Monday, July 10, 2017

A sign of failure

Wellington has a new children's hospital:

Wellington is to get new $50m children's hospital paid for by millionaire property developer Mark Dunajtschik.

The philanthropist will pay for, build and gift the hospital to Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB).

Almost 30 years' old, the current children's hospital has been deemed not fit for purpose

Which is great news for Wellington kids. But its also a sign of the failure of National as a government. Building hospitals is a core function of the state in New Zealand, so having to rely on charity to do it means the government is simply failing to do its job. Ultimately, this comes back to taxes: National's obsession with cutting taxes for its rich mates starves the government of the revenue needed to perform core functions like schools, hospitals, and state housing. If we want these services - and kiwis overwhelmingly do - we need to elect governments who will do what is necessary to pay for them. Otherwise we're going to see more of the slow decline into US-style public squalor that this generous donation represents.