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What have the Nats got right?

Written By: - Date published: 3:51 pm, February 23rd, 2013 - 186 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , ,

Tax cuts didn’t save the economy.
The Jobs summit achieved nothing.
Bootcamps don’t work.
The exodus to Australia is getting worse.
National abandoned their mining plans
and the multinationals are abandoning their search for offshore oil.
Hekia Parata has turned education into a fiasco.
The 100% Pure brand is a joke.
Unemployment is too high.
Too much of Christchurch has been forgotten.
The manufacturing industry is in crisis.
Poverty is on the rise.
Inequality is increasing.
The “welfare crackdown” card is wearing out.
The privatisation campaign is delayed and discredited.
Solid Energy was allowed to fall apart.
Key has lost his memory (and/or won’t read).
Novopay is a complete disaster.
The Sky City deal reeks to high heaven.
I’m sure you can add to the list.

So – ummmm – what have the Nats got right in their 4 years in office? What have they accomplished? What will they be remembered for? What are their supporters proud of? Genuine questions, Nat supporters, I’m interested to know what you think Key and co. have achieved.

186 comments on “What have the Nats got right?”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Division in the rankings?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10867109
    (hope this is alright here)

  2. BM 2

    Enough to keep them in power.

    • emergency mike 2.1

      BM I think he is asking about real things that might actually help the country. Winning an election so that those wearing blue ribbons can stick their noses back in the tough doesn’t qualify.

  3. andy (the other one) 3

    The ACT party is re launching…

    The Nats have captured the full right wing fringe vote.

    Act Party Vote

    1996 – 6.01 per cent – 7 MPs
    1999 – 7.04 per cent – 9 MPs
    2002 – 7.14 per cent – 9 MPs
    2005 – 1.51 per cent – 2 MPs
    2008 – 3.65 per cent – 5 MPs
    2011 – 1.07 per cent – 1 MP

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10867123

  4. emergency mike 4

    They crushed that car real good.

  5. andy (the other one) 5

    I forgot, full capture of political media.

  6. Arfamo 6

    What they have got right after 4 years in office is their bet that they would get a 2nd term and that people wouldn’t remember all the things they’ve got totally wrong.

  7. Rimu 7

    They demonstrated why government is too incompetent to be involved in people’s lives and why the free market can do a better job ;)

    See, even when they lose, they win.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    What they have got “right” or rather succeeded in, is squashing dissent, manufactuturing consent and maintaining the neo lib social ascendency of the individual over the collective citizenry.

  9. rod 9

    What have the Nats got right, thats easy, Bullshit by the truck load, and plenty more to come.

  10. odysseus 10

    Oh come on, how about the cycleway ? :)

  11. bad12 11

    i have tried to put myself in the shoes of a supporter of this abysmal Slippery lead National Government and there is only one thing in 4 years that should i be one, supporters could say National have got right and that is the tax switch where those in the upper echelons of economy have prospered off of the switch in taxation at the expense of those in the lower echelons,

    The fact that this has also helped along the flood of red ink in the Governments income stream from taxation and served to further depress the economy already mired in recession with the result of tens of thousands of jobs disappearing from the economy isn’t something a National Party supporter would care about as the shopping is ‘better’ in Sydney and the tax switch enables a few more trips over there to spend the ill gotten gains into someone elses economy which is what the economics professors will tell you happens to 75% of such tax cuts when given to wealthy individuals,

    So, what have they got right for their supporters, bought their loyalty, what have they got right for New Zealand, nothing…

    • Follow-the-money 11.1

      The tax cuts put more money in the pockets of the wealthy.

      The ensuing impact on the rest of us depressed the economy, boosting the spending power of those extra dollars, and keeping inflation in check.

      About now, I’d be moving my money into offshore investments, thanks to our stratospheric dollar-value, safe in the knowledge that a change in government will depress property prices (capital gains tax inevitability) which, by the way, will help the goal of low inflation, and will also probably see a rduction in dollar-value, after which the funds can move back to Godzone.

      As for the rest of us, Paul Simon got it right:
      “We work in our jobs; collect our pay. Believe we’re gliding down the highway, when, in fact, we’re slip-sliding away”…

      [Every first-time new name needs to be cleared from moderation manually. It’s best to pick one name and stick to it. r0b]

  12. ropata 12

    They have created a mincing, catwalking, smooth talking celebrity pm with his own talkback radio show, a spot on Letterman, a photo op with Obama, a beer with Prince Harry, a speech and more photo ops at the Rugby World Cup. Distracted and entertained the people with trivia, and divvied up the taonga of this land for multinational corporate vultures.

  13. ropata 13

    National voters still hold a grudge against Helen Clark, resent anything seen as PC or red tape, resent paying income tax (but higher gst seems ok), resent the lower classes, despise beneficiaries, and above all are paranoid of their property values.

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 13.1

      ropata
      I have seen personally most of what you state. But maybe it is just rare anecdotal experience.

    • millsy 13.2

      “… and above all are paranoid of their property values…”

      Pretty much summed up Andrew King’s column in the Herald yesterday.

      He seemed to think that selling houses cheaply to poor people would wipe out the value of millions of houses and leave rich property owners like him destitute.

  14. Treetop 14

    Add to the list

    Massive breach of personal information e.g ACC.
    The Work and Income kiosk was a sure winner.
    Housing NZ has never been run better.
    Rape Crisis has never been better funded.
    Legal Aid is the best I’ve seen it by far.
    A saving on prescription charges since 1 January 2013
    The Police are delighted with all the new cash to increase sworn staff.
    The defence force are so busy recruiting all the unemployed youth with all the new cash.

  15. Blue 16

    All the National supporters ever really trumpet is John Key’s poll ratings. You never hear them talk about what he’s achieved, because he’s achieved nothing. Unless you count making things worse.

    A lot of them actually know that, and there is a quiet murmur of discontent that sometimes manifests, before it is quickly squelched by the weight of popularity.

    It’s made me think that the collapse in National’s poll ratings, when it comes, will be a dramatic fall and things will get really ugly, really fast.

  16. Michael 17

    Under the Nats, the rich have got richer and the rest of us poorer, slightly faster than would probably have happened under a Pepsi-party government. Labour has nothing to crow about here – and it certainly isn’t telling the people what it would do about the challenges facing them if it was in government.

  17. Pascal's bookie 18

    jOhn Key wonned the rubber wool cup

  18. Pete 19

    Oh, they must be about due to announce ultra-fast broadband again (although it was also Labour government policy in 2008).

    • fabregas4 19.1

      It’s arrived at schools all over the country – but most schools can’t afford to use it.

      • millsy 19.1.1

        To be fair, that has more to do with the Tomorrow’s Schools model than the UFB project. Making schools purchase for themselves services that would have been sourced centrally by the DoE/Education boards kinda didnt come off as planned.

  19. Daveosaurus 20

    Hamstringing the media. $43,000,000 to MediaWorks bought them a lot of good publicity, and installing Party apparatchik Richard Griffin as Chair of the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors has ensured Radio New Zealand’s silence on the matter.

  20. Murray Olsen 21

    What they’ve got right is recognising that there is a puritanical, hate filled section of Kiwi society that doesn’t have much, but loves making itself feel better by bashing those who have even less. They have fertilised the darkness in the Kiwi soul and allowed it to flourish.
    Of course, this is the last thing you want to do if you seriously want to address problems and build a better society.

    • AmaKiwi 21.1

      The people I speak to who support National don’t see anyone else fit for the job.

      • Tony 21.1.1

        They’re not looking too hard! I agree though, friends of mine who used to vote Labour say Labour’s a mess. Contrary to what a lot of contributors on here think, I’ve been impressed with Labour while watching Parliament telly – David Shearer and Grant Robertson included. Unfortunately they don’t stand much of a chance as long as lefties split hairs and the media continues it’s sensational conservative drawl. National have definitely shown how to play the media in NZ, but at least their supporters actually support them…

  21. MrSmith 22

    By example they’ve made Lying, cheating and back room deals an acceptable part of doing business in NZ.

  22. Colonial Viper 23

    PM Key 44% in the preferred PM stakes. He’s still doing something right.

  23. millsy 24

    Wasn’t it Bob Jones or someone who published a book on the achievements of one of our past governments and it turned out to be a whole book full of blank pages?

    This thread reminded me of that anecdote

    Tell you what though, it managed to pull off what Shipley and Richardson couldnt do. Reform the welfare system into something harsh and punitive.

    • Colonial Weka 24.1

      Shipley and Richardson had their successes at that, starting with the benefit cuts in 1990. The 90s in general were not a happy time for beneficiaries, nor for the department that administered those benefits.

  24. crying man 25

    They’ve got their comms and political research right. And they get the game.

    Our side is an embarrassment in comparison.

    • Tony 25.1

      Half true, they’re not the best, but NZ has an incredibly conservative media. National are starting off the ladies tee from the outset.

  25. Lanthanide 26

    Successfully brainwashed the majority of the population into thinking that Labour ‘wasted the best economic times in a generation’ and that they created a massive deficit that National has fixed. The facts show precisely the opposite (on the latter points, anyway).

  26. They do unconscionable perfectly

  27. Shaz 28

    The Nats great success is that they have implemented NZ – Someone Else’s Country or NZ “Only Their Purpose is Mad” the other Unfortunate Experiment – round two without any commentators describing it this way. I think that is their true success. I recall that in Someone else’s country that Helen Kelly (I think) describes the New Zealand Revolution from 1984 as being as far reaching as Chile’s 1973 right wing military coup.

    What we are seeing now, as then, is a complete rout of workers rights (by structurally high unemployment and legal changes), explicit and covert privatisations, limiting the expression of democratic values in many spheres, cutting public services and the triumph of raw political and monetary power over proper process.

    This is I think rather the point of this government’s achievements and on their own terms they have actually been rather successful. It has always worried me that the narrative of the left has described the Key government as a “do nothing” government when in fact they are a “do nothing for ordinary people government” In part this has’nt helped the fight against the implementation of Neo-Liberalism part two (2008-14) the frightening sequel.

  28. “”of this government’s achievements and on their own terms they have actually been rather successful. It has always worried me that the narrative of the left has described the Key government as a “do nothing” government when in fact they are a “do nothing for ordinary people government” ” ~Shaz

    Good point

  29. swan 30

    One thing they have done is stemmed the ever increasing middle class welfare entitlements of the previous administration. They havent reduced them but at least they have stopped them from increasing. In short they have held the line.

    They have maintained NZ’s clean GST system.

    They have maintained NZ’s successful monetary system.

    I agree it is not very impressive. But at least they are (for now) helping us avoid the fate of a Labour/Green coalition that will make Clark and Cullen look like right wingers.

    • The Al1en 30.1

      “stemmed the ever increasing middle class welfare entitlements of the previous administration.”

      They borrow billions and raise gst to lower top rate taxes and you go on about middle class welfare.

      Someone’s swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

    • felixviper 30.2

      Fair enough swan, I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile they’d done either.

      I was going to say “didn’t murder any giraffes” and “didn’t build any nuclear weapons”, but then I realised it would seem desperate to just list things they hadn’t done.

      • swan 30.2.1

        Well I agree they have been a little disappointing. But I was comparing them to the counterfactual of the opposition being in power. If the Greens were advocating Giraffe slaughter, I would have listed that as well.

        • felixviper 30.2.1.1

          Comparing them to the counterfactual you just made up in which the Greens are the govt.

          Fair enough, I was really grasping at straws in a pathetic display trying to justify my feelings too.

          • swan 30.2.1.1.1

            I dont know if you have noticed, but the Greens are at over 10% in the polls, and Labour at only low 30’s. This would give them considerable power in a coalition. And anyway the policies I mentioned are shared by Labour and the Greens. I could have added “take over a third of the NZ residential construction industry as well’.

            It is a sad state of affairs when the best thing about the government are that they are keeping the opposition from the treasury benches, but that is pretty much the long and short of politics in NZ at the moment.

            • felixviper 30.2.1.1.1.1

              You could have added any fanciful thing you like, but you still haven’t come up with a single thing the National govt – you know, the actual govt in real life – have done that’s worth doing.

              (Except carry on doing a couple of things that the previous govt was already doing. Oh, and raising taxes.)

              • swan

                You see, felixviper, there are a number of people who think the government is doing TOO MUCH already. I want it to DO LESS.

                There you go.

                • felixviper

                  I don’t believe you for one second.

                  I think you want the govt to get really busy undoing the work of generations of Kiwis.

                  A govt that were to “DO LESS” – as you shout – would keep things more as they are now. The govt you want is actually an extremely active one.

                  • swan

                    Semantics. If you consider the state to be something separate from the government that will keep on turning if the lights in the beehive go out then yes I want the government to be active. I want it to be active in deactivating the state.

                    • Macro

                      Your out of your tree mate! It’s the state that keeps society – such as it is – together. No state – no society. You are a simpleton if you really think that our civilization can exist without an effective administration – and that is what you are arguing.

                    • felixviper

                      Exactly, my slow-witted little feathered friend. It’s going to take an enormously powerful, well resourced, and hugely activist govt.

                      Just what all you whining, after-school libertarians want,eh?

                    • swan

                      “It’s the state that keeps society – such as it is – together. No state – no society.”

                      Thats a strawman – I didnt say no state. I said less.

                      Here, watch some Milton and learn something:

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Fj5tzuYBE

                    • Macro

                      Oh you really are a silly little person!
                      Strawman indeed! – you don’t even know what it is, do you?
                      As for that twit Milton – well the less said about him the better.
                      I’ve better things to do with my time.
                      Good luck felix – but I fear your wasting your “breathe” – completely brainwashed.

                    • Akldnut

                      Friedman – you’ve got to be joking me, power of the market my arse.
                      Market power left un-restrainted is what got us where we are today.
                      Don’t you right wing apologists ever learn.

                    • swan

                      I’ll explain it to you Macro, its pretty simple.

                      Your strawman argument was to say that someone who wants less government actually wants no government at all – is an anarchist.

                    • felixviper

                      Yawn.

                      Good luck with your bloody revolution.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Government is where people come together and decide how they wish to arrange the nation.

                      Smaller government means giving power up to provincialism and tribalism.

                    • felixviper

                      But swan doesn’t want a smaller govt.

                      swan wants a govt so big, so powerful, so well resourced and so omnipresent that it can dismantle the state in accordance with the wishes of around 0.1% of the voting public.

                      That’s quite a fucking govt, CV.

                    • ropata

                      when RWNJ’s like swan say, “less government” they generally mean “less democracy” so that the rich and powerful can gain even more wealth and power

                    • felixviper

                      ‘xactly. Not that most of them have thought it through that far, but those who have sure do manage to lead the suckers like swan around by the nose.

                    • swan

                      ““less government” they generally mean “less democracy” so that the rich and powerful can gain even more wealth and power”

                      It IS about limits on the what the whim of the majority decides, correct! Its not the rich and powerful I care about, it is the rest of us. Liberty should supersede straight democracy as a rule. Or would you argue that it was right and proper that homosexuality was outlawed until the majority felt it was ok to legalise?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Liberty should supersede straight democracy as a rule. Or would you argue that it was right and proper that homosexuality was outlawed until the majority felt it was ok to legalise?

                      Well I’ve had a look around, but can’t seem to find any data on what polls at the time were saying. I’d be pleasantly surprised if a majority was in favour of passing the HLRB, so if you have evidence of that, I’d love to see it.

                      But I think the question is poorly formed. A better way of putting it, to my mind, would be “Is it right and proper that government was accountable to the governed for liberalising homosexuality”.

                      I think that’s better because it resembles what we actually have, rather than some weird theoretical and ahistoric view of democracy as put forward by the likes of hayek.

                      Governments make decisions, and are judged on them. If enough people don’t like it, they can get rid of them easily enough without having to go through all the messy business of stringing people up from lampposts and the like. Which is the actually existing alternative if you look at history.

                    • swan

                      No I dont have evidence of it, I dont know if that was the case or not. If there wasn’t a majority then it was a case of parliament putting liberty ahead of the majority view, which is what I am all for. Unless you are suggesting that homosexual oppression was never about the view of the majority and that it was just coincidental that the majority were in favour of this poicy, then I am not sure what your point is. If you are suggesting that, then you presumably dont think democracy is particularly effective?

                      I am not arguing for something other than democracy, where the government is not accountable to the populace. What I am saying is majority rule is hardly a sufficient condition for the government to morally restrict individual freedom. It is not an easy task getting a government to tie its own hands. But we do have examples – the RBNZ, the judiciary/rule of law, Transfund (before it was abolished), Pharmac, the operational desicion making of the police etc. I would argue that an enhanced BORA that included property rights, as well as supremacy of the BORA might be another good move. Additionally a requirement for evidence based policy and for robust cost/benefit analyses of policy might also be good ideas.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      before it was abolished

                      well there’s the rub, pretty much.

                      If you are going to have government by the consent of the governed, (which is a far better description of representative democracy than ‘majority rule’ to my mind), then the government is going ot have the ability to do whatever it wants, and it will be up to the people, in aggregate, to determine if it’s what they want.

                      As to ‘property rights’, these are defined by law. It’s not obvious what form the should take. Given they are deifned by law, and that the government is bound to follow the law, I’m not sure what you think putting them into a beefed up BORA would achieve, unless you just want to remove the arguments about what property rights should entail from the political debate. But why would anyone want to do that?

                    • Macro

                      “I’ll explain it to you Macro, its pretty simple.

                      Your strawman argument was to say that someone who wants less government actually wants no government at all – is an anarchist.”

                      No I’ll explain it to you Swannie –
                      You say you want less Government – So you get less Government – but how much less? We now have less government than we had before – and look at the mess we are in – our society is beginning to collapse and we cannot keep our ships at sea to protect our EEZ for instance because 1 in 5 naval personnel leave each year a direct result of less spending on a vital part of State – Defence of the Realm. And before we know, it you will be asking for even less Government – because you don’t like this thing of paying taxes do you. And on it will go. Its not a strawman dolt it’s a perfectly valid form of argument called reductio ad absurdum – a method of proving the falsity of a premise by showing that its logical consequence is absurd or contradictory.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If the medicine is making the nation sick, why not just double down on it and increase the dosage???

  30. millsy 31

    “They have maintained NZ’s successful monetary system.”

    The one thing which has been holding down wages for the past 20-odd years, not to mention health and education spending.

  31. fabregas4 32

    This reminds me of the ‘Yes Minister’ episode where Hacker is asked by a school girl about his accomplishments after 4 years in government. He relates meeting some famous people and leading various committees and she replies ‘no, things for the people’. I’d love to ask that question of most of this govt.

  32. irascible 33

    Rebuilding Gerry Brownlee’s electoratre while ignoring the Eastern Suburbs??

  33. Akldnut 34

    They’ve been very successful pointing at beneficiaries as thieves who are ripping of the Govt.
    They should be looking at Tax dodgers. (their mates)
    https://twitter.com/jacindaardern/status/304093223020789760/photo/1/large

  34. Rodel 35

    They got rid of that tiresome TV7 so we are unique in the western world by being free of that nasty publicly funded Television where might see something intelligent.

  35. Jackp 36

    I can only think of one thing. They got the right of way driving rules right. But considering the damage they are doing to the average New Zealander, I would sacrifice those rules. It breaks my heart to watch people work hard and try to get by while National plot schemes and sells off their future. Those that trust National are being had and Key “won’t loose any sleep over it”.

  36. ropata 37

    There are some things they have done that I’m pleased about
    – failed to sell off Mighty River Power
    – failed to destroy ACC
    – made me realise how good the previous administration actually was

  37. BLiP 38

    .

    Well, John Key did get on the David Letterman Show to promote New Zealand, even if it did mean that the office of Prime Minister was reduced to that of a product-mention gimp for Cinabon. (Was that the same trip when he described his wife as a Hobbit in comparison with Michelle Obama?) Wattaguy.

  38. geoff 39

    What have National got right?

    FUCK ALL!

  39. Lefty 41

    National has actually lived up to its promises to supporters.

    They have made the rich richer, which is no less than the rich feel they deserve.

    They have made the poor suffer. There is a significant number of hate-filled, small minded group of New Zealanders who salivate over this and value it above a healthy economy and society. It is important to these sad bastards that there is a group worse off than they are, and it is important to them that this group is publicly and systematically humiliatied and hurt. National delivers to this group in spades.

    They have proved governments are incompetent to those of their supporters who want to believe this is so.

    They have encouraged corruption, the blurring of the lines between public and private good, the exploitation of the environment and worship of the wealthy. These things are all immensely pleasing to the dirty little crooks who want an open, innovative, exciting country that rewards the entreprenurial spirit, the weatlth creators and risk takering.

    They promised to bring down wages and have done so. Employers love them for it.

    They have made education a priority and their plans for passive and dumbed down future generations, apart from the children of the privileged who go to subsidised private schools, are well advanced. This suits those who think too much education is making the proleteriat uppity.

    Almost everything the left feels National have failed at is actually them delivering on their promises to their faithful supporters.

    Their supporters love them because they stay true to their kaupapa. If you are selfish, greedy, priviliged, crooked or mean spirited they are absolutely dedicated to looking after you.

    We live in a class society.

    A government can only serve one class and in doing so it will upset the other. It is only natural that National is not too concerned about what happens to those who don’t share its poisonous world view.

    If labour started delivering to, and siding with, its natural constituency in the way National does a big chunk of the million people who have given up on voting might reconsider that decision.

  40. Coronial Typer 42

    - found and sustained National’s best leader since Muldoon
    – repelled all political attacks
    – rewarded the rich and punished the poor
    – reformed Auckland, successfully
    – got the leader to tell some great jokes
    – shut down journalist probing by refusing to be interviewed much at all, ESP on tv or National Radio
    – avoided wholesale budget cuts, unlike EU region austerity measures
    – nurtured sufficient bitterness in the middles class that the poor are now permanently unworthy
    – sustained at least a 10 point lead well into their 2nd term, with a 3rd quite possible
    – gutted all civil long term opposition, including the public sector, the EPMU, the PSA, Councils, Wellington-based progressive NGOs, night classes, beneficiaries, and shortly teachers as the last ones standing
    – pulled Labour rightwards
    – shored up farmers and regional vote with massive infrastructure subsidies
    – had geopolitical luck to be near south east Asia as it boomed, and near Australia to offload much of its unemployed
    – ensured decreasing scrutiny from credit agencies and IMF
    – cut our losses on international Carbon Trading; waste of time
    – completed more Treaty deals than 3 terms of Labour
    – bought off Maori Party, sustaining a future coalition option
    And finally, most importantly,
    – didn’t try and do anything serious or transformational

  41. Coronial Typer 43

    - sustained most successful event in NZ history with simultaneous nationwide Rugby orgasm
    – lowered income taxes
    – successfully renewed cabinet with zero rancour
    – bought off SkyCity
    – continued to lower the scale and public idea of what government can do or should do

    • felixviper 43.1

      Don’t think you can claim they lowered taxes, the Nats still claim the tax changes were revenue neutral.

      • Lanthanide 43.1.1

        “Don’t think you can claim they lowered taxes, the Nats still claim the tax changes were revenue neutral.”

        Revenue neutral over their 4 year horizon with the pixies at the bottom of the garden magically increasing economic output. The tax changes themselves were definitely a cut, as shown by their own figures. The spin about “tax switch” was just that, spin.

        • Colonial Viper 43.1.1.1

          The tax changes were a definite cut for the top 20% of earners; when you add in increased GST and petrol levies etc, everyone else did no better or got screwed.

        • felixviper 43.1.1.2

          Quite right Lanth, it was pure spin. As CV points out for many of us taxes have risen considerably.

    • Colonial Viper 43.2

      - Took credit for saving NZ Hobbit jobs, and cleverly organised for workers to march against other workers on a Labour Day.

  42. Arfamo 44

    I don’t understand the claims that National gave everyone tax cuts. Because I have a very low annual income (just below the unemployment benefit), and not much in the way of savings and no other investments, the gst increase and additional taxes (eg on petrol prices) and levies on insurance etc seem to have actually worked out as tax increases from day 1 for me personally. Can anyone point me to any analysis of whether National’s tax cuts did actually result in everyone paying less tax?

    • Colonial Viper 44.1

      You’re feeling is quite right. Only higher earners experienced a net benefit from the tax changes. Everyone else tread water or got screwed by the changes.

  43. Arfamo 45

    Yes that’s my impression CV, but that said, I haven’t seen any actual analysis and evidence that my impression is true.

    • RedBaronCV 45.1

      Basically Arfamo you are correct. I ran out some figures for the first round tax cuts and in the lower brackets the ACC increases took out the tax benefits. That little lot incidentally has cost us around $1B per annum – so $6B over term of government.

      The gst tax switch is a bit more complicated as it depends on how much and where the individual spends their money. Some one with 4 kids is likely to be spending much more of their income on GST goods than a single person on the same wage. However, putting up GST is regressive, hits lowest income hardest. This also costs $1B per annum.

      Over all, but it depends a lot on individual circumstances, the tax cuts have been more than offset by GST increases, individual ACC increases,[ lowered ACC rates have been pretty much on the employers account] and the kiwisaver fiddles. GST probably hit the lowest paid worst, with the more middling incomes taking a greater hit from ACC and Kiwisaver.

      Very generally speaking anyone earning up to about $120,000 won’t have gained anything really at all.

      The schoolkids who earn under $2400 are the hardest hit. They now have to pay tax and into kiwisaver if they have been signed up.

  44. BrucetheMoose 46

    They did half the frequency for WOF cars, saving us $35 bucks and doubling the safelty risks. They started building the national cycleways network, but it didn’t get finished. According to the lastest poll, this is good enough. Obviously all the smart NZers have already left the country. Also they aren’t here for the poll – or the next election. No wonder Key suddenly thinks it’s great that Kiwis are going overseas.

  45. Green machine UpandComer 47

    Why preach to the anti-choir :)

  46. Roy 48

    What have they got right? Well John Key has smiling and waving down pat, and amazingly enough continues to fool a large number of people into thinking he is a nice guy and fit to lead a country.
    That’s all I can think of.

  47. Steady Course 49

    The reason i still support key and National is he is effectively doing exactly what im doing with my business and personal finances during these difficult times.

    Reduce unnecessary spending, sell some assets to avoid extra and expensive borrowing, work on fine tuning departments to run more efficiently etc In general reduce spending!

    Labour and the Greens, to me at least, and once again in general seem to think that the country is still flush with cash eg expensive housing policies, liveable wage etc….

    I suspect this is the main reason National is still well ahead in the polls, it is for me at least.

    • Bunji 49.1

      I suspect you’re right on that being why a large number support National. And the left need to be better at showing up how a Nation Is Not A Business. (Have a read…)

      We’d be doing a lot better if National didn’t treat it as one – it’s why GDP growth is always higher under Labour governments than National ones. It’s how Labour reduce debt while reducing unemployment – and stopping recessions instead of turning them into depressions with austerity.

      • Steady Course 49.1.1

        I see where you are coming from, i just find it very difficult to grasp borrowing today in the hope of things getter better and being able to pay it back in the future, hopefully.

        Its almost like gambling isnt it? Im not saying you are wrong just hard for someone wired like me to get my head around!

        • tracey 49.1.1.1

          you do know that this government has been borrowing over $200m a week since 2009? So your choice of government isnt doing what you are doing at all. Kudos to you, and for how you treat your staff (below) I don’t subscribe to the “all business owners are bastards” mantra anymore than I subscribe tot he “all unions are evil” mantras.

          I’d be interested in knowing what you thnk PLan B is for the Nats if they dont raise what they hoped from asset sales (and given solid energy’s position they prolly wont)

      • Rogue Trooper 49.1.2

        Yes, i imagine where National’s support arises from, the gut

        • Steady Course 49.1.2.1

          No, not my gut. My head, i dont like spending money i dont have yet! For me its as simple as that. I like to earn it before i spend it. Its much less stressful than spending up and hoping the money will come later! What if the money doesnt come later? Then what?

          • Pascal's bookie 49.1.2.1.1

            But you’re not a government. It’s a fundamental difference.

            Think about this paradox as an example.

            When an economy slumps, many people (rightly enough) look to pay down debt and cut ‘unnecessary’ expenditure.

            But what happens if everyone does it? If everyone starts paying off debt instead of spending, the economy drops even more because consumption decreases.

            Depending on what you do for a crust, if everyone is saving, it could be that your income falls by more than the amount of debt you are managing to pay off.

            This is not say that paying off debt is a bad thing for an individual, of course it’s not, but the paradox is that if everyone does it , it’s bad for everyone.

            So, the argument goes, that’s where the government has a role. Demand in the economy is made up from domestic consumption, exports and govt spending. If all three are falling you are in deep trouble. So what the govt can do is spend when everyone is saving, (to keep the economy ticking over and to avoid the death spiral) and pay off debt when everyone else is living it up large (taking heat out of the economy).

            Remember when Cullen was running surpluses and loads of people were complaining about being ‘overtaxed’ and that the surpluses were evidence of overtaxation? That’s the other side of the swingset.

            If the money doesn’t come later? Well there are options, but the short version is that if it really never recovers then we’re fucked, but we’re fucked now anyway, so what’s the loss?

            • Steady Course 49.1.2.1.1.1

              Not everyone is fucked now. Yes a lot of people are struggling but if we do it your way and the money doesnt come later EVERYONE is fucked. Its gambling.

              So to put it simply (and i know alot of the people struggling now will hate me for this) but i believe a little hardship for SOME now is better than alot of hardship for EVERYONE later. I believe this is what the majority of people voting for National believe.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The only gamble is that the economy will eventually pick up. If it does, all good, if it doesn’t, we’re fucked anyway.

                But there’s a theory as why government spending helps, (and why government retrenchment hurts), a recovery.

                What’s you theory saying the opposite?

                Does it fit with what we are seeing in the UK?

              • ropata

                Gambling seems to be what JK and crew are relying on. The Natty pinstripe boys are corporate speculators, using the “pump and dump” quarterly mindset to get temporary results (whilst hiding the real situation).

                Education, health, welfare, and public works are a long term investment in the future of NZ. The payoff doesn’t show up on the balance sheet for decades. But you can measure the level of inequality perpetrated by Rogernomics and National’s ongoing punitive policies.

              • tracey

                The things is that SOME are actually alot, and their suffering is huge not a little. Isnt the measure of our integrity as a nation how we care for our weakest links?

  48. Steady Course 50

    Our economy will only pick up when our major trading partners economies pick up, we are a small speck of a nation reliant on other countries buying our stuff. At the moment they arent buying our stuff as much as they used to. To think that spending more money we dont have or even worse trying to out print the US will magically fix everything is seen by now over 50% of the country as irresponsible untill then what national is doing is responsible and less risky than what labour or the greens are suggesting.
    The point im trying to get across is why over 50% of the country support National as most commenters on here cant seem to understand.

    • Pascal's bookie 50.1

      Our economy will only pick up when our major trading partners economies pick up, we are a small speck of a nation reliant on other countries buying our stuff.

      Well that’s an argument that it doesn’t matter what we do, so I can’t see how it’s an argument for doing, or not doing, anything at all.

      And no one is saying “do this and magic will happen”. That’s just silly.

      • Colonial Viper 50.1.1

        It’s a rerun of the “Government is helpless to do anything useful” line.

        While yet another $50M gets gifted to farm irrigation projects.

        To think that spending more money we dont have or even worse trying to out print the US will magically fix everything

        But we have the money. There’s money for irrigation and for new motorways, after all.

        BTW no one claimed that printing money “will magically fix everything”. It’s how that printed money will be used to help the nation which is the difficult part.

        You should also realise that there is no real difference between sourcing money into the NZ economy by borrowing from the Saudi Government, versus sourcing it from the NZ Government.

    • Arfamo 50.2

      What’s your evidence that over 50% of the country support National? Polls show exactly the opposite on asset sales, for example.

      • McFlock 50.2.1

        not to mention that 50% in a poll is nowhere near 50% of the people contacted by pollsters, for reasons stated above.

    • Arfamo 50.3

      Jonkey’s tax cuts for the rich made a massive hole in the books. Lower paid and middle class people have been getting hit in the pocket ever since as he tries to balance the books because the corresponding increase in GST was never going to replace that giveaway: because of all the secondary tax hits on low and middle income earners too many people no longer have the discretionary income to put back into the economy they once had. That was a major blow to the economy that was completely unnecessary and has damaged everyone but those at the top.

      The majority of voters don’t support National. The election turnout showed that. So too do the polls on asset sales. And those who didn’t vote last time certainly won’t be voting for National in 2014. They’ll vote for any party that looks like it has any alternative economic policy and that isn’t National.

      • Steady Course 50.3.1

        Thats what the left said before the last election! “John Keys time is up, everyones had enough”
        But then surprise surprise the left couldnt be bothered getting out of bed to vote!
        Meanwhile Nationals poll results keep getting better and John Keys preferred PM rating continues to soar!

        • Colonial Viper 50.3.1.1

          try providing some original thinking as to why Key is still relatively populat 5 years in.

          • Steady Course 50.3.1.1.1

            I have, see my comments above.
            I read this blog regularly to ensure i get a balanced view of political issues and i continually see comments from people who are at a loss to see why National are still the most popular party so i thought i would try to explain why i still support National and why they are still the preferred choice.

            • ropata 50.3.1.1.1.1

              thanks for the insight into the mind of a national voter – as I have commonly observed, hopelessly ignorant of the issues that matter, and enamoured with our celebrity PM

              • Steady Course

                No intelligent reply based on topic huh? and no im not enamoured with John Key, i couldnt give a shit who was prime minister as long as they dont waste money we dont have they have my vote.

                • Arfamo

                  I think the reason Jonkey keeps topping the polls is simply that Labour has been in disarray for so long and have chose an unphotogenic poor communicator as leader. These polls are about as informative and useful in reading the mood of the electorate as a poll on preferred fast foods in the lifestyle section of any of the dumbed down media outlets we have become accustomed to. Where are the polls taken? Have they ever taken a poll in a factory or a healthcare business?

                • ropata

                  In that case I suggest anyone but National. Are you aware that when they entered Parliament they enjoyed a healthy balance sheet thanks to the efforts of Michael Cullen. Then they decided to offer tax cuts to the rich, and build roads of no significance, bail out SCF, and give tax rebates to Warner Bros. The books have been in the red for years, but naive people still believe Key’s empty promises!

                  • Steady Course

                    You obviously dont keep up with current events, i will fill you in. A couple of years ago there was a series of earthquakes that devastated the Canterbury region costing the country billions and before that there was a global financial meltdown throwing the whole financial world into turmoil. Pick up a news paper doofus.

                    • ropata

                      so that’s your excuse for national penalising the poor, and subsidising the rich?
                      you’re either ignorant or morally corrupt.

        • tracey 50.3.1.2

          actually isnt his popularity at its lowest in a few years?

          • Colonial Viper 50.3.1.2.1

            It is (his popularity usually ranks in the 40’s now, not in the 50’s as previously); however he is still far more popular than all the other usual suspects added together.

  49. Steady Course 51

    Okay so we are dealing in cliches now, i will play along: What your excuse for the left penalising hard working tax payers and subsidising benefit bludgers?

    • geoff 51.1

      What’s your excuse for being a traitor to the country. What’s your excuse for hating New zealanders?
      What’s your excuse for applauding a system that rewards fraud, corruption and rent seeking?
      You’re a lousy excuse for person.

      • Steady Course 51.1.1

        I was once poor too, left home at 16 with nothing but the clothes on my back. Never taken a cent from anyone including my parents, government, student loans etc. I now employ 9 people (and counting) in an export business built with nothing but my own hard work (7 day weeks and 80 + hours a week) If i can do it why cant others??????? Get off your arse and put in the hard yards, you might actually enjoy the feeling of contributing to society and yes i pay my workers well above a ‘living wage’.

        • Bunji 51.1.1.1

          Never took a cent off your parents? So they didn’t feed you and clothe you and send you to school growing up?

          Never took a cent off the government? So you didn’t use the public school system, never went to a GP or hospital and never used public roads or any government-built infrastructure (like say the electricity powering your computer or the phone lines your internet’s coming in on)?

          Dude, no man is an island, we’re all here because of the opportunities given to us by our parents and our society. Some are given greater opportunities (not always monetary), and don’t even realise it, but they wouldn’t be here without others.

          Also I like how you work 80+ hours per week but have time to be commenting here all day…

          • Steady Course 51.1.1.1.1

            Bunji your comment proves my point. I had the same upbringing most have had, access to a good public school system, my parents had average to low wage jobs. Since being thrown out of home at 16 after butting heads with my parents i chose to work extremely hard when others around me pissed all there money against a wall!
            In response to your final paragraph i no longer work 80+ hours per week, i do about 40 and spend ample time enjoying and raising my children, the hard yards have been done.

            • Colonial Viper 51.1.1.1.1.1

              I think anyone who chooses to work a full time job should be given one to prove their ability.

              However, you’re just another self centred “I’m OK Jack” character. One of many, and nothing special.

        • geoff 51.1.1.2

          A single minded driven businessman who thinks that everyone should be just like him.
          Never would have guessed.

          You told someone before to go read a paper doofus well clearly you didn’t read the papers too well. The world is going to shit because of the last 30 years of corrupt rightwing bullshit and you appear to be supporting that.

          You’re an ignorant, traitor.

          • Steady Course 51.1.1.2.1

            Surprise surprise, i should have known that the likes of Geoff, Bunji and Ropata are not going to grasp the concept of being independant, supporting yourself and working for a living.
            Enjoy your day off and benefit today guys im off to WORK (google it, it sounds like it may be a foreign concept to you)

            • geoff 51.1.1.2.1.1

              The irony is you think you’re a self made man when in reality you’re nothing but a parasite.

              Enjoy your day off and benefit today guys im off to WORK
              I’m a tradesman you fucking idiot, I don’t get days off.

            • ropata 51.1.1.2.1.2

              i’m an IT contractor doing 10 hour days fairly regularly. I just don’t hate poor people

              • lprent

                I work ten hours most weekdays and frequently on the weekends as well. And I’ve run businesses in various roles employing considerably more than SC before I got the programming bug, and helped setup and run businesses spanning several countries since – when it was unavoidable. Management is so damn tedious compared to coding.

                As you say, the difference appears to be the Steady Course simply hates anyone that is poorer than he is. Why do I also get the impression that it is rather more general than that. He probably hates people who are better than him as well if he follows the usual pattern of these dicks.

                A rather insecure wee dweeb really. Probably working too close to the limits of his abilities as well by the tenor of his comment. Probably rather inadequate generally was my impression….

                • Steady Course

                  I dont hate poor people, i cant stand lazy people, big difference! I dont hate people who are better off than me i actually admire their drive. I am a very happy person these days i have a great work life balance thanks to the hard work i put in during my youth.
                  One thing i have noticed while commenting here and reading other comments over the last week or so is how hate filled,aggressive,petty,childish and generally angry you all are including you lprent you seem to be the worst!
                  Now because i have confronted you im sure i will be banned! Looking at previous posts that how it works here, right?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Ahhh steady course made great gains during the socialist era of the pre Douglas years

                    Now takes it all for granted and narcissistically claims credit for it himself using his individual effort

                    Hey you like hard work right buddy?

                    Then I’ve got a simple solution: have the Government create 25,000 jobs over the next year and get people full time work.

                    You’ll back this right buddy? Asshole.

                    • Steady Course

                      Im doing my bit, like i said i employ 9 people, if all you guys picked up your balls, morgaged up your family home and endured the stress and sleepless nights while wondering if it was worth it, more of those 25 000 you talk about would be employed too! But its easier to just expect the government to magically make it happen right?

                    • KJT

                      You think poor people in the cleaning job, which may have the wages cut or disappear tomorrow, as the contract goes to someone cheaper, do not have stress and sleeplesss nights?

                    • KJT

                      I did exactly that SC.

                      Sold out and went back to being employed when National got back in.

                      A wise decision as National are no good for business.

                      I will just go back to earning megabucks. The 90 hour weeks as an employee in NZ are not so good, though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      S.C.?

                      You mortgaged your family home to start a business?

                      What an idiot.

                      In the 1970’s and 1980’s there were generous business development grants and extensive tax breaks for starting businesses.

                      Why would you put your families home at risk in some kind of ball breaking machismo?

                  • tracey

                    do you think poor people are lazier than wealthy people?

                  • tracey

                    you’ve got a bit het up yourself. If people bait you, dont take it.

                    NZ is built on the back of small business people, yet event hey kow-tow to the large corpos the economy is designed to serve.

                    All power to you. I am also self employed. The trade off of being self employed with its worries and stresses is that I can take a day off when I want to, to watch a kid play sport or whatever, or go and play golf, or do some volunteer work, or go on holiday. I know when I don’t work I am not paid, but I make those choices.

                    I know that not everyone has the “balls” (as you put it) to run their own business. Some people like the security of a regular pay packet, provided they are in an industry where its regularity is guaranteed.

                    I also know there is enormous stress of working in a job that could go at any time. The idea that people who work in a factory for 40 hours a week have a sweet stress free life is ridiculous. Just as an assumption someone like you is riding high all the time is ridiculous.

                    As long as this “discussion” is always framed in term sof

                    business is hard worker employee is too lazy to better themselves and
                    business is scum sucking parasite and worker is downtrodden victim

                    nothing advances… Wait, one thing advances. The top 1% of which I suspect no one in this thread is a part of , thrive and get wealthier and more powerful. God how they must laugh at those of us in the middle class who worship them and admire them and want to be like them so stay on our own version of the treadmill to advance their lives.

                    • Steady Course

                      Yeah, i think you may be right. Thanks for making me think about things from a different angle.

            • Bunji 51.1.1.2.1.3

              Looks like we all work fulltime Steady – so you’re not better than us even by your measure.

              Although I’m not quite sure why the tens of thousands who have no job but would desperately love to work are worth any less. And it turns out benefit fraud is miniscule compared to tax fraud, and the number of people who wouldn’t prefer to be working than be on a benefit is also very small. Unless a lot of people suddenly became lazy because National got into power (surely a good reason to throw them out?).

        • millsy 51.1.1.3

          I would like to know if you would:

          Sack your workers for joining a union
          Dismantle our public health system
          get rid of state housing.

          • Steady Course 51.1.1.3.1

            I wouldnt sack my workers for joining a union, but i dont think they would have a reason to, i make sure i pay well above my competitors to avoid costly staff turnover and retraining and i really like my employees so want them to stick around we have alot of laughs and fun at work. Next month im shouting them all to aussie for a week.
            I dont know enough about the next two to offer wothwhile comment. Im open to learning though, whats your opinion?

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