Dec 24, 2007

Where All That Tax Is Going

In a post yesterday David Farrar on Kiwiblog draws attention to a think piece carried the day before in the Sydney Morning Herald on the challenges faced by right of centre parties the world over, as parties of the left adopt similar economic policy settings.

One issue not canvassed in the article was the ability of parties of the left to spend money wisely - to focus on quality, not quantity.

There is a classic example in today's media, with the Ministry of Health revealing that its staff have increased 25% since 2003 and with the number of staff earning more than $100,000 increasing from 94 in 2002 to 194 in the latest financial year. This would not matter if we were seeing a commensurate improvement in the quality of health services. But as all New Zealanders know this is not the case. Most of the country's health boards are in crisis. Wellington's problems are perhaps the best known, but they are far from unique.

This is frankly a disgrace. Will the Labour-led Government do anything about it? We doubt it, indeed we predict that the response will be to allow the Ministry of Health to employ more people.