Opinion - Kerry Neal
THE FUTURE NEEDS TOUGH DECISIONS
by Kerry Neal, Nelson
Following are suggestions as requested in the 20 June issue of the Nelson Mail.
If New Zealand is to survive as an exporting nation, everyone will have to unreservedly accept that costs must come down.
Before the introduction of PAYE in the 1960’s, workers were paid by cheque and the only complication was the extraction and recording of 8c in the dollar social security tax. Since then there has been an avalanche of overheads to the point that even New Zealand’s iconic businesses are suffering to the point of extinction.
All the crushing overheads associated with employment and business operation have done nothing to improve efficiency – all they have done is allow State and Local Government to expand and consume like a bushfire. This is not to say that a good basic bureaucracy is not necessary - society would collapse without it.
So what do we do?
- Support those that are calling for an international currency.
- Eliminate the trading in currencies so that exporters can have confidence.
- Set a stable rate for borrowing money.
- Eliminate the archaic auction system and accept that the true value of an item is the cost of production.
- Restrict the valuation industry to the terms set out in item 4.
- Ban State sponsored activities from accumulating funds which are created by excessive levies and charges e.g. ACC, superannuation etc. and return to general annual taxation. The 5 billion lost recently from the superannuation fund would be quite handy now.
- Ban state and local government from competing with the private sector in business ventures. The private sector cannot compete with the privileges and certainty of employment that the state has been able to provide. Remember who funds the state!
- The RMA must be made prescriptive. At present it is open to interpretation by administrators, consequently huge amounts of time and money are being wasted while factions argue points and New Zealand will never compete with Australia while we are compelled to consider the Treaty of Waitangi with every attempt to create employment.
- Charge-out rates in all commercial sectors, especially law practitioners, accountants and consultants need to take into account their respective financial and physical risks. The initiators of projects, and consequently employment, can no longer afford to employ the above-mentioned professionals at the rates they command.
- Government must immediately instruct local government to strike nil rates increases. Local government cannot use inflation as an argument – there is none. At the same time, legislate them out of things they should never have been allowed to get into at the expense, and in some cases demise, of rate and tax payers e.g. the Ellerslie Flower Show, the Beckham football game, WOW, Lyttelton marina and numerous other failed commercial ventures.
- Housing: The Building Code is far too complex and costly for what the benefits are. Since 1973 we have witnessed a gradual deterioration in durability, primarily due to issues surrounding insulation. The net result is a very scary environment for small builders and it affects their confidence to employ people.
- Land agent charges are way out of proportion compared to what the provider (contractor) gets for their considerable effort working from the boot of the car. If an acceptable rate for selling things means working from home, so be it. In this day and age that scenario is well within the realm of possibility.
- New Zealand’s first priority is the job security of its citizens, therefore it must immediately cease the immigrant working policy and where possible ensure that those without good reason for being in New Zealand are returned to their place of origin.
- Immediately action roading projects that are efficient and, above all, safe.
- Immediately action appropriate energy projects
- Discard the anachronistic anti-nuclear legislation and welcome our traditional guardians back to New Zealand ports. Alongside the energy trade, it is conceivable that New Zealand could have a major naval ship-repairing business employing many people if we shed old world fears.
- To avoid civil unrest globally, drastic measures will have to be taken to keep people gainfully employed – New Zealand is not immune.
- We have a better chance to survive if we think the unthinkable.
This opinion piece was first forwarded to your paper, as requested, in 2008. Nothing has changed.
Kerry C Neal
Neals Building Services (Nelson) Ltd
PO Box 235, Nelson
Ph: 545 1709: Mob: 0274 454 606
20 June 2012