How to fix the economy? Get rid of bureaucracy

Last updated 05:00 15/10/2012
HELPING THE ECONOMY: The Government has a major role to play in fixing the economy, writes Alan Wilkinson.

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We asked you how to fix the economy and were flooded with responses. We'll be running these in the coming days. To contribute to the debate hit the green button below.

The Government has a major role to play in fixing the economy - to allow New Zealanders' skills and enterprise to work their magic unfettered by bureaucratic obstacles.

The role of local government should be limited to providing necessary infrastructure and ensuring the health and safety of citizens. That would see a massive curtailment of the building and planning bureaucracies.

Environmental constraints should, as far as possible beyond health and safety regulations, be implemented as tradeable property rights. That will eliminate another massive chunk of bureaucracy since most developments will require only a direct negotiation between neighbours rather than endless litigation. Those adversely affected will negotiate acceptable monetary compensation instead of simply being left losers.

Employment law should be also severely curtailed, again to protect health and safety but to allow free negotiation of payments and conditions. The law should protect workers principally via enforcement of informed and fair contractual agreements.

As far as possible provision of services and infrastructure should be turned over to private enterprise to construct and manage. This includes education which should be funded by direct Government entitlement grants to students via their parents to allow them free choice of providers.

Immigration should be opened to all who are of good character and willing to work hard and support themselves. An annual quota should be maintained part of which should be auctioned and the majority balloted.

Their should be special tax incentives to encourage overseas business owners to take up residence in New Zealand. Also wealthy retired overseas people should be enabled and encouraged to spend a large part of the year living here. The ridiculous three month annual limit should be abolished as it is entirely counter-productive.

That would be a great start.

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