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So, borrowing to save makes sense afterall…

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 8th, 2011 - 29 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2011, debt / deficit, superannuation - Tags: ,

Do you remember back in the day when Bill English didn’t want to put any money into the Cullen Fund? Remember how certain people on the right of the political spectrum started talking about how silly it was to borrow money in order to save money. If you go back a little further we find that Bill English himself thought the whole idea of borrowing money to save was “nonsense

Well I remembered being told that borrowing to save wasn’t a good idea, so I was a little surprised to learn that over the past few months the government has been borrowing $100 million a week more than necessary because they wanted to put the money away in the bank. Of course, they have a fairly sound reason for doing so, the government can borrow money fairly cheap now compared to what is expected towards the end of the year, earn interest on the money, and, so, both reduce its costs for rebuilding Christchurch and spread that cost over time. It’s a very sound strategy; the same strategy as putting money in the Cullen Fund now to spread out future superannuation costs, and make returns on the savings over and above the cost of borrowing.

The main thing to take from this though is that the government recognises that in some circumstances it is prudent to borrow money to invest in entities like the Cullen Fund. So, when National ignored Treasury’s warnings on lost returns and suspended contributions it had more to do with the National parties dislike for the Cullen Fund than conservative fiscal management.
-Aug

29 comments on “So, borrowing to save makes sense afterall…”

  1. ianmac 1

    Good thinking Guest. Perhaps Mr English wanted to undermine the Cullen Fund and used the downturn as an excuse? Surely not!

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    Guest’s post is a non-sequiter.

    The big error is the assertion that a borrower would “make returns on the savings over and above the cost of borrowing”. Do you have a guarantee for this, and if so please tell us? If not then you presumably think it is prudent for a government to gamble by borrowing from offshore investors (and pay them interest for years) and then send the money back to big overseas companies (which is where most of the Cullen fund goes)?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      You’re another economically illiterate Right Winger aren’t you?

      Since when is borrowing money and owing creditors at a low interest rate then reinvesting that money and getting a HIGH rate of return a BAD thing?

      And of course, if you want GUARANTEES in the investment world you must be one of the usual batch of Right Wingers – can’t stand any real financial risk, and someone who has no understanding of the real world – where there are no such “guarantees”.

      NZ can borrow from foreigners cheaply at the moment, and if we were reinvesting that money overseas through the Cullen Fund etc for a higher return, this country would be MAKING MONEY from its borrowing. A lot of money.

      Of course, English actually put a stop to investing in the Cullen Fund and as Cunliffe has pointed out that decision has cost this country many hundreds of millions in investment returns in just a short space of time.

      If your mate English has got as much of a shitty financial grip as you do, that explains a lot.

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.1

        You talk about the real world – where there are no such “guarantees”, but then go on to say “this country would be MAKING MONEY from its borrowing”. Yet given your first statement, how can you be sure of your second statement?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Can’t deal with you pretend Right Wingers who have no confidence in NZ and no ability to take real business risks. Get some balls man.

          • queenstfarmer 2.1.1.1.1

            Glad you admit there are risks. That is my point.

            The risks need to be weighed, not pretend they don’t exist, as per the author’s glib assertion that a borrower would “make returns on the savings over and above the cost of borrowing” and which s/he calls “a very sound strategy”.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Meh. You don’t take the risks, you don’t get the payout. English doesn;t have the stomach to move NZ ahead and neither do you.

              English is costing this country a huge amount of money but what the fuck do you care as long as the already wealthy get their tax cuts.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.2

            Completely agree with queenstfarmer on this.
             
            Borrowing to invest in other companies inherently has risks that we cannot control.
             
            Bringing inevitable borrowing forward to when it is cheaper, to build a city that is inevitably going to happen, is really not the same as borrowing to invest in companies.
             
            They are fundamentally different. To suggest they are exactly the same is a nonsense, BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t say that they are similar ideas, because they are, they just aren’t exactly the same.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Bringing inevitable borrowing forward to when it is cheaper, to build a city that is inevitably going to happen, is really not the same as borrowing to invest in companies.

              And the forward projection of superannuation costs is not inevitable? Please elucidate how you think that they will be covered.

              That is the fundamental precept of this post. It is pointing out that the government has cut the tax take that is required to cover the forward payments of superannuations because it asserts that a taxcuts increase the economy. At this level of cut, there is no evidence that it does. What it does do is increase the risk that the forward costs of superannuation will not be covered.

              The risk of the borrowing now at current rates and reinvesting is almost certainly less than risk of the government going belly up when it has fewer tax payers and more superannuiants in the future. Because those costs are inevitable bearing in mind the voting power of the elderly.

              • Lanthanide

                “And the forward projection of superannuation costs is not inevitable? Please elucidate how you think that they will be covered.”
                 
                That’s true, the superannuation costs are inevitable. But taking borrowed money and putting it into the cullen fund isn’t going to guarantee that you will end up with more money than you started with.
                 
                In one case we’re borrowing money now, parking it in a (low-risk) bank account and then spending it in 12-48 months time. In the other we’re borrowing money now, putting it into international markets (medium-high risk) and then spending it in 15 years time.
                 
                If you throw in a theoretical “peak oil is going to destroy the modern economy”, then investing the money in the cullen fund is even more unwise. We’re much better off taking that money and building a city with it in the very near future, which is what we’re going to do.
                 
                I have no problem with the government borrowing to put in the cullen fund, and I think that they should be doing that. What I’m trying to point out is:
                1. The timescales of these two scenarios are quite different
                2. The risk profiles of these two scenarios are quite different

                I don’t think it is reasonable to say “the government has been borrowing several hundred million dollars a handful of months earlier than they technically needed it, so by the same logic they should also borrow to put money into the cullen fund a dozen years before they will need it”.

                • lprent

                  Borrowing in the short-term to rebuild Christchurch makes perfect sense, if only because it reduces a ongoing loss. Of course there isn’t exactly a plan on how to pay that money back. The fairy tale in the budget about growth fixing the deficit is quite simply bullshit, as is the idea that enough would come from asset sales, cost cutting the rather small public service, or any of the politically accessible benefits, or that the lamearse infrastructure projects from Joyce will do anything except cost the country money.

                  That is one relatively short-term project. I think that Aug’s question is more basic and longer term.

                  The basic problem is that the total amount in the current tax take is too small to sustain government and superannuation. It is pretty clear that it will not be so for quite some years. Unless the tax rates are increased and if everything else stays the same (and ignoring further disasters), my guesstimate is somewhere towards 2020 if everything goes well on a realistic growth rate. Basically this government has proved yet again that minor drops in tax rates do not cause stimulatory or productive investment growth.

                  Tinkering at the edges (like this government is doing) isn’t going to help much. At present they’re simply pushing debt forward into future taxpayers and hoping that lot of elderly die before it comes due.

                  Aug is saying that if there is a differential between the cost of borrowing and the current ROI, then we’d be best placed to borrow now to take advantage of that. Sure we’d probably lose some possible opportunity cost of infrastructure investments. But frankly almost all of the investments that the government could make are crap – just look at the ones Joyce is trying to waste money in. And this government doesn’t want to invest in ones that would give better returns (like Auckland PT) for political reasons.

                  What we do have is a really high forward liability and no plan by this government to even start to deal with it. That liability is starting to affect our ability to borrow for consumption – ie for Nationals tax cuts. However, that doesn’t really apply if we borrow for investment.

                  In the absence of raising tax rates it is probably the most productive use of our ability to borrow at relatively low rates at present in addition to rebuilding ChCh.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lanth this is bullshit rationalisation. English has cost this country hundreds of millions of dollars by not investing in the Cullen Fund and in KiwiSaver, that is actual money he has left on the table over the last two years because of his piss poor decision making. He was warned at the time, he ignored those warnings, and those warnings came true.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Look, I completely agree that stopping funding the superannuation fund was a dumb idea and they shouldn’t have done it.
                     
                    I am simply pointing out that saying “Government did X, so they should also do Y” because X and Y are similar ideas is wrong and by making that argument you are ignoring the important details.

                    Actually it would be more appropriate to say “Government did X because of A and B, so they should also do Y because of C and D”, in this case A and B are really very different from C and D, and therefore it does not follow that government should also do Y because they did X, actually they did X because of A and B and chose not to do Y because of C and D. I’m not defending their choice of not doing Y, I’m just pointing out that C and D are different from A and B so therefore the simple argument that because they did X, they should also do Y, doesn’t work. Now if X and Y both depended on A and B, then yes, if they did X then they should also do Y, but that isn’t the case.
                     
                    X = borrow up-front so borrowing in future months is reduced
                    Y = borrow to invest in superannuation fund
                    A = short-term borrowing that if not done in these 6 months *will* definitely be done in the following 6 months (ie, inevitable, and on a short time frame)
                    B = low risk, short time frame
                    C = Long term time-frame of 15-20 years
                    D = medium-high risk
                     
                    This, I believe, it exactly what queenstfarmer is saying, although I think he is also saying that investing in the cullen fund was a bad idea. I am not saying that, but that doesn’t mean I can’t agree with his other point.

                    • Aug

                      I totally agree with you, when I wrote this I actually wasn’t really considering whether the borrowing now or for the Cullen Fund was a good or bad idea, and in retrospect I was probably a bit blunt when I called it “a very sound strategy”.

                      What I was more interested in was the reasoning, Bill English didn’t call borrowing to save, “unwise in long term, medium- high risk investments, but acceptable in a short term, low risk scenario”,he called it nonsense. Now we find that he is borrowing money and saving it for future spending, how could I not call him on it.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Definitely agree with that, Aug, he deserves to be called out on it.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        …and getting a HIGH rate of return a BAD thing

        Depends both upon the risk and the rate of return. For instance borrowing to put in a gas to gasoline plant in the late 70′s looked like a sure thing provided that the risk of a oil price drop was low. Problem was that it was not.

        However the investment strategy being followed by the Cullen fund is about as close as you can get to low risk whilst investing. The countervailing risk of not having funds to run National’s superannuation system is pretty damn high to our ability to service debt further down the track (just thinking about what the costs are to the kids makes my grey hair disappear). It makes sense to use the low borrowing rates to hedge that risk.

        Of course it makes even more sense not to borrow to do the same thing. However that would require increases in the tax rates – which would be preferable to what this current set of idiot cowboys in government are doing.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    @ queenstfarmer, what nonsense. Both scenarios rely on projections and assumptions, which cuts both ways, either way. Stop dancing on a pin head. The fundamentals of the Guest Post are sound. As is the politics.

    • queenstfarmer 3.1

      Both scenarios rely on projections and assumptions, which cuts both ways, either way.

      That’s my point: what is the author relying on for the assertion that a borrower would “make returns on the savings over and above the cost of borrowing”? And if it there is credible authority for it, I look forward to seeing which political parties propose to borrow billions of dollars to buy up the entire market.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I look forward to seeing which political parties propose to borrow billions of dollars to buy up the entire market.

        What, as opposed to English who is today borrowing billions of dollars more than he needs to and then doing squat with it except paying interest charges to China?

        You right wingers are financially and economically illiterate.

        • queenstfarmer 3.1.1.1

          No, it’s a smart hedging strategy. As the article says (unfortunately omitted by the Guest author):

          But Westpac senior economist Dominick Stephens said borrowing in advance was wise as interest rates were low.. “I think it’s a good prudent strategy to borrow the money, be sure that you can borrow the money before you actually need it. It’s just good cash management practices.”

          [lprent: That interpretation wasn't omitted because I read it in the post in the second paragraph. That paragraph said exactly the same thing about borrowing under current circumstances as what you quoted. I also note that you appear to have ignored the whole point of the post which is in the end of the third paragraph.

          I suspect that you have either a reading or assimilation difficulty? Should I restrain my sarcasm when it looks like you didn't read a post? Or should I view it as being just diversion tactics by yet another troll acting like a fuckwit? Please read the policy before answering and consider that you have just wasted some of my precious time checking your statement and writing this. I particularly detest diversion trolling when you can raise any topic you like in OpenMike. ]

          • queenstfarmer 3.1.1.1.1

            Sorry you see it as trolling, when it’s totally on topic. The quote was omitted, it is the key part as it explains the rationale – which is NOT to borrow to invest overseas. And which, as I said originally, demonstrates the non-sequiter of the guest post which is that the Govt should borrow to invest overseas.

            [lprent: Actually you are sort of correct when I look at the whole conversation. However you have to remember I read the comments backwards through time, without the threading, and I have many hundreds of them to read at a time. It is up to you not to attract my moderating attention rather than mine to dig around trying to figure out what is inside your head.

            I read exactly what you wrote - which said that the post missed THE relevant piece of the article it was commenting on - which was incorrect. You should be careful about saying things that assert posts are deliberately incorrect unless you clearly state why. Making invalid assertions about what a post said is a classic troll diversion comment style that I look for and squash.

            BTW: Your assertion here is incorrect if you look at the forward projection of risk with respect to the superannuation payouts in the future. But that is a topic for comment rather than mod warning if I have time. ]

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    The price of gold has gone from around $250 to over $1500, a sixfold increase, over the past decade. So in real terms a US dollar is now worth around 16% of what it as worth a decade ago. The change in exchange rate makes the NZ scenario slightly less bad: our dollar is worth around 25% of what it was.

    We could compare with oil, which has gone from around $20 abarrel to around $120 over the past decade or so -again a sixfold increase.

    Japan’s Nikkei index since 1990 is the classic example of failure:

    40,000
    20,000
    10,000
    12,000
    7,0000
    11,000
    9,000

    The nearly 80% drop since 1990 is a raw figure and doesn’t allow for inflation. If we factor in the drop in purchasing power we see that money invested in the Japanese market in 1990 would have lost about 97% if its purchasing power.

    Anyone who understands the money system realises that paper ‘investments’ have no intrinsic value, and most ‘investments’ will soon crash in a manner similar to 2008 (or worse), since the entire financial system is dependent on a declining real resource base.

    What is a little surprising is that the house of cards hasn’t collapsed before now.

  5. Seeing as how Key has, according to estimates, 50 mil banked, has quite an extensive investment portfolio and apparently donates his salary to charity.

    Just wondering if he has started up any businesses and invested in the local economy at a real grass roots level. Y’know, put his money where his mouth is and not his mouth where the cash cow shits from.

    same goes for English too…case of, do as i say not as i do ?

  6. I am beginning to think that the extra 5 billion borrowed is some kind of decoy. For what? The fiscal messages can be interpreted as confusing e.g. trimming government costs but borrowing to the hilt, saying the Cullen fund is unaffordable, selling off energy assets which will generate more income in the future if left untouched, proping up DHBs with one off payments because the 2011 budget will not cover DHB costs…

    There is no purpose in borrowing more than you need to get out of a shitty situation.

    • queenstfarmer 6.1

      There is no purpose in borrowing more than you need to get out of a shitty situation.

      There is a purpose to borrowing while rates are good. Very standard practice by Govts, businesses, mortgage-holders everywhere (also see hedging). No different to filling up your car because the price of petrol is about to be put up.

      • Treetop 6.1.1

        Are the exporters not paying more due to EXCESSIVE borrowing?

        English acknowledges that the government can only borrow a billion or two more.

        I first learned about the borrowing a month ago because interest rates were low and I commented on this site. The country is 5 billion in debt more than it needs to be.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Several points here:

    Firstly one of the fundamental concepts in investment is that the greater the return, the greater the risk. Therefore, assuming this principle applies in the specific situation of the Cullen Fund, borrowing money to invest at a higher return means that the borrowed investment is at greater risk. Otherwise, why would the lenders not set up their own fund rather than lending to NZ?

    Secondly, I would be interested to know if the returns on the Cullen fund are in USD. If so, the USD isn’t worth a bucket of shit at the moment. A lot of the Cullen fund investment took place when the USD was much stronger. Hence, if the returns are in USD, the exchange rate losses need to be considered to establish a true return to NZ. The exchange rate risk is a major consideration that contributors here may not have considered.

    In lefty Nirvana land where investments can be made in hindsight, there seems to be little value in considering the risk side of the investment equation.

  8. Looks like i might need to do some borrowing while the borrowing’s good too…

    …so’s i can afford to get me some of that kiwi mum and dad state asset firesale action English is touting come next National election win

    figure may as well borrow while my credit rating is still good enough to borrow against…

  9. MrSmith 9

    Our Government should never play the markets, they will get taken to the cleaners almost every time.
     
    They should instead be watching these markets like they are payed to, and if need be, they should be writing and passing into law stronger regulation of these very markets, that’s the job we elected them to do.
     

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    Last night, Shane Jones dropped the bombshell that he would be quitting Parliament and the Labour party to work as a "roving ambassador" for Murray McCully. Good riddance. While pegged from the beginning as a "future leader" and "high performer",...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Hard News: Jones: The contender leaves
    Like John Tamihere before him, Shane Jones entered Parliament burdened with the promise that he might be first Maori Prime Minister. That promise had probably left him before it emerged yesterday evening that he was walking away from politics, but...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • Gordon Campbell on the Shane Jones departure
    Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-04
  • Exit Jones, stage north
    I will miss having Shane Jones in the Labour tent. That isn't because I agree with him on everything. Disagreeing with people is part and parcel of party politics, especially in a party that aspires to be a broad church...
    Polity | 22-04
  • World News Brief, Wednesday April 23
    Top of the AgendaObama Begins Asia Trip to Reassert Pivot...
    Pundit | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • That was Then, This is Now #24 – Key challenges Cunliffe – then doesn...
    .     . This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 16 April 2014.   Previous related blogpost That was Then, This is Now #23 – Bolger breaks election promise AND predicts the future! References TVNZ News: Key...
    Frankly Speaking | 22-04
  • Herald confirms our electric trains are quiet
    The Herald yesterday ran a story on just how quiet the new electric trains are. In a polar opposite there was a lot of noise on twitter about how the article was initially presented but after getting past that it...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • ‘I told ya so’ of the day, Shane Jones edition
    I got a bit of stick during the Labour leadership contest for my criticism of Shane Jones, so I have to indulge myself a little here. Now that we know this contender for the leadership of the Labour Party was...
    DimPost | 22-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04