Thursday, 23 August 2018

MMP Horse Trading

Occasionally Canadian politicians and pundits get excited about electoral reform and some will point to MMP. 

Here's what MMP coalition politics currently looks like. New Zealand First got just over 7% of the vote and 9 seats.
New Zealand First's loyalty to the racing industry has galloped beyond tax breaks for good-looking race horses to include several all-weather race tracks for the industry.

Racing Minister Winston Peters secured a tax change in the Budget this year to allow new investors to claim deductions for the cost of horses based on the "virtue of its bloodlines, looks and racing potential''.

It's now been revealed $30 million of contingency funding in the Provincial Growth Fund has been earmarked for the coalition government pet projects and the racing industry is set to benefit.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said the money set aside is at the upper limit of what he expects will be needed.

The projects, which include a Dunedin centre of digital excellence, the Te Hiku Sports Hub in Kaitaia and several all-weather tracks for the horse racing industry, all came out of coalition talks between Labour and NZ First.

Cabinet has effectively already approved them and while final costings are yet to be done, the provincial growth fund will stump up the cash.

"These projects can be seen as a coalition dividend, the origins go back to the formation of the government. And now that they're moving through the machinery of government I can assure everyone that they'll be treated in a robust and thorough manner by the officials.''
Politics always involves horsetrading...

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