Out of laws, out of ideas

I think there is no better example of how this third term Government has no vision, no leadership and is really just drifting than the current legislative agenda.

At the conclusion of Parliament on Thursday, there are only 13 government bills left on the order paper. And of those 13, only five are actual bills the Government is ready to advance with. The others are stalled waiting for some inquiry or review. So the only five bills left for Parliament are:

Fisheries Act 1996 Amendment Bill
Disabled Persons Employment Promotion (Repeal and Related Matters) Bill
Immigration Advisers Licensing Bill
Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill (No 2)
Appropriation (2005/06 Financial Review) Bill

Two of the bills are 2.5 years old, two are standard adjustment bills. In fact only one bill at all is what you would call fresh.

No Right Turn has also noted this lack of legislative agenda. Unlike NRT, I don’t think you can blame it on Labour being a minority government reliant on NZ First and United Future.

Labour, as a party of the left, sees spending as the solution to almost everything. They are genuinely surprised when after spending an extra $20 billion, the world is not perfect. Their instinctive response to any problem is to throw money at it. So they don’t tend to have many ideas apart from opposing the right, and spending money.

Parties of the right have a healthy scepticism over the ability of the state to do everything. While they will increase funding, they are more likely to also look at can we reform the system to make it better. Can we get better outcomes by doing it differently?

Labour really does have no agenda. Every years it invents a new buzz word or phrase. We started with Top half of OECD and they dropped that. We then had closing the gaps, and they dropped that. The current spin driven phrase is sustainability, despite seven years of no policy. It’s not an agenda, it’s a brand.

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