Three bills were drawn from the ballot yesterday. They are:
Affordable Healthcare Bill by NZ First MP Barbara Stewart
The bill’s purpose is to encourage people to contribute to their own healthcare costs in a way that is consistent with supporting the public health system. It also makes health insurance a requirement for Parent Category visa applications. It proposes to require Parent Category migrants to have health insurance on arrival and to maintain it in New Zealand for 10 years; remove fringe benefit tax (FBT) from health insurance; and introduce the SuperGold health insurance premium rebate.
Electricity Industry (Small-Scale Renewable Distributed Generation) Amendment Bill by Green MP Gareth Hughes
This bill is intended to break down existing barriers and provide a fair regime for small-scale renewable electricity generators to encourage greater renewable distributed generation and to help New Zealand in meeting the goal of 90% renewable electricity by 2025.
Keep Kiwibank Bill by Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove
This purpose of this bill is to ensure that any proposal to partly or wholly privatise Kiwibank would require the support of 75% of all members of the House of Representatives or, alternatively, the support of a majority of voters in a referendum, in order to lawfully proceed.
Barbara Stewart’s bill has a mixture of good and bad. I think one can have a useful debate about who meets health costs of migrants who come in as parents of residents. Removing FBT from health insurance is a daft idea that will just lead to huge tax avoidance and the health premium rebate would be very costly to taxpayers. Overall I’d vote against this bill. If it was just the first part, I’d vote for it at first reading.
Gareth Hughes’ bill seems worth supporting at first reading. I’m not sure it will achieve a lot, but it looks like it could help solve a problem, without large unintended consequences. Not sure if it will be worth supporting all the way through, but at a minimum it deserves to go to select committee and have submissions on it. One of the more thoughtful opposition bills.
Clayton Cosgrove’s bill is a piece of ridiculous grandstanding that should be terminated on sight. It solves a non-existent problem with a constitutionally repugnant solution.