increased hourly rate? Us the consumer of course and on it goes. Any way you look at it, the future looks ever challenging with any Party at the helm, the Demo’s especially.

Te Tuhi Kelly

Progressive Party