Duncan Garner: What the PM should've said during her speech to businesses

Opinion 08/02/2019

By Duncan Garner, The AM Show host

OPINON: Jacinda Ardern made a scene-setting speech to business on Friday, so Iet me tell you what I would've said if I was the Prime Minister.

Let me be clear you WON'T hear this from her, because Labour is deaf, it believes it can create better lives through its misguided intentions around fairness.

Anyway here goes"

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to lift people up, not pull them back. So I promise to not drag one person back by increasing income and property taxes.

We grab enough tax as it is, last year we taxed you $3 billion more than we had to - for that I feel guilty. It's your money. I will resign before I lift taxes.

I'm taking the capital gains tax off the agenda, New Zealanders don't want it, it's too complex, it doesn't create growth, it only creates uncertainty and we need investment, not barriers and walls.

As Kirk Hope confirmed just this morning on The AM Show, yes the working group designed and recommended a capital gains tax, but not everyone on the group agreed.

I acknowledge the previous Government who delivered us a pumping economy and surpluses to spend.

That's the problem, it is unpopular, and so I repeat there will be no new taxes. I can run the country with what we have. I've thanked the tax working group and sent them home for good.

This $100 million for Māori land owners to develop land they can't even bring themselves to pay rates on because it's largely useless, well that's off. I told Shane Jones: "stick it mate".

That's now going to Pharmac for an annual fund to help sick Kiwis access drugs that Pharmac stupidly doesn't buy. I will get a panel to review Pharmac and report back to me.

I can no longer defend the model, it's not fit for purpose in these incredible times where medical research is offering the world so much hope yet we look like a banana republic.

I acknowledge as a result of our current settings or policies New Zealanders are dying before they have to and way before the rest of the world.

That to me is criminal. This will save lives. I pledge to do all I can to give Kiwis families hope, like Elizabeth White's mum or like Wiki Mulholland from Palmerston North.

I won't fold to the wage demands of teachers, but too many teachers leave after five years. So if you're a teacher and stay in the industry after seven years we will pay you a $2000 bonus each year you remain in the classroom.

Starting salaries aren't the issue, it's the fact you can't earn more than $70,000 after seven years.

So with this bonus system teachers will earn $120,000 plus for making it their long-term career. Now call off your strikes or this offer is off the table.

I'm not perfect, I admit at times this job is overwhelming, I acknowledge the previous Government who delivered us a pumping economy and surpluses to spend.

There's so much I don't know but I've listened because you know what works, let's go and make us even greater. Thank you.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show, weekdays on Magic Talk, Three, and Newshub.