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Gov't should wipe all DHB slates clean

02 October 2020

by Chris Leitch, Leader

The government’s decision to write off the debt for the Canterbury District Health Board has been applauded by Social Credit Party Leader, Chris Leitch.
It is what we called for at the end of August.
The crisis at the Canterbury District Health Board highlights the stupidity of health boards being in debt to the government and requiring them to pay a 6 per cent capital charge for the land and buildings hospitals occupy.
The capital charge is currently twenty four times higher than the official cash rate of 0.25 per cent. 
What the government needs to do now is immediately wipe the slate clean for all District Health Boards and scrap the capital charge.
Then they can focus their attention on how to deliver high quality health services for the people in the area, not how they're going to cut services in order to pay back a fictitious debt caused by under-funding in the first place.
While the problem may not be of the Labour Coalition government’s making, it is one that they could solve in a matter of minutes.
Any shortfall in government revenue that writing off those debts might bring about could be easily filled by using some of the $100 billion dollars the Reserve Bank is creating at present.
It should not be money extracted out of what taxpayers remit to the government, which is supposed to be spent on health, education and other services in the first place.
The DHB debts are effectively government owing money to itself so writing them off and getting replacement money from itself at zero interest via the Reserve Bank is an eminently sensible proposition.
Social Credit would dramatically increase health funding by an additional $4 billion every year (See ‘Reclaim Our Future’ financial policy document)

“The government can borrow from the Reserve Bank. To be technical, it’s literally borrowing from itself. We should not close off any [options] just because somebody told us 30 years ago that it was bad.”

- Ganesh Nana, Senior Economist and Research Director of BERL

- Radio NZ Morning Report
- 16.04.20.

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