National and United Future’s confidence and supply agreement is out.
Portfolios outside Cabinet:
Peter Dunne gets Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health.
Policy Concessions Include:
- Maintain the policy, research and advocacy role of the Families Commission whilst seeking to achieve administrative efficiencies between the operations of the Families Commission and the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
- Reducing elective surgery waiting lists by greater utilisation of private hospital capacity, in a planned way where this cannot be met by the public hospital system;
- Progressing the long-term medicines strategy for quality use of pharmaceuticals in the health sector, Medicines New Zealand, including the role Pharmac should play in that strategy.
- Support Public Private Partnerships for major roading infrastructure developments where these are deemed to be the preferred options regionally and nationally, such as the Transmission Gully highway.
- The government notes that United Future has been committed to income splitting as a key part of their tax policy and agrees to support appropriate legislation to First Reading in Parliament.
- Proceed with the establishment of a Big Game Hunting Council as part of a national wild game management strategy with a view to it becoming a statutory authority.
- And the government acknowledges United Future’s ongoing support and interest in the development of the Seniors’ Gold Card, the Community and Voluntary sector, and advancing the interests of the disability sector.
Most of it is the usual centrist stuff *sigh* but I will comment of the standouts.
The Families Commission was a dumb idea and it has been a dumb bureaucratic nanny-state money-gobbler, just like the Children’s Commission, ever since. So ugh! to that policy.
Income splitting is a positive move to lowering taxes but it adds complexity to the tax laws and does not benefit enough people. Lowering the top tax rates as the government are planning to to 30% would make the need for income splitting largely redundant.