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National – pissing debt against a wall.

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, March 11th, 2014 - 77 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, national, same old national, treasury - Tags:

Of course it could be that John Key announced the election yesterday to divert attention from the press release from Treasury today.

The deficit was $637 million dollars bigger than expected. In fact it was more than double the expected size. Why? Well  mostly because of much smaller tax revenues than previously estimated. So much for the mythic recovery that National’s spinners have been pushing over xmas.

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Seven Months Ended 31 January 2014

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was in deficit by $1.1 billion, which was $637 million more than expected, mainly due to lower core Crown tax revenue across most tax types. This result was partially offset by lower core Crown expenses and higher returns from Crown Entities.

And of course it just gets better. Bill English, the master controller of debt, has failed once more. Who’d like to bet against actually achieving the surplus in 2014/5 that he has been promising since 2009. My bet is that it will recede at the horizon  into – umm when is the next election year? 2017/8. After all he has to put in election bribes this year.

Net debt was $631 million higher than forecast at $59.9 billion or 27.7% of GDP. This was primarily due to a higher than forecast residual cash deficit driven by lower than expected core Crown tax receipts and higher than expected operating payments. Delays in insurance proceeds being returned to the core Crown also contributed to the higher than forecast residual cash deficit.

Quite simply this government’s economic abilities appear to rival those of Muldoon. They keep raising debt and praying that the world will help them out. While they’re being helped by the sustained drag of Chin’s demand for milk powder, but even so they still can’t stop putting us further into debt. We just finished paying off the mountain of debt that National gave me back in the 1970’s and early 80s. Now the shifty party of crony business morons are trying to do it to another generation.

Being a typical National government, they’re dead lazy. Rather than going out and helping the companies who’d sustain us when the commodity boom to China dries up (as it will sooner rather than later), they prefer pissing debt against a wall waiting for “the market” to help them out. Where a Labour government would be trying to provide and environment for out young businesses to flourish and produce jobs, National does nothing.

About the only bright news is that the governments financial portfolio, things like the ACC and the Cullen fund are doing better than expected. Probably because they aren’t highly exposed to this governments dead hand on the economy.

Full release with chart and Financial Statementsmediareleasefsgnz7mthsjan14.pdf]

77 comments on “National – pissing debt against a wall.”

  1. karol 1

    I would like some financial/economic types to do some fact checking on the figures John Key was spinning in Question Time today. Key does this slippery con man act by reeling numbers off very fast, making it difficult to focus on any one of them – something to watch in election debates!

    This extract is just some of the figures Key was spinning in response to Cunliffe’s questions – more at the above link:

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : I think the word was “indicator”, but, yes, and we have official statistics that regularly measure those things. Last year average weekly wages went up by 2.8 percent, compared with inflation of 1.6 percent. The year before that, average weekly wages went up by 2.9 percent, compared with inflation of 0.9 percent. The New Zealand income survey shows that the median personal income from all sources went up by 2.7 percent in the last year and median household income went up by 4.1 percent. So although people’s circumstances are all different, it is very clear that, on average, cost of living increases have been quite modest and New Zealanders and their families have been getting ahead.

    • Bill 1.1

      Well, when somebody says ‘average weekly wages rose…’ rather than something like ‘on average, wages rose by’…then I start to wonder what it is they are referring to. Are we to take them literally and assume they referring to a rise in the average wage (worked from that $47k figure, or whatever it is) or just assume they ain’t constructing their sentences very well and are actually trying to refer to the average rise in wages?

      I believe the playing with language that goes on needs the same scrutiny as the numbers. But maybe that’s just me.

      • karol 1.1.1

        Well, maybe it’s also that the government is throwing out a lot of numbers – as part of the diversion that Lynn posted about.

        At Question Time today, Labour MPs made a number of points of order asking for Key and Ministers to be stopped and reprimanded for their overly long answers. Various ministers were at it, too – throwing out a load of numbers.

        Key repeated stats re-wage rises to Russel Norman.

        Nick Smith

        Steven Joyce

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          announce election date, stall like a farmers’ market at question time – Collins and their (as I think they are) laundromat dinners own goal has them playing defensively today.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.2

          Average but no median…

    • Jenny 1.2

      Well, for starters, he is using average weekly wages – which of course are pulled upwards by CEO-types on $1,000,000.00 plus salaries. He would give a better idea of what the central tendency actually is if he quoted the median. He uses the median for “income from all sources” in the NZIS – so that includes rent and returns on investments. He is betting on us being to dumb to no that they are different measures

      • Puddleglum 1.2.1

        Exactly.

        I think the general population would be thoroughly perplexed to know just how many ‘statistics’ there are on these sorts of matters and what each of them actually indicates.

    • Tracey 1.3

      Reliance on average not median… means smoke and mirrors galore.

  2. Sosoo 2

    Don’t worry. The media will calmly explain that this is just another of Cunliffe’s evil tricks.

  3. just saying 3

    It is time to scrutinise the way inflation is defined.
    Inflation on essential items has been much higher than inflation in prices of luxury or non-essential goods and services. Some of these have deflated in price. I’d like to see comparisons of inflation according to what particular income groups actually buy. The result would show dramatic inequality imo.

  4. Ant 4

    National are a classic example of the Kiwi management class, no long term vision, lots of feeble tinkering around the edges, lots of talk, no new ideas. The unfortunate thing is that the only ideas they do recycle are old and discredited.

    To make up for their lack of vision their time is spent fighting fires one by one, robbing Peter to pay Paul, and creating the right spin for the inevitable terrible results that are bound to follow.

    • Sosoo 4.1

      What do you expect?

      If you create a social model that rewards hyper-competitive aspirational monomaniacs (otherwise known as “meritocracy”), how can you be surprised when the people who end up running the show are a pack of pillocks?

  5. Ad 5

    This year I’d like Labour to launch a proper alternative budget – one that shows the shift in direction that the progressive side would take the country. I don’t want this election to be solely about the best slogan, happiest smile, and wittiest withering put-down.

    I’d like Labour to respond not inside Parliament as they usually do, but with a press conference outside Parliament – as the Budget speech is being read – that explains Labour’s approach to the Christchurch debt, Labour’s approach to the NZSuper fund allocations, Labour’s approach to balancing the projected amounts from a Capital Gains Tax and corresponding changes in income tax.

    I want David Cunliffe to tell us why he and his team are superior at handling the economy and the public finances – just as Helen Clark and Dr Michael Cullen did for 9 budgets in a row (except maybe the last one when things were generally going tits up).

    I don’t think this is the year for Business As Usual – I think it’s time for more stunts direct to tv.

  6. Seti 6

    “Well mostly because of much smaller tax revenues than previously estimated.”

    Perhaps it was less than forecast, although tax revenue was actually $2.37b or 4.9% higher than the same 7 month period last year. Pretty healthy growth.

    • lprent 6.1

      Yes, but these fools that you follow have been forecasting strong business growth next year for how many years? The problem is that I suspect most of the tax growth has just come from companies running out of accumulated losses As their mild return to profitability was from cutting costs and retrenchment.. It hasn’t come from either business or jobs growth.

      Guess what was required for any of the lazy National fools plans…

      • JM 6.1.1

        ‘You suspect’ but have absolutely no idea. I run a business in manufacturing and I can tell you that the last two years have been the best in the last 10. This is also true for many associate’s and the simple way to verify this is ask the transport companies they are the barometer to growth , but hey, don’t let any good news get in the way of your myopic red eye view.

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          I do have an idea. My family has been pretty much in manufacturing for the last 5 decades. Both my father and my sister made their profession as a manufacturing operations managers. While I used to run factories. While these days I write code for export and the company contracts out the manufacture of the hardware, I still keep an ear to the ground in quite a few production paces.

          Basically you appear to lack perspective, and by the sounds of it you’re a bit of an idiot. After all transport companies move around a lot more imports and raw materials for export than they do for any local manufacture. The daily pickup routes for milk alone probably exceed all of the manufactured goods movements.

          The Stats department is reporting manufacturing plateauing in revenue and jobs after a pretty disastrous drop after 2007. The number of manufacturers going out of business has finally diminished. But while there has finally been an upturn in sales revenue this year outside of the farming sector, it has pretty much only just in 2013 after 4 years of declines or static sales. Jobs are damn flat in manufacturing outside on the farm processing sector.

          But here. Improve yourself and read the stats…

          http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/manufacturing_and_production/EconomicSurveyofManufacturing_HOTPDec13qtr.aspx

          You’ll note that important statement looking at the rise compared to the year previously

          Sales (seasonally adjusted) for the December 2013 quarter compared with the September 2013 quarter.
          Volumes
          Total manufacturing rose 5.7 percent.
          Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales rose 0.9 percent.
          Meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 15 percent.

          Values
          Total manufacturing rose 6.3 percent.
          Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales rose 1.1 percent.
          Meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 18 percent.

          In other words outside the farm processing sector the rise in sales and volumes is minimal over the last year.

          Fuckall use to the rest of NZ eh? Minimal new jobs in doing minimal processing of farm products and raw logs. Manufacturing firms still not able to kill off those accumulated losses and therefore not paying taxes. Treasury fucking up their revenue models in the areas that pay taxes (farmers usually don’t) because they persist in seeing growth where none exists.

    • Which makes you wonder why the forecasts were so rosy.

    • Tracey 6.3

      Hasnt the tax take been lower than expexted for 3 to 4 months now?

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    It just makes me cringe thinking what could have been.

    We had a decade of surplus under Labour and we were the envy of every developed country in the world. Then in 2008 along came the crisis known as John Key and blew it all in a game of poker.

    Just for a second imagine how great and propserous this Nation would be if Labour had stayed in power in 2008 and continued to provide the surpluses it was renown for.

    • Wayne 7.1

      You must have forgotten the global financial crisis of late 2008 that pretty much lasted 3 years. Or did John Key singlehandedly organize that for the whole world, just to drive NZ into debt.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        He was certainly part of the clique that did drive the world into crisis.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Indeed. Merill Lynch was one of the Fed’s “primary dealers.” Aptly named, if I do say so myself.

        • (Not the) Voice of Reason 7.1.1.2

          [deleted]

          [lprent: Standard flame troll pattern with clear indications of identity jacking. Comments deleted and auto-spammed. ]

          • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1.2.1

            Just to avoid confusion, that Voice of Reason ain’t this Voice of Reason.

            • thatguynz 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Nor is he/she the voice of reason.. All they have demonstrated is a complete lack of knowledge about how the GFC came to be although they have correctly identified who the punters were that lost money. I’ll give you a hint VoR – it was a massive transfer of wealth from Main St to Wall St.. Go do some research.

          • Tracey 7.1.1.2.2

            I started laughing until I realised you believe this…

          • Dave_1924 7.1.1.2.3

            The GFC started due to poor banking practice – namely lending money to people who couldn’t repay it aka sub-prime loans, in the worlds most influencial market place. Then pooling those loan assets up into a new security and selling them on to other financial institutions all with a dollop of derivatives based on those securities. When the underlying economy gets the jitters the borrower via the sub-prime gets squeezed and that asset goes toxic i.e. loses value based on the underlying cash flows of repayments stopping. And that all flows up the chain via the pooled, packaged and on sold securities. Amplify that via derivatives and you have a huge mess.

            Who’s to blame for that?
            The Bankers for building and selling it
            The Banks, Insurance Companies, Super Funds etc. who bought the packaged Sub-Primes and thought they could hedge their exposure away via derivatives?
            The Politicians who enabled it via reformed banking legislation and via “encouraging” banks to lend to the sub-prime market to allow the less well off to live the American dream and buy a house of their own?
            The punters who borrowed money whilst having a poor credit history and insecure earning capacity?

            OR All of the above – I vote all of the above. And all of the above were driven by greed

      • Blue 7.1.2

        I’m pretty sure he organised a whole heap of tax cuts and corporate welfare for South Canterbury Finance.

      • Anne 7.1.3

        Well, that’s pretty much what you lot said about Helen Clark in 2008. She and Cullen were – apparently – “singlehandedly” responsible for the financial crisis which drove NZ into debt.

        Can’t have it both ways mate. If Key and English aren’t responsible then neither were their predecessors.

        Edit : just seen DTB’s comment. Ditto… Key certainly is part of the clique who put us all there in the first place!

      • karol 7.1.4

        That’s the spin line National MPs keep using in the House – they say the opposition thinks the GFC never happened.

        That’s totally wrong of course. The left remembers the GFC and what/who caused it. So we are wondering why National, & the global right, keeps using the same approaches that caused the GFC.

      • Jenny 7.1.5

        Not single-handedly but he was one of the the hands that caused it , yes.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.6

        Wayne,

        National has missed a once in a lifetime (or two) chance, courtesy of the GFC, to reorient the economy. It chose, instead, to sit on its hands and suck on the udder.

        It’s very reminiscent of the behaviour of CEOs who go for short-term share price inflation over long-term robustness because their ‘tenure’ at the top is fleeting and they just want to meet their KPIs (look good to electors) to collect the share bonuses (get re-elected).

        All that borrowing just to do ‘business as usual’ and satisfy what Matthew Hooton rightly calls the never-to-be-underestimated personal ambitiousness of John Key.

        • DS 7.1.6.1

          National is a conservative party. Sitting on its hands is what it does.

        • McFlock 7.1.6.2

          National has missed a once in a lifetime (or two) chance, courtesy of the GFC, to reorient the economy. It chose, instead, to sit on its hands and suck on the udder.

          Actually, it chose to use the GFC as an excuse to sell assets, some of which were built during previous recessions and depressions by smarter governments.

          The level of disgust this government deserves is astounding.

      • dave 7.1.7

        gfc is on going and still with us its a slow moving train wreak professor Steve keen said Govt. and public debt cant be separated they must be viewed as one and the same the result is a broken economy and a social disaster .

      • Tracey 7.1.8

        Is this a tpp thread?

    • dave 7.2

      what i worry about is what they are hiding 1984 comes to mind when Lange opened the books to a horror story history can repeat itself

      • thatguynz 7.2.1

        Agreed Dave. I’ve heard a number of rumours about an “off balance sheet” derivatives exposure for the govt (or Reserve Bank) that runs to hundreds of millions of dollars + but I haven’t seen any tangible proof.. yet.

  8. mickysavage 8

    This should hurt because National is going to run on the basis it is a sound financial manager and it will get the accounts back into credit as promised. If it fails to do so then this will be a significant failure. Hence the flag diversion …

    • Arfamo 8.1

      It should hurt, but given Key’s consistently high personal approval ratings and mastery of the art of telling people they are actually going to hell in such a charmingly dismissive and positive way many of them are looking forward to the trip, that remains to be seen.

      Opposition parties need to be all over the figures they’re tossing out, and they need to be able to articulate the plan to halt the debt madness.

    • Ad 8.2

      It will only hurt if Labour shows how much better they would be at it. Otherwise National will simply say: “No-one could have predicted the dual effects of recovering from the GFC, and Christchurch.”

      Irrespective of whether that’s true, it’s an excuse that will ring true in the public against any high principle of fiscal rectitude National might otherwise aspire to.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Where a Labour government would be trying to provide and environment for out young businesses to flourish and produce jobs, National does nothing.

    National aren’t doing nothing – they’re quite specifically selling us into debt-peonage.

  10. Sosoo 10

    So Prime News relegated this item to 20 minutes into its half hour broadcast, but supposed Cunliffe gaffes were a lead item.

    They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore.

    • risildowgtn 10.1

      Thats why their Facebook page is great to let them know and those others who read it , the truth … and its fun to see trolls hop madder and madder esp when using evidence and all they do is try and divert the threads… no such luck…..

  11. Ergo Robertina 11

    The economy’s a weakness for National, but where is Labour spelling out the alternative?
    Mr Cunliffe is often reported saying his Government can walk and chew gum at the same time, which I interpret as: balancing the books, while paying some more workers a living wage, and addressing NZ’s economic structural problems. This prevarication without spelling out priorities adds to the perception he says different things, to different audiences, with different emphases.
    Worryingly, on his Sunday Q and A interview, Mr Cunliffe cited a Harvard degree as particularly qualifying him to transform the economy. Hello – it’s not the 1990s any more; these institutions have no credibility .
    Being upfront about all this would help negate any public perception of him as arrogant.
    Labour is intellectually adrift. My sense that Mr Cunliffe had the ability to rectify the malaise is fading.

    • Bearded Git 11.1

      Don’t buy into the MSM’s slamming of Cunliffe-he is smart and will roast Key in the election debates.

      Of course Labour has a plan but they won’t release policy early, that is now, because Key will then steal it.

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    Why does everyone seem to be buying the BS that sound Government economic management = balancing the books or running a surplus?

    Such a strategy greatly increases austerity and private sector (household debt). It’s the worst thing that can be done to NZ during a time of major and ongoing current account deficits.

    • Arfamo 12.1

      Well, the problem is nobody in politics who can attract the attention of the media and the public seems to be articulating this point at every opportunity. I haven’t seen it being made on Q&A, or The Nation, nor even in The House for that matter.

  13. feijoa 13

    Sorry, maybe I’m stupid, but if the average wage is going up , etc, etc then, ahem, how come tax revenue is going down???

    • Arfamo 13.1

      That’s a very good question. Has any opposition politician been asking the government or the media this?

      • karol 13.1.1

        Here it is said that for the March 2012 year, the average wage rose by 3.8%. At the same time,

        The seasonally adjusted number of total weekly paid hours fell 0.5 percent for the same period

        • Arfamo 13.1.1.1

          Yeah. Funny that, Karol.

          If income tax receipts are down isn’t that also a likely indicator fewer people are working, after so many layoffs in the public service and other business closures, and that many of those who lost jobs or who are supposedly now off welfare and getting jobs are probably getting only part time work or crap insecure jobs for short periods at minimum wages. The government should be getting hammered for answers to why this shortfall, because income tax receipts shouldn’t be down if we’re having an “economic recovery” and more people are getting jobs, as we’re being told.

          • karol 13.1.1.1.1

            Actually, that link I gave above said that there were fewer part time jobs – so probably many who were struggling to survive on part time work were laid off.

            • Arfamo 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah but it only mentions that there are fewer part time jobs in some industries, mainly in Education and Training. I get the impression part-time work’s increasing in some of the low paid jobs as some employers try and casualise their whole workforce. Though I notice also our local supermarkets have been cut staffing down radically this year and are moving big time to self-service automated checkouts with only a couple of staff on duty as helpers, so even checkout jobs are disappearing at a very fast rate.

              • happynz

                Yeah but it only mentions that there are fewer part time jobs in some industries, mainly in Education and Training.

                Yup. I went from full-time to part-time to time’s-up. I’m still doing training, just no longer doing it in New Zealand.

                I’d love to return to New Zealand. Yet, without a job to go to I need to figure out something else to bring in a crust to afford the absurdly high cost of living in Aotearoa.

    • Ergo Robertina 13.2

      The tax take includes GST; people are spending less, plus many public sector organisations and businesses have slashed spending on the likes of travel for conferences/meetings etc. Has a big flow-on effect.

    • dave 13.3

      there is a reason English is called bullshit bill

    • Tracey 13.4

      Because the biggest chunk of rises will be in the top 1% who have tax minimisation vehicles.

      Also all those people who came off benefits… where are their taxes?

  14. bad12 14

    The Rock Bottom Economy is exposed, could the IRD personal tax take be down because the numbers of those now denied the unemployment benefit have gone through the roof prompting a whole set of false economic assumptions,

    Its easy to see why the receipts from GST and business taxation have fallen, National 3 years ago went from the top of the country to the bottom in an orgy of sacking a large part of the IRD workforce,

    As time moves on, more and more in the business world are realizing that the IRD no longer has the staff capacity to follow up on due taxes so they are simply giving themselves a tax holiday,

    The growth is in the figures, if the taxation then does not match the growth figures either these figures are wrong, OR, the majority of the 800 odd millions of taxation not being collected is being avoided or evaded…

  15. feijoa 16

    So……we dont have a rock star economy then?????

  16. dave 17

    I don’t know whose wages slippery is taking about mine in real terms has went backwards key and co must be on LSD

  17. RedLogix 18

    Yes any govt would have had to borrow to cover the GFC and the rainy days that followed. But deliberately slashing revenue as well was obdurate ideological madness. There’s a line in Lynn’s OP that hits home for me:

    We just finished paying off the mountain of debt that National gave me back in the 1970′s and early 80s. Now the shifty party of crony business morons are trying to do it to another generation.

    I very clearly recall as a teenager my father – who knew Muldoon personally – tell me “You’ll spend all your adult life paying off the debt’s this self-styled, self-deluding ‘economic wizard’ has racked up”.

    Well not quite all my life. At one point I had the privilege of shaking Dr Cullen’s hand and thanking him for what he had achieved. (He was terribly embarrassed at my gushing…).

    Now it’s happening all over again.

  18. Stuart Munro 19

    Worst of all, the world economies refused to learn the lessons of 2008. Financial markets remain soft with even China no longer growing strongly. NZ’s local recession is about to be worsened by a global recession. And to think, until that silly woman Maggie Thatcher got involved, the western economies had largely put the spectre of cyclic depressions behind them.

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Worst of all, the world economies refused to learn the lessons of 2008.

      There were a number of things which could have been done post-2008. But all of them would have weakened or challenged the position of the bankers and money men.

      And for this reason they were not allowed to happen. They money system has humanity utterly in it’s thrall.

      The only thing that will break this spell is a complete change of heart.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The only thing that will break this spell is a complete change of heart.

        The top 0.1% are not going to have a change of heart, that I can guarantee. Oligarchs serve the interests of oligarchic class, full stop. That has been the pattern throughout history.

        And the bottom 90%…well, most seem to be asleep, for the moment.

        Also…perhaps it was accidental, but your use of the term “spell” is precisely correct. Or perhaps is it a “curse.”

        • RedLogix 19.1.1.1

          heh – we may have both been reading too much JMG. :-)

          But yes. I wasn’t imagining the a change at the top 0.001%. In all of human history has that ever happened? (I’d be interested if anyone would care to expand on this.)

          Nor is the rest of humanity exactly asleep. But given this nightmare cannot last forever, you really have to imagine the meek will indeed finish up inheriting what is left of the earth.

  19. aerobubble 20

    The country was booming under Clark, the reserve bank was so moved that it raised interest rates to curtail the housing bubble. Key went to the election with tax cuts, nobody dared inform the public that tax cuts stimulate the economy. Then shock of shockers the bottom falls out of the global banking industry, and a tax cut saves upper middle classes from a bath. Of course Key is king in many eyes, a politician that got lucky, its impressive how little Key knows.

    So of course after locking in the tax reductions to the upper middle class and businesses (mostly fast food), the great recession looks like coming up for a short breather, yet now debt is out of control, Key has failed to act and raise taxes. Never let it be said that a stupid banker would waste a recession, but Key has, the consumers have gone back to slap happy credit debt, housing is agian making them feel freer with their spending. Oops.

    Yet now the countries books is in far worse condition, and China is already over due a sneeze. The global debt crisis has not be dealt with, except to get accountants to shift the numbers around the books.

    Reasons why Key is a moron, question time yesterday…

    Key says because energy prices were rising fast under Clark, a booming, high interest rates, economy, that the slight slowing during a recession, when power use is shrinking!! that it must be Labours fault.

    Key says that because interest rates under Labour got so high, and he know reserve bank is independent, then Labour is responsible for the last five years of Key government doing nothing about housing.

    And why did Key continue the insulation program, well its raise the value of homes, lowers the value of power shares sell off, was a Green initiative, and slowing the demand for new building.

    Key’s only got such high polls because he got lucky his tax cuts would of bust the housing bubble.

  20. captain hook 21

    the problem is as outlined by winny this morning on Radio NZ. The NZLP allowed itself to be browbeaten by the nats in the house and there was no one in the Labour Party caucus versed in macro economics and with enough knowledge to take the tories head on. Our MP’s are good with local issues but its time to get someone with the smarts to rip into the looters and pork barrelers.

    • Tracey 21.1

      Anytime any nat mentions average wages opposition mps should start saying

      Cos of the anz banks ceo’s quarter of a million buck bonus… but half of kiwis earn less than 22 bucks an hour.

      I dont know what the anz ceo bonus was, if any

  21. aerobubble 22

    Key raised GST, and done nothing about high dollar, now tax revenues are down as consumers avoid GST on online purchases; and guess what, those who spend most of their low income on foods and basics now have to pay more!!!! And worse, because the high dollar does not impact on nz made, the poorest don’t get any benefit from the high dollar, yet National aren;t above making the comparison that we have the highest comparable minimum wage. Of course its looks high, our dollar is higher. So its like kicking someon in the guts while telling them it should feel great.

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  • Funding the Basin Flyover Fight
    Yesterday the Architectural Centre in Wellington have launched a fund raising campaign to fight NZTA’s continued waste of our money on expensive lawyers for their hopelessly unimaginative and retrogressively conceived Basin flyover project. Here’s the Give-A-Little site with a recap of… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    9 hours ago
  • If The SIS Director Wants To Tell Us The Truth, She Should Commission Ficti...
    Memorable Presentation: Rebecca Kitteridge, the first woman Director of the SIS, laments the fact that the necessarily secret work of her agents cannot become the subject of a reality TV series - as it has for Police and Custom Officers. For… ...
    10 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    10 hours ago
  • Let Them Eat Scraps: Bill English’s Budget Outflanks The Left By Moll...
    Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Love! Bill English's seventh Budget may be weak in terms of economic effectiveness, but politically it's a genuine sand-kicker. Labour's Andrew Little is still rubbing his eyes. IT’S BEEN 43 YEARS since a National… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Bloody marvelous
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    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    12 hours ago
  • Congratulations #CanonMediaAwards 2015 winners…
    ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    12 hours ago
  • National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
    . . It’s not often that Ministers of this increasingly desperate and inept government make a statement that is unerringly accurate – but on Friday 15 May, on Radio  NZ’s Morning Report, GCSB Minister, Chris Finlayson did just that. Minister… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    13 hours ago
  • Truly Depressing
    Yesterday a thought crossed my mind that was so appalling that I decided not to mention it to anyone for at least 24 hours so I could b sure it was a real notion and not just an emanation from… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    21 hours ago
  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
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    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Game review: Republique
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    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    1 day ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
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    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    2 days ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    10 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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