26 January 2006

Government to millionaires: here's more taxpayers' cash!

You might think that government would concentrate on doing the things that only a government can do: eradicate poverty, supply public services like law and order, defence...that sort of thing. But such matters are hardly very glamorous so government also wants to be an investment company, and we get grotesque stories like this, from New Zealand:

Director Peter Jackson's blockbuster King Kong has devoured at least $25 million of taxpayers' money from a government scheme to encourage big-budget movies. ...
Government is good at taking money from small businesses and ordinary people. But when it comes to dishing it out it's that familiar story...big is beautiful:

... The [New Zealand] Government's large budget production grant offers a rebate of 12.5 per cent of costs incurred in New Zealand. But it is available only to movies with a budget of more than $50 million, or to movies that cost between $15 million and $50 million if 70 per cent of their budget is spent here.

Once again, government extracts taxes from small businesses and ordinary working people, to pay for its own programmes and subsidise big business. If the New Zealand Labour Party had stood on a manifesto of subsidising the rich I'd have no objection to this policy. But you will not find this principle anywhere stated on its website. Bill Clinton's campaign advisor once said "politics is show business for ugly people". By trying to ingratiate themselves with the beautiful people using tax revenue, this New Zealand Government has revealed its distinctly ugly side.

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