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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the appointment of Hon Stuart Nash as Minister for Economic and Regional Development.Union spokesman Jordan Williams says, “This appointment will give Stuart Nash veto powers over significant taxpayer-funded handouts for private businesses. We’re optimistic he’ll use this powers: in his 2014 foreword to a report we produced on corporate welfare, Mr Nash outlined his scepticism of such handouts.”

I have, however, never believed in providing government grants to businesses that should be able to raise money from the market. In fact, by giving out taxpayer money to companies that have the ability to raise capital from either public markets or private investors, one could argue that the government is having a negative impact on the growth of our rather shallow capital markets. This report suggests that a significant amount of the tax we pay is being channelled into corporate welfare. How is this fair to the thousands of small businesses which are the backbone of our economy? And is it really the best use of scarce resources at a time of record government debt? I personally don’t believe it is.

“Stuart Nash now has the chance to end the culture of unfair, wasteful corporate welfarism that arose under the previous National Government and continued in the first term of the current Government due to the influence of New Zealand First.”Regarding other Ministerial appointments announced by the Prime Minister today, Mr Williams says:“It’s strange that even with Winston Peters gone, taxpayers are still forking out for a Racing Minister. This was Ardern’s chance to abolish a redundant, industry-captured bauble of office. Instead, she’s handed the portfolio to Grant Robertson, who we are reliably informed is the first Minister of Racing to have never ridden a horse.”“It is very interesting to see the Prime Minister step back from her beloved position as Minister of Arts, Culture, and Heritage to an associate role. We cannot help but wonder if this is a way of distancing herself from the bizarre taxpayer-funded arts grants we exposed from Creative NZ’s COVID-19 response.”