Today the Greens have oral question number 11 in the House and it will be coming from Sue Bradford to the Minister for Racing:
Why is the Government putting 9 million dollars into high-stakes racing in this week’s budget, given that in 2006 the racing industry received a tax windfall worth approximately 32 million dollars a year?
From a quick search of the Parliamentary website I think this will be the first oral question the Minister of Racing has answered in Parliament this term.
“He appears committed to doing everything possible to help those in the racing world who already have the most – the wealthiest and most successful breeders, trainers and owners…
“Winston Peters already succeeded two years ago in securing duty relief of around $32 million for racing, of which around $18 million was directed towards stakes.
“On top of this, racing is now getting $22 million a year in pokie funding, much of which is going towards stakes, including naming rights on major races. This is money torn from some of the poorest people and communities in New Zealand and redistributed to some of the richest.
The Herald has included the $9 million on Labour’s Porkometer tally (and presumably it will also fit on New Zealand First’s Porkometer if the Herald gives it one too). Perhaps this stakes money is all meant to be placatory pork, given the racing industry’s antipathy towards Labour last election as outlined in The Hollow Men.
Photo Credit: jesstherese, recording the Palmerston North Boxing Day Races, which are unlikely to be picking up much of the $9 million stake.