Can you fix it: Embrace personal responsibility

Last updated 14:30 05/11/2012
UNDER PRESSURE: Embracing personal financial responsibility will help fix the economy.

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Our culture villainises the wealthy and the successful.

We love an underdog story - not because we like to see the little guy win but because we like to see the big guy fall. Look at our tax rates: The highest earners in our country pay 33 per cent, more than three times the lowest tax rate of 10.5 per cent.

Our excessive welfare and frivolous government spending is funded by the corporate robbery of our top entrepreneurs, manufacturers and innovators. The people who create jobs are being punished by virtue of their success, and it doesn't stop there. Excessively taxing the highest earners hurts job creation and wages, and that hurts the middle class.

And what does the overtaxing of the highest earners pay for? Welfare. Over $25 billion from the taxpayer went towards social welfare last year. Of that, nearly $10b went towards universal superannuation. And $1b dollars paid for unemployment benefits.

I, for one, am worried that 20 per cent of taxpayer funds goes to these programmes.

My solution, is easy:

First, go back to means-tested superannuation. Much like the unemployment benefit and the DPB, superannuation should be a safety net for those who have no other way to pay their bills, not something to feather the nests of the already wealthy.

Second, make KiwiSaver mandatory for all workers (with employers matching contributions) but remove government contributions.

As for the unemployment benefit, the onus is on the government here. Create jobs for these people, because they want to work. Drastically cut the maximum time on the benefit to three months, make all payments via payment card and only cover the basics of survival -- rent, food, clothing and power.

We should embrace personal fiscal responsibility and let taxpayer money fund projects that will benefit all New Zealanders.

Can you fix the economy? is an ongoing Stuff Nation assignment. To contribute hit the green button.

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