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Money for war but not for nurses

08 June 2021

by Chris Leitch, Leader

If America declared war on China and called on New Zealand to assist, the government would immediately find the money necessary to provide the guns, bullets and other equipment our armed forces required.

If we were at war, there would be no limit to the money made available to kill people.

So how is it they can't find the funds to ensure doctors and nurses can save lives! 

For the Prime Minister to claim that there is no money to increase the offer to nurses is patently untrue.

The government has in excess of $40 billion dollars sitting in an account at the Reserve Bank that it has already borrowed at incredibly low interest and is not committed for anything.

It could use a tiny proportion of that, or it could use the capacity of the Reserve Bank to create the funding needed for DHB’s to pay nurses what they’re worth if it chose to do so.

The Reserve Bank has already created around $70 billion in the last twelve months so there is nothing stopping them creating the credit to pay nurses and doctors.

An International Monetary Fund report recommends the government should source funding from the Reserve Bank, which it owns, at no interest.

The Treasury and the Reserve Bank jointly presented an ‘aide-memoire’, titled “Quantitative Easing and Monetary Financing Compared”, to the Minister of Finance back in May 2020.

The report says that Monetary Financing could be used to “meet specific funding needs of the Government at lower cost and with greater certainty than QE (Quantitative Easing – buying bonds on the secondary market)”.

Monetary Financing means using money creation by the Reserve Bank, which the government owns, to finance government spending.

If the Prime Minister really wants “to foster a kinder, more caring society” it’s time to put her money where her mouth is.

That means putting a world class health care system for the elderly, the sick and the injured, at the top of the priority list so that doctors, nurses, other public health workers are able to play their part in creating that “caring society”.

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