22 December 2005

Your taxes for Russia

Your taxes are going to help pay for Russia to destroy stockpiles of chemical weapons and decommission its last plutonium producing nuclear reactor. Yes it is only $1.3 million – but it is the principle. Anything wrong with the task itself? No - it is good that a semi-authoritarian state is getting its chemical weapons capability destroyed and will have reduced capacity to build more nuclear weapons. My question is - why do New Zealand taxpayers have to pay for it?

Does Russia not have enough money, with its enormous gas and oil companies worth billions, so it needs New Zealand taxpayers to help it develop a fossil fuel based power plant. Its GDP grew by over 7% in 2003 and will have grown around this much in the last year or so due to the high price of oil and gas. It has foreign exchange reserves of over US$73 billion, GDP per capita now at over US$10000 per annum. It really needs aid from NZ?

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