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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 6 6 May 1970

Radio Election Address

Radio Election Address

This broadcast follows my television explanation this evening of the principles and purpose of the New Zealand Country Party. Now I will describe some of our policies, for it is in their policies that you will find that all other parties are operating the same socialist, bureaucratic-run system. In their policies, the difference between National and Labour is the same difference as between Woolworths and McKenzies. Our task is to provide the New Zealand voter with a genuine free enterprise alternative because we earnestly believe that modern free enterprise can produce far more peace, freedom and prosperity for all New Zealanders. That many of our people have lost faith in our bureaucratic system, is well proved by the tens of thousands who are voting against it with their feet—by leaving New Zealand every year.

The major objectives of our policies are to stop inflation, to reduce the cost of production, to reduce the cost of living, (by reducing the wastage of Government expenditure and leaving more of people's earnings in their own hands), and to release the energy and ability of our population by freeing their activities from the restrictions of our domineering, bureaucratic machine.

First, we want to free our monetary system by adopting a free exchange rate and to permit ail exporters to make their own arrangements with the overseas currency they earn instead of having it confiscated and controlled by Government officials. This freedom is fundamental to a successful trading nation, as we all hope to be, all the time.

Next, we want Government stripped of the power to direct the savings into its own agencies or into favoured monopoly projects. These groups must be made to raise their finance competitively, just the same as everyone else has to in New Zealand.

The Country Party wants employment expanded and costs reduced by taxation reduction and taxation reform; by the total abolition of death and gift duties to stop the drain of working capital from our farms and business enterprises. We want a 10% reduction in all taxes, except health and superannuation charges, to leave more earnings in private hands and to enable better economic growth to come from the much higher economic growth productivity these people can obtain than comes from any State spending. We want the tax system completely reformed to removed the destruction of incentive and the wastage of resources involved in its operation today. First, by a change from the graduated scale to a flat percentage rate on all earnings and gradually have taxation concentrated on spending—not on earnings, savings and the means of production. We feel it is folly to tax people on what they put into society; their labour, their savings and their investments. Taxation should be confined to what they take out—that is, their personal spending.

At the same time, we must free our economy from the frustration and wastage of bureaucracy and protective monopoly. Our proposals are, first, to turn all possible Government agencies into self-supporting corporations, completely independent of Government. These must run on the same profit-and-loss basis as any other business, raise their own funds competitively and meet their own commitments. We visualise greatly improved productivity and a substantial reduction of Government expenditure from these changes. Two, it should reduce the need for much taxation, and help reduce the cost of production over many fields.

The Country Party pleads for people to enjoy the freedom to contract out of State health and superannuation schemes and to use their own money to arrange matters for themselves; thus to foster self-reliance and personal responsibility once again in New Zealand. We urge that parents be permitted freedom of responsibility for their children's education, without having to pay twice for such basic rights. Because Government has collected taxes from these parents that it is not spending on their children. Government has a moral obligation to return a per-pupil rebate to these people for their allocation to the school of their own choice: not state aid to private schools—merely honest, just and commonsense government.

Finally, ladies and gentleman, let us reform the political system itself. First, let us put the Party's name on the ballot paper, to simplify voting under today's conditions. Then, let us have a written constitution and an effective upper house in Parliament to safeguard our freedom, property and democracy itself. Let's remove the dictatorship of party politics over members of Parliament by abolishing the no confidence vote and allow free voting on all bills in Parliament. Let us preserve the sovereignty of electors between elections by strengthening the petitions system so that people can effectively challenge dubious legislation and overbearing regulations. Let us have proportional representation in Parliament based on votes, not on power politics.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Country Party knows full well that after thirty-five years of domineering bureaucracy many of our ideas seem impossible and seem revolutionary today. This happens because we in New Zealand have gone so far down the socialist road. At the end of this road is the tragedy of Czechoslovakia. All our proposals, ladies and gentlemen, are based on the well-proven principles of a free, prosperous and peaceful society. Mr Holyoake rightly claims New Zealand is at the crossroads. He has plunged us into expanding Government control under their national development plan. So that you may escape the dire consequences of this misguided decision, we offer you a genuine free enterprise choice in Country Party policy. Don't be afraid of freedom. Escape from the rat-race of party politics. Vote for sound principles this election and safeguard your future.

Thank you for listening to our ideas and goodnight to you all.