A few days ago we commented on how Wilson Parking, which is chaired by a billionaire Hong Kong property developer, "received $3.1 million in government wage subsidies in the past year at the same time as profit increased 43 per cent to $16.7 million".
Now it has been reported that "$1 of every $20 of new Government spending in the [2020-21 NZ] Budget was set aside for film subsidies, which are uncapped .... A substantial portion of the money this year will go to companies owned by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, who is behind the latest Lord of the Rings adaptation ... The grant scheme has run massively over the budget ... In the 2017 budget the scheme was given $55m a year for the years 2017-2021. But by 2019, the scheme already required topping up. An extra $155m was approved for the rest of that year. This year, the Government approved a further $206m.
It is not ultimately possible to address poverty and inequality in NZ when such vast subsidies are being paid by the poor to support the rich. Governments which react by trying to take money back from the rich to help the poor end up introducing so many tax and transfer schemes that the complexity becomes overwhelming. Along with a former Kiwi Finance Minister, I wrote a plan that would eliminate payments to the wealthy, which we refer to as "privilege", and instead use the proceeds to fund mandatory savings accounts. These accounts are designed to especially help low income folks by providing them with more funds to pay for their medical bills, support themselves in retirement and provide security should they fall unemployed.