Taranaki pensioner needs next National Govt to curb spending

Mike Webber says government spending could be cut back.

Mike Webber says government spending could be cut back.

Inglewood pensioner Mike Webber is quietly confident National can form a Government and improve on its last three terms in power.

This following Saturday night's election results, which showed them in pole position to form a new government.

The retired rescue helicopter pilot remembers the four elections when he stood as a candidate for the Libertarianz​ Party in the New Plymouth electorate. The bigger parties with their bigger budgets overwhelmed his efforts.

Inglewood pensioner Mike Webber is hoping the new government will curb spending.

Inglewood pensioner Mike Webber is hoping the new government will curb spending.

"I follow politics pretty closely and from what I can see the country is going nowhere," said Webber.

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"The only way to get rid of poverty is to create wealth, and I don't see much of that happening."

With the latest election results less than 12 hours old and National in a strong position to win a fourth successive term, this time with Bill English as Prime Minister, the keen hunter just hopes there will be a halt to excess spending.

"In the short term I think the country will be better off with having National re-elected," he says.

"But any longer than the next three years we might be paying for their budget increases."

Webber is happy a National Government will be ready to carry through with an extra $12.6 billion to be spent on roads and urban rail through the country, as promised in its election campaign.

The new government intends to spend $10.5 billion on improving 10 major road routes, $1.7b on a city rail link, and $267m for an improved rail commuter network in Auckland and Wellington.

The incoming National Government has also earmarked $212 million for 16 road projects nationwide.

Taranaki's northern route across Mt Messenger will be among them.

But Webber has concerns the increased spending will compromise the economy.

"They increased spending in the last term to $80b, and now there is another $12b," Webber says.

"It will just make us all poorer."

Webber keeps pretty fit and doesn't have major health issues.

More elective surgeries, up to 200,000 promised, and increased funding to provide extra ambulance staff on call-outs, will ease concerns for those in Webber's age bracket requiring urgent care.

"I'm pretty healthy, but I worry if I have to go to the public system.

"I don't have any private insurance, and I'm only living on my super.

"It's a limited amount because it is pegged at 60 per cent of the average wage."

With National re-elected, Webber and his wife can look forward to an extra $13 a week promised to married couples on national superannuation.

But he is not wholly impressed.

"We just have to get away from half the taxpayer base paying for the other half to live," he says.

New Plymouth building surveyor Tony Wythe​ hopes the hospital waiting lists will be better managed by National.

"There are huge hospital waiting lists, and the government has to get the budgeting right, and not rely on kneejerk reactions," he says.

"A lot of people I know are glad the election is over, now they're looking to the future, and they want a fair crack of the whip."

 - Sunday Star Times


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