It’s that time of the year again – summer is officially here! With warmer weather comes a chance for everyone to enjoy a classic Kiwi summer, spend time with family and friends, and the opportunity to reflect on the past year.
2017 has been an eventful year, and I am looking forward to 2018 and continuing to work hard as your Member of Parliament for Pakuranga.
This has certainly been a dramatic year in politics, and a busy end of the year as Parliament was put into urgency to consider Labour’s mini-budget.
At the heart of the Government’s mini-budget was the removal of National’s tax cuts which were to come into force on April 1, 2018. These tax changes were required to ensure that the tax brackets kept pace with inflation and would have meant that those on the average wage would pay approximately $1000 less every year in tax.
Instead of providing tax relief to those on the average wage of approximately $50,000, this money has been put towards increased benefits, winter energy payments and paying for the first year of tertiary study for students.
Every dollar this Government spends comes from taxpayers like you and, in my view, should be respected, not wasted.
This week I also submitted my first member’s bill into the ballot. Every backbencher has the opportunity, if they choose, to submit one Member’s Bill.
My bill proposes to increase the penalties for those who supply illegal ‘Psychoactive Drugs’ from two years to eight years. This will align with the penalty for a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975.
Recently we have seen a large number of reported deaths due to illegal synthetic drugs and what my bill will do is ensure we can better protect the community and young people from these harmful drugs by cracking down on suppliers.
Suppliers of synthetic cannabis do so not only illegally, but with a callous indifference for the safety and well-being of those who purchase them. This is a serious offence and our laws should reflect that.
If you would like more information about my bill or you would like to discuss it with me, please feel free to get in touch with me Simeon.Brown@Parliament.govt.nz
As this is my last column for the year, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and a safe and relaxing summer! All the best for 2018!
MP for Pakuranga