Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Perk and Income New Zealand...Corporate welfare.

Richard Mays's said: Peter, this is one of the best NZ-written satires I have come across - from the Dom-Post on Monday October 10. Enjoy. I agree and I’ll share it…thanks Peter W.

“I can't understand why Labour complains so loudly about John Key hosting a talkback hour on private radio. As well as giving Mr Key some much-needed elocution practice (or, as he says, "pricktuss), his session enabled Radio Live to show its gratitude for the $40-plus million loan private radio received from the state. When Helen Clark opened a work-skills scheme she was photographed with grateful welfare beneficiaries, so why can't private beneficiaries show gratitude?

The Left must accept that, in a country where two credit agencies have downgraded us, where the sharemarket seems munted, where a recent survey showed we have some of the worst managers in the world, a corporate welfare safety net is essential.

If the Government didn't subsidise the large inefficient private part of our no-growth economy, then it would collapse. The reality is that commercial radio simply can't survive in a commercial environment, so needs a state lifeline to top up its meager income. It's the same with our banking, insurance and finance companies. New Zealand has an exciting new generation of financial experts who simply couldn't exist without the generous government payouts, as Treasury's recent $13m handout to consultants showed.

Selling state assets will also be excellent corporate welfare. No-one is investing in the sharemarket at present. The artificially high returns gained from selling state assets will revitalise the private sector and greatly help corporate mums and dads in the short term.

Working for Families is another superb piece of corporate welfare, which I rate as highly as the Warner Brother’s emergency benefit and The Lord of the Rings accommodation supplement. The beauty of Working for Families is that the Government supplements the meagre incomes of those who work for those lacklustre companies who can't afford to pay a decent wage. In a brilliant piece of social engineering, it makes middle-class families upper middle class, and enables them to buy essentials such as huge flat- screen televisions. Without it, skilled workers would leave their badly paid jobs and join the exodus to Australia.

New Zealand has a proud history of corporate welfare. Though the 1935 Labour government is best remembered for social security, its housing policy enabled businesses that scored government contracts, such as Fletchers, to build state houses and prosper.

In these tough times, many left- wing commentators are engaging in corporate beneficiary bashing. But I have a lot of sympathy for this burgeoning overclass. Some CEOs are third-generation corporate-welfare recipients. Their grandfathers received generous state payouts under Muldoon's export incentive scheme, their fathers profited from the massive tax cuts that Roger Douglas introduced for the wealthy, and they themselves have benefited from the raft of corporate handouts that this and the previous government have introduced. If these CEOs were thrown on to a true level playing field, it would be like Georgia versus the All Blacks.

No-one mentions the ethnic aspect, though, and anyone who does is unfairly labelled a racist. Though they make up less than 80 per cent of the population, Pakeha are overly represented in corporate welfare statistics. In the entire SCF and AMI insurance fiasco, can you think of a single Maori businessperson asking for a handout? Sadly, most Pakeha blame external factors such as the overseas financial crisis.

Thankfully, corporate welfare provides a much-needed safety net so that lacklustre firms can continue to employ large numbers of people on low wages. To ensure its "Picking Losers" policy continues, the Government needs to establish a PINZ agency (Perk and Income New Zealand) to administer more handouts to the private sector. Steven Joyce would make an excellent minister.

I trust the Government will take my suggestions seriously and appoint me to a highly paid corporate welfare taskforce, then promise to bail me out if I overextend my mortgage, or buy a soccer team.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Dom now and then hits the nail on the head.