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Creative ideas to boost the blown budget
When governments run short of money, politicians become creative. It usually means either cutting back on something in order to save money, or finding new sources of income to boost the budget. The latter can be achieved by raising existing or inventing new taxes, or coming up with entirely new ideas how to attract money.

The New Zealand government does not disappoint with regard to thinking up new income-generating sources. However, some of their ideas may appear morally questionable.

Two of their latest moves to sweep in more money were aimed at the retired. Maybe with regard to one idea senior citizens were deemed the weakest link in the line of defence, but have proven to be strong enough to avert the intended cut-back: free off-peak travel for SuperGold Card holders. The other idea, two new INZ retirement visa categories that come in two flavours, aims at those retirees not yet in the country and has yet to prove whether it serves its purpose.

The new immigration policies, which took effect on 29 March 2010, are the Temporary Retirement Category and the Parent Retirement Category. Both are neither a nice gesture towards the adventurous elderly nor a friendly act towards younger family members already settled in New Zealand and wanting to be reunited with their parents. Both aim at increasing investment and stimulating the New Zealand economy. How well these policies will work to attract the money – and willy-nilly also those elderly people it belongs to – into the country remains to be seen.