Public funds for disaster relief are a disgrace

The government must take seriously the financial support it is providing to areas of the country hard hit by last week’s storms.

The support he provided to those affected by the floods in Ashburton was abysmal, especially compared to the money given in Covid wage support to dozens of large companies who did not need it, and the 572,000 $ he paid for a playground in parliament grounds.

Major infrastructure rebuilding is needed and councils do not have the funds available to undertake the necessary work.

Funds are also needed to get people and businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible and put in place stop banks and other measures to minimize the likelihood of a repeat flood.

An initial non-reimbursable fund of at least $20 million is to be provided for each of the hardest hit regions – Northland and Nelson/Tasman.

The government was able to find the money easily by tapping into the capacity of its own bank – the Reserve Bank – which has proven to provide funding when needed, creating more than $60 billion over the past few years. last two years for covid recovery.

Unfortunately, much of that $60 billion has been spent on asset speculation, driving up house prices insanely and therefore fueling inflation, rather than directly to the government.

Disaster relief money could instead be credited directly to the government’s account in the bank, as recommended to Finance Minister Grant Robertson in a memorandum drafted by the Treasury and the Reserve Bank in May 2020 .

The Government should also review what it has provided to residents, farmers, businesses and councils in Ashburton and the Buller District and increase it significantly.

The likelihood of many more of these events is becoming apparent, so the government must arrange funding for them now.

The “we have no money” mantra no longer holds, as the actions of the Reserve Bank over the past two years conclusively prove.

Chris Leitch leads the Social Credit party.

© Scoop Media

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