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Winston's Great TPPA Con Job
1 Nov 2018
Chris Leitch

Winston Peters can today celebrate how he got away with the greatest political con job in recent years.

With Australia having now signed the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement which triggers its formal activation, Peters, who was the most vocal critic of the deal while in opposition, can now, as Foreign Minister with all the baubles of office, oversee putting it into operation.

Thousands of New Zealanders will be kicking themselves for voting for NZ First at the last election on the promise the party would continue to campaign against the toxic deal if they got into parliament.

Their vote was reinforced by the private members bill the party promoted through its current deputy leader Fletcher Tabuteau which sought to ban both the TPPA and all further agreements of its type.

They must be choking to hear Trade Minister David Parker make the preposterous claim that the deal “has benefits that will spread throughout the economy to every person in New Zealand from the factory floor to the farm owner”.

The underwhelming benefit of $200 million in tariffs that would supposedly be saved each year equates to the enormous sum of 81 cents per week if it were distributed to every person in New Zealand, which it won’t be.

Even the “estimated” $3 billion a year in GDP benefit in 10 years time would make Kiwis better off by just $12.14 per week it they got it, but in reality, the largest share of it will go to the overseas corporations that already own nearly half the country’s biggest businesses.

That pales in insignificance when compared to the benefit all Kiwis would gain from the investment back into the country of the $6 billion every year the government currently pays in interest to mostly foreign owned financial institutions who fund its borrowing.

The government could instead use the central bank (Reserve Bank) to access the funds it needs, as Japan is doing, using that wasted interest to fund major investment in health, education, housing, and infrastructure projects – a solution that was implemented by the government in the 1930’s.

Social Credit would not compromise on restoring New Zealand’s sovereignty over its own affairs should it be in any position such as Winston Peters found himself just 12 months ago.

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