ACT New Zealand is a political party in New Zealand that espouses free market classical liberalism in the New Zealand Parliament. According to Template:As of party leader Rodney Hide, the party stands for 'individual freedom, personal responsibility, doing the best for our natural environment and for smaller, smarter government in its goals of a prosperous economy, a strong society, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world'.
The name comes from the initials of the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, out of which the party grew in 1993. The party is commonly known by the acronym 'ACT' and pronounced as to rhyme with 'fact', although internal image-makers push the phrase 'the ACT Party'.
- Policy objectives
- A prosperous, well-educated, healthy, and open society in which individuals are free to achieve their full potential
- A growing, dynamic, and open economy, in which individual choice is paramount
- Social policy that promotes and rewards hard work, enterprise, thrift, and personal responsibility
- A standard of living, and quality of life, that is the envy of the world.
ACT New Zealand Template:As of focuses on two main policy areas: taxation and crime. ACT advocates lowering tax rates and also supports something approaching a flat tax, in which tax rates would not be graduated based on wealth or income, so every taxpayer would pay the same proportion of their income in tax. The flat tax rate that ACT wants to target would be approximately 15%. The target being that there would be no tax on the first $25000 for those who opt out of Government accident, sickness and healthcare cover. Aligned to the lower tax proposal, ACT also wants to reduce or remove some Government programmes which it sees as unnecessary and wasteful and to increase self-reliance by encouraging individuals to take responsibility to pay for services traditionally paid for by Government.
Other policies ACT advocates include:
- Re-instating private prisons; allowing private firms to free up police for "Zero Tolerance" policing; speeding up courts
- welfare reforms similar to those instituted by the United States in the mid 1990s, based primarily on the reforms first undertaken in Wisconsin
- a greater spend on defence with closer strategic alliances with the United States of America, Australia and Great Britain.