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Archive for May, 2008

Predictions on Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 10:29 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 9 comments

We’ve seen many of the commentators suggest that National is coming up short on policy proposals after the Budget last week. What I’ll be looking for is whether Mr Key takes his attack to the PM and Michael Cullen in the House tomorrow. The hints continue to be that tax cuts will be larger and […]

Down the club

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 40 comments

National party activist and spokesperson David Farrar has surpassed himself this time with a post attacking Helen Clark for not having children that features youtube work from his friend and fellow activist Cameron Slater. Now I expect this kind of thing from Slater who is well known for such tasteful moves as photoshopping the face […]

Kiwi Scott Dixon wins Indy 500

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 5 comments

Astronomical world dairy prices are to see the traditional champagne replaced with milk on motor race winners’ podiums around the globe next year. What started as a tradition in the Indy 500 back in 1936 will next year be extended to Formula One, the World Rally Champs and NASCAR. Super-heated liquid cheese was trialed briefly […]

Bloody Marys for breakfast

Written By: - Date published: 5:09 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 8 comments

Nevermind has this: “Our favourite National Party Hack unbiased political commentator weighs in on rat hygiene when the Bloody Marys it seems he had for breakfast appear to catch up with him ” Classic stuff, but enlightening too.  

Show us ya policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:57 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 32 comments

Steve posted this morning that even Granny Herald’s patience appears to be wearing thin waiting for National and Key to announce some policy detail: “National must get a move on… we need to hear some serious policy soon”. Turns out they’re not alone. Rod Oram (SST): …for it to be a genuine debate, National needs […]

Kremlinology: Nats’ tax plans

Written By: - Date published: 3:24 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 11 comments

National is still refusing to give us any detail on its tax cut plan, indicating it doesn’t have one. But let’s do a bit of Kremlinology to work out what we might expect from them when they eventually get their act together. The size of Labour’s tax cuts has spooked National. Key’s speech in reply […]

Political logos

Written By: - Date published: 3:19 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 2 comments

[lprent: This post has been revised due to an on-going copyright dispute] A week or so ago someone sent me this link to historical American political logos. It’s an interesting examination of trends and themes. A week or so ago someone sent me this link [removed] to historical American political logos. It’s an interesting examination of trends […]

Hidden costs of private hospitals

Written By: - Date published: 2:39 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 13 comments

If you’re paying for your health care you’d expect good service wouldn’t you? The release of four health commissioner decisions over the weekend and covered by the Sunday Star Times, focused attention on private hospitals and the potential for catastrophic outcomes from relatively minor operations. According the report, Health Commissioner Ron Paterson says the cluster of cases […]

Game on

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, May 26th, 2008 - 45 comments

Even Granny’s patience can wear thin

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, May 26th, 2008 - 42 comments

With a loving smack that would have brought a smile to Bob McCoskrie’s face, the Herald‘s editorial today rebukes John Key in the strongest terms it can. Now that the Budget is behind us, the National Party has less excuse for indecision on most of the important economic issues facing the country at the coming […]

The pragmatist

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 am, May 26th, 2008 - 38 comments

Asking the second question

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, May 24th, 2008 - 62 comments

Key’s best trick is to answer questions with impressive or technical sounding assertions that stop the line of questioning but don’t actually tell us anything. When he does that, interviewers need to push him to explain himself. Here’s a few paraphrased examples from the last couple of week: Q. ‘What don’t you like about the […]

The Ministry of National Affairs

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, May 23rd, 2008 - 70 comments

Here’s a good ten minutes from the middle of Winston’s post budget address yesterday. The highlight is around four minutes in, on National’s burgeoning bureaucracy: Did you know that John Key himself in his Wellington parliamentary office employs has 36 people?… they cost the taxpayer, every year… over seven million dollars… Teams of PR people and spin doctors […]

Cumulative Effect

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, May 23rd, 2008 - 60 comments

The Press (Budget Doesn’t Impress Family) looks at the effect of the tax cuts on an average family with a combined income of $78,000 and two kids under 12 . They will have $42 more a week from tax cuts and boosted Working for Families tax credits come October 1. That’s like getting paid for […]

Where’s the beef John?

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 5 comments

Key kicks off this Close Up interview by trying to dampen down rising expectations of National’s tax package and make himself some wiggle room by emphasising that his comments from earlier in the week about tax cuts “north of $50” relate to voter expectations rather than what National may eventually be able to deliver. Presumably […]

National’s cruel hoax

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 52 comments

Well the budget is out and across the country the public are looking at their tax cuts and asking “is that it?” and this is at a time that economists are very nervous about the inflationary impact of such a large package of cuts and anything bigger means cutting services or significantly increasing borrowing. The […]

Roy Morgan

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 23 comments

There was a Roy Morgan poll out yesterday showing a gap of 14 between National and Labour. Party support varied only slightly from the previous Morgan poll. The Morgan poll differs hugely from the controversial Fairfax poll from a week or so ago which showed a gap of 27 points. This just goes to show […]

“As slippery as a snake in wet grass”

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 61 comments

John Campbell interviews John Key on the budget, refusing to let him get away with merely repeating his focus-grouped lines. At about the 3 minute mark Campbell challenges Key’s evasiveness directly: “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass”. It’s not just the media that are starting to get frustrated with […]

Tax cut graphs and full calculator

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 15 comments

Here are graphs of the portion of income going on tax and the portion of reduction in tax for Kiwis under the Budget’s cuts, with the population in each $10,000 bracket. As you can see, the biggest percent reductions go to the bulk of the population. And everyone is paying at least 10% less tax […]

Happy 1000th.

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 11 comments

Well that happened fast. This is the 1001st public post on The Standard. That is assuming I get it in before the next post appears. So I thought we should have a post to celebrate the event. It has been just over 9 months in the gestation. The first post was, appropriately enough, “Get your […]

Drinking Liberally liberally attended

Written By: - Date published: 6:19 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 18 comments

The launch of Drinking Liberally at the Southern Cross last night was a blast. The organisers had been hoping for 20 plus people to make it the first time, so it was really impressive to see over 50 people there. Nandor spoke well and had a chance to speak on a big picture level regarding […]

Tax cut calculator

Written By: - Date published: 5:27 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 7 comments

As much as I despair to see our political discourse descend into a bidding war on taxes, it’s worth looking at Infometrics’ online online tax cut calculator here. Just plug in your income and it’ll tell you your new effective tax rate and how much you’ll get in your pocket from October 1 through to […]

Commentators on the Budget

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 36 comments

From John Armstrong in The Herald: Is it enough? Michael Cullen has given it his best shot. He has been about as generous as he could be. He and his Labour colleagues will not die wondering what might have been had the Finance minister’s tax cuts been bolder. He could not have been bolder without […]

Budget 2008: Analysis

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 69 comments

The tax cuts are smaller up front than Labour had been hoping to deliver but the economic position at present means there is simply not the money in the coffers to give huge cuts right now. Labour is bringing forward the cuts and the boost to Working for Families to October 1, instead of April […]

Budget 2008: Spending

Written By: - Date published: 2:58 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 8 comments

The tax cuts are the cornerstone of this budget but there is also important new spending. New Spending in the Budget: $172.3 million for improving DHB efficiency $2 billion for DHBS $164.2 million for HPV immunisation $160 million for more elective surgery $60 million to improve the health workforce $79 million for child and youth […]

Budget 2008: Tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 2:55 pm, May 22nd, 2008 - 27 comments

Labour has announced a three year tax cut package worth $10.6 billion. Here’s a table showing the changes: Current 15.00% 21.00% 33.00% 39.00% Up to $9,500.00 $38,000.00 $60,000.00 $60 K New 12.50% 21.00% 33.00% 39.00% 01/10/08 $14,000.00 $40,000.00 $70,000.00 $70K plus 01/04/10 $17,500.00 $40,000.00 $75,000.00 $75K plus 01/04/11 $20,000.00 $42,500.00 $80,000.00 $80K plus What does […]

Telling porkies

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, May 22nd, 2008 - 44 comments

The Herald and National have started attacking every piece of government spending as pork-barrelling. Here’s some of what they’re calling ‘wasteful, needless spending’: $750 million of new health spending ($160 million for elective services) -Pork $700 million for Fast Forward Fund, food and pastoral sector research -Pork $665 million to buy the national rail operations […]

Water, water everywhere, why not stop to think?

Written By: - Date published: 7:11 am, May 22nd, 2008 - 18 comments

From the MP who tried to ban water comes ‘don’t use crash statistics to work out which roads are dangerous’. Writing in the Oamaru Mail about a dangerous stretch of road, National MP Jacqui Dean says: “Transit New Zealand often places too great an emphasis on the crash statistics it receives from Land Transport New […]

Feeling mean? Which Disney villain are you?

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 pm, May 21st, 2008 - 12 comments

Get “scientific” with this poll and determine “which Disney villain are you”?    

National’s campaign to muzzle union continues

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, May 21st, 2008 - 139 comments

It seems National has succeeded in the first step of its campaign to muzzle the EPMU and the fifty thousand workers it represents. Over at the bog our mate Davey is crowing about the high court win that recognises the union as a legal person for the purposes of the act. This still means that […]

Lazy academic calls Pacific Island workers lazy

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 21st, 2008 - 74 comments

Economist Greg Clydesdale has released a report in which he says Pacific Islanders are a drain on the New Zealand economy (exhibiting “significant and enduring under-achievement” and “that can contribute little to economic growth” in his words). I accept Clydesdale’s cry that he is not a racist. No, he is just a fool who is […]

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