Sunday, November 16, 2008

The rest of the agreement

So what else is in National and ACT's confidence and supply agreement [PDF]? Some pretty nasty stuff:

  • National will introduce a bill for "three strikes and you're out" and support it to select committee;
  • ACT's Taxpayer Bill of Rights Bill will be introduced as a government measure "with the aim of passing into law a cap on the growth of core Crown expenses". So, national will kneecap government;
  • Advancing the Regulatory Responsibility Bill;
  • appointing a number of private-sector working groups to review government expenditure and improve its "quality" - i.e. cut social programmes. They will also examine "alternative means of achieving [government] objectives" - meaning privatisation and contracting out;
  • Appointing an inter-party working group to examine "policy options relating to the funding and regulation of schools that will increase parental choice and school autonomy" - in English, school privatisation and vouchers;
  • everything National promised e.g. gutting the RMA, privatising ACC, and building more prisons.
And of course killing off the ETS and taking us back to square one on climate change policy. This is not a centrist agenda. Instead, it is a radical right-wing agenda, aimed at permanently crippling government and shifting government revenue into private pockets.

Interestingly, those worries about controlling government expenditure don't seem to apply to the ACT party - National is directly giving them pork:

To enable ACT to make a substantive contribution to the government's programme, it will have adequate access to funding, in a bulk form or for specific projects, to enable it to commission contract research or other consultancy assistance. The terms of such funding will be a matter for the Leadership Council to decide.
So, government funding directly to a political party for going into coalition with you. And these parties have the gall to complain about proposals for publicly funding political parties? They're doing it themselves, right here. But again, it's just another thing which is OK if you're a tory...