Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spending Taxpayer Dollars on America's Cup is Immoral [UPDATE]

I have followed the fortunes of Emirates Team New Zealand in their bid for America's Cup with mild interest.  At the time of writing, the match score is 8-8, so I don't know whether we have won or lost it.  Oracle Team USA has staged a remarkable comeback from being 6-1 down after the first week of racing and whoever wins the next race will take the trophy.

I don't care very much who wins but I do care that $36 million of New Zealand taxpayers' money has gone to fund this sporting equivalent of tilting at windmills.  The argument that it will benefit New Zealand greatly in terms of tourism and other economic activity is dubious at best and, in any event, does not justify the government using money it has extorted from hardworking New Zealanders on such a frivolous cause.  It is hard enough to accept one's taxes going as involuntary contributions to "worthy" causes such as health and welfare, but seeing them go to a bloody yacht race is outrageous.  Who the hell do the Prime Minister and Finance Minister think they are taking money off low income earners who might be struggling to pay their winter heating bills at this time to spend it on what is a billionaires folly?

Even if we win the Cup (perhaps especially if we win it), this disgraceful abuse of taxpayers' goodwill should end.

UPDATE: Having lost the Cup in this morning's final race, Team NZ head Grant Dalton casts doubt on whether New Zealand will mount another campaign.  However, that hasn't stopped our Prime Minister, John Key saying it is likely he will continue to spend taxpayers' money on this folly.  He goes on to say "New Zealanders work hard to pay their taxes and they expect the Government to be serious and careful about the way they spend their money." If only.

UPDATE2: One final comment - I have lambasted the New Zealand media in the past and in particular the worst offender - the Fairfax Group newspapers such as The Dominion Post and its website Stuff. This morning Fairfax Group plumbed the depths with their "Choke on This Team New Zealand" headline.  I would urge anyone reading this who subscribes to Fairfax Group publications to cancel their subscription immediately. They do not deserve your business.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Not a cent more should be thrown down the crapper at this nonsense. Key needs to pull his head in and stop throwing *OUR* money around like confetti.