Opposing for opposing’s sake

Labour is opposing for opposing’s sake and in doing so shows it doesn’t know who its constituency is anymore.

Take the criticism of the government’s plan to sell public land in Auckland to help increase the supply of housing:

The Labour Party has accused the Government of planning to build on land that includes a power sub-station, pylons, a cemetery, a fire station and school playing fields. . .

There have been suggestions that children living near pylons have a greater risk of developing leukemia after a cluster of cases. However, that was thought to be a coincidence not the cause.

As for the rest of the land – why shouldn’t houses be built on playing fields if they’re surplus to the schools’ requirements and what’s wrong with living near a cemetery or fire station? Lots of people already do and how will they feel about Labour when it’s disparaging about the location of their homes?

It is wasteful for the government to sit on land it doesn’t need. There’s the opportunity cost of the value of the land and it costs ratepayers because public land isn’t rateable.

Then there’s the angst about the end of the $100 kickstart for KiwiSaver.

Inland revenue’s regulatory impact found that KiwiSaver hasn’t substantially increased savings despite encouraging enrolment of a large number of individuals.

The KiwiSaver scheme currently costs around $800 million in subsidies per annum and the Government has spent in excess of $6 billion on it since inception in 2006 . There are currently two subsidies: a one – off $1,000 kick-start payment paid to all new enrolees in the scheme (the kick-start) and an annual member tax credit paid to members of up to a maximum of $521 (annual MTC). The scheme also has ongoing Inland Revenue administration costs.

A seven year evaluation of KiwiSaver concluded in 2014 . . .The Evaluation has broadly found that the scheme has been successful in attracting significant numbers of members and Inland Revenue’s role in the scheme has functioned well. However, the scheme has delivered very poor value for the Crown’s subsidies. A high degree of leakage to people outside the target group for KiwiSaver and substitution from other savings has occurred. Estimates range from zero to one-third of KiwiSaver balances representing new household savings. . .

 The scheme delivers poor value for the public subsidies, most of the subsidies go to people who need it least and it hasn’t led to a significant increase in overall savings.

If Labour really thinks that it is better to subsidise the savings of people more able to help themselves than to spend the money on those in genuine need it really has lost its way.

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