Home > The Body Politic > Letter to the editor – Joyce, TPPA, and wine exports

Letter to the editor – Joyce, TPPA, and wine exports

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Listener <letters@listener.co.nz>
date: Thu, Oct 8, 2015
subject: Letter to the editor

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The editor
The Listener

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As National ministers go all-out to extol the virtues of the TPPA (whilst studiously looking the other way and ignoring any nasty surprise fish-hooks), Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce added his five cents worth.

On 6 October, speaking on TV3, Joyce gushed like a school boy on a class outing;

“The meat industry, the fruit industry, the wine industry, the forestry industry, the manufacturing industry – all of these get the benefits.”

The wine industry?

According to Peter Howland’s book, “Social, Cultural and Economic Impacts of Wine in New Zealand”, more than 80% of this country’s wine production is now foreign-owned.

Which means that up to 80% of profits could flow back to off-shore investors and end up in overseas bank accounts.

How does that benefit New Zealand?

What was the purpose of the TPPA – to maximise profits for foreign investors? Is that our role now?

I am reminded of something that our esteemed Prime Minister said about foreign ownership of our land-based production;

“I’d hate to see New Zealanders as tenants in their own country…”

Meanwhile, as foreign owners of our wine industry benefit, it is only a matter of time before the price of pharmaceuticals begin to rise in New Zealand.

Key has promised that the cost of medicines subsidised by Pharmac will not increase to consumers, but that increased costs will be met by government.

But where does government get its money from? Answer: taxpayers.

So whether as consumers or taxpayers, one way or another, we will end up paying for higher prescription charges.

We should also not forget that in 2012 National increased the cost of Pharmac-subsidised medicines from $3 to $5 – a move which impacted on low-income families and the chronically sick.

The rationale for increasing prescription charges? To offset a rise in other health costs, according to then-Health Minister, Tony Ryall.

Remember also that not all medicines are subsidised by Pharmac. Many New Zealanders are about to get a nasty shock at their local Chemists.

Any bets when the TPPA will increase the cost of our medicines?

And how long before Key flip-flops again on his assurance that the cost of medicines will not rise?

Our esteemed Prime Minister has a long track record of saying one thing, and later doing the complete polar-opposite.

But at least foreign owners of our wine production will be happy. Cheers!

-Frank Macskasy

 

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[address & phone number supplied]

Acknowledgement for info on wine-production ownership: E-clectic

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References

Fairfax media: No increased medicine costs under TPPA

Fairfax media: How the land lies in foreign hands

NZ Herald:  PM warns against Kiwis becoming ‘tenants’

Fairfax media:  Prescription cost to rise to help pay for Budget

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