Thursday, 15 March 2007

All spent up and nothing to show for it

A twenty billion dollars spending binge every year ... and bugger all to show for it. That's the news that New Zealand taxpayers wake up to this morning after the Clark Government's eight-year spend-up which has seen an ever increasing burden of taxes imposed, and ever decreasing returns delivered.

The news is delivered in a new report from the Centre for Independent Studies showing that government spending is now higher by every measure than it was under Muldoon, and with as little to show for it. Notes the report:
Government spending in New Zealand is now $20 billion higher than it was in 2000, says the yet has delivered disappointing results. In this paper Phil Rennie analyses a range of social indicators and finds that little has changed despite a massive increase in funding. He argues that public spending in New Zealand has reached such a high level that it is now delivering diminishing returns.
The overspend is so much, notes the study, that if this extra $20 billion of expenditure was allocated to tax cuts, nearly all income tax could be abolished, and all remaining public services funded solely by a combination of GST and a low corporate tax rate. That's something low-paid Labour voters might care to consider, particularly since all available 'social indicators' have shown negligible improvements since 2000.

Life expectancy, infant mortality, hospital outputs, literacy, violent crime, suicide, poverty and income inequality have all barely changed, says the report, despite a massive increase in social spending.

This is a complete failure for the tax and tax, spend and spend policies pursued by the Clark Government -- an epitaph for Michael Cullen's eight-year ideological burp -- and an utter waste of some largely fortuitous economic golden weather that has been pissed away on middle class welfare and vote-buying, instead of allowing New Zealanders their own money to make real, quality investment for the future.

The 16-page report can be downloaded at the CIS website.

LINK: New Zealand's spending binge - Centre for Independent Studies [16-page PDF]

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