Saturday, October 04, 2003

Like a broken record

The government is running a larger than expected surplus, so National is demanding tax cuts. How surprising. But there are better things we can do with the money than that.

The two previous governments have gutted public services. Defence, the police, health, welfare, education - all had their budgets lowered and were expected to do more with less. After ten years of starvation, the ribs are beginning to show.

The present government has stalled the decline, but done precious little to repair the damage. It's time to change that. Rather than giving the surplus away to the wealthy as tax cuts, they should take the opportunity to reinvest in New Zealand's public services. Cullen has already suggested putting a substantial amount towards housing, but there's a lot more to be done.

New Zealanders will happily pay taxes in exchange for decent public services. It's time for the governemnt to renew its part of the arrangement.