Archive for May, 2009

The $8 billion robbery

Written By: - Date published: 3:44 pm, May 31st, 2009 - 42 comments

On Q+A this morning Guyon Espiner interviewed Bill English. Guyon had received papers from a treasury official that apparently show the cost of cancelling the government’s contributions to the Cullen Fund for 10 years will be $8 billion over and above the cost of borrowing to fund the contributions. $3.5 billion from lower value of […]

The best part of The Onion

Written By: - Date published: 2:33 pm, May 31st, 2009 - Comments Off on The best part of The Onion

Is the fake editorial cartoons. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between them and the Herald’s:

Turei new greens leader

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, May 30th, 2009 - 40 comments

Metiria Turei has been elected at the Green Party National conference to replace Jeanette Fitzsimons are female co-leader. Her election is no real surprise. Turei brings youth and a lack of baggage. Youth is important for a party whose MPs’ average age is 55, apparently the oldest average (apart from Jim Anderton). Sue Bradford, who […]

Time for a change

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, May 30th, 2009 - 3 comments

Remember that month when John Armstrong was away when up and comers like Patrick Gower and Eloise Gibson were getting to write pieces on the big issues instead? Oh how I miss those golden days. Now Armstrong is back with his brand of relentless sophistric sycophancy and complete focus on the politically expedient over effective policy. If […]

Future shock

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, May 30th, 2009 - 18 comments

Yesterday, my comrade Zetetic wrote that despite all the bad stuff in the Budget there was still a “meta-victory” for the Left because the ‘social wage’ hadn’t been attacked. That is, health, education, and social welfare aren’t cut in this year’s Budget. Well, I’ve been doing something Zetetic has probably been wise enough to avoid. […]

Is this Rodney?

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, May 30th, 2009 - 12 comments

From Darren Watson.. For those who don’t follow Star-trek, click the image.

Caption Competition

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, May 30th, 2009 - 18 comments

The man in the mirror

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 pm, May 29th, 2009 - 28 comments

The Budget is already costing jobs.   AirNZ has announced that it will be cutting flights. 80 jobs will go. The EPMU has said it will fight hard for the jobs. It’ll be tough to save them all.   Why is AirNZ cutting the flights? Not enough passengers. AirNZ was hoping for something for tourism […]

Government waste

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, May 29th, 2009 - 16 comments

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the right when Labour and the Greens filibustered the other week to draw the public’s attention to the supercity bill being rammed through Parliament. ‘Think of the cost”, they cried, which makes me wonder why they don’t propose getting rid of Parliament altogether to save a […]

Quote competition

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, May 29th, 2009 - 19 comments

So, in the light of yesterday’s budget, I propose a quote competition. Post your favourite Nat quotes! We could start with two categories. First, foolish tax cut promises. Here’s some starters: Key, quoted here: “Under National, personal tax cuts are a priority. New Zealanders will be able to believe in our tax cuts, they will […]

The battle and the war

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 29th, 2009 - 28 comments

It’s a bleak budget alright. No jobs package. That’s scandalous dereliction of duty. The 70,000-100,000 people who will loss their jobs this year and their families will remember that the Tories sat on its hands when it mattered. Boy, they know how to manage the journos though. People whose major mathematical skill is having the right change […]

The Dishonest Budget

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 29th, 2009 - 9 comments

Thanks to a reader, here’s Phil Goff’s speech in reply to the Budget. Looks like they’ve ripped the Herald’s version, so for the sake of credit here’s the link to the original. If anyone has the Greens’ response send it in and we’ll put it up.

No great expectations, but what a bleak house

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, May 29th, 2009 - 5 comments

Listening to Bill English’s budget speech, I was reminded of Dickens’ description of Scrooge: “The cold within him froze his features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice …” There was nothing shrewd about this bit though: “The current projections show debt […]

No credit rating upgrade

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, May 29th, 2009 - 15 comments

Journalists around the country seem to think (even the learned ones) that the budget has brought about a credit ratings upgrade. Not true. There has merely been a stabilisation of our current credit rating. An upgrade of Standard and Poor’s rating would be shifting from AA+ to AAA. That hasn’t happened. The government’s spin has […]

No super contributions = worse net debt

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 114 comments

I’ve had a dig into Treasury’s numbers and worked out that they expect the Superannuation Fund will make a 13% return next year, falling to 11% a year by 2012. Those figures seem pretty good, not too optimistic. It’s what the Fund made in ordinary years before the crunch and bear in mind the Fund […]

Mission accomplished

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 18 comments

John Key famously said “we would love to see wages drop“. It sure didn’t take him long in government to see his ambition achieved. Here are the wage hourly wages rates, adjusted for inflation, over the last decade and Treasury’s projections from today’s budget. After peaking this year (wages lag unemployment), wages will drop then stall. […]

Here we go again

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 18 comments

In the 1990’s the National government of the day dealt with recession by cutting spending. The tragic result was to suck cash out of an already stalling economy and lengthen the recession. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of New Zealanders suffered unnecessarily. Today the National government met the current recession by cutting spending. So […]

Bleak and bleaker

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 12 comments

Treasury’s main forecasts for the economy have worsened significantly since December: Nothing for jobs in the Budget. Tens of thousands more on the dole. We need better than this. – Marty G

The black budget report

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 46 comments

This post will be updated by the Standardistas as the details of the Budget come out. If you have special knowledge of a field and spot something that we (and the mainstream media) are likely to miss, drop us a line at thestandardnz@gmail.com and we’ll put it up. — [2:17] Contributions to the Superannuation Fund […]

Drinking Liberally Wgtn – tonight

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 4 comments

Apologies for the late notice – Drinking Liberally Wellington is on tonight with guest Rob Salmond. Usual time, usual place. From the Facebook page: Rob Salmond is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He has published research on a range of topics including electoral reform, female legislaive […]

The Debt Bogey Returns

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 28th, 2009 - 30 comments

Seems this op-ed was off-message for one of our larger media outlets, we’re happy to run it: _______________________________________ Alan Blinder, Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton recently warned Americans: ‘ Prematurely changing fiscal and monetary policies – from stepping hard on the accelerator to slamming on the brake – can be hazardous to the economy’s […]

Broken promises

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, May 28th, 2009 - 27 comments

National have already broken lots of pre-election promises and policies. Their policy to consult on local government and Auckland has been contemptuously ignored. Their pre-election welfare policy promise on benefit abatement thresholds, broken. They broke their promise to include Playcentre in ECE 20 Hours Free. They broke their promise to protect jobs, and particularly to […]

If everything goes well..

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 am, May 28th, 2009 - 23 comments

Good politics is meeting or exceeding expectations. Good spin is setting expectations. Key and English have put a lot of effort into setting expectations for the budget. (2000 Kiwis a week a probably wishing they would put effort into protecting jobs). The fruits of which will be this, if everything goes well for them: English […]

English and Key uncertain of Budget’s focus

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 35 comments

If there was ever a phrase that this Government keeps reminding me of, it’s “couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery”. Today, on the eve of what will be a particularly important Budget for our country, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance aren’t entirely sure just what it is they’re trying to achieve. […]

Budget previews: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 26 comments

As well as the usual pre-Budget announcements there have been a number of leaks. A quick review: Good Home insulation package: this is the Greens’ baby and could well be a highlight of the Budget in a sea of negatives. It would have been better if they had put in something about forcing landlords to […]

History repeats for Mark Thomas

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

The irony is that Melissa Lee’s campaign manager, Mark Thomas, is no stranger to campaigns that start off with a hiss and a roar only to collapse when abandoned by National’s leadership. Thomas was National’s candidate for Wellington Central in 1996, the first MMP election, in a three way contest with Act’s Richard Prebble and […]

What we need in the Budget

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 81 comments

We need to keep paying into the Superannuation Fund. Never heard anything so dumb as the idea of stopping making payments right now. Invest now and make a tidy sum to pay for super in the future. If we don’t we’ll have to put up taxes in the future or cut super. I’m looking forward […]

Minima

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 27th, 2009 - 24 comments

One of the oldest tricks in the book for a government that’s cutting public services is to say ‘we’re not cutting, we’re spending more in our budget than ever before’ while not mentioning that their spending ‘increase’ doesn’t match inflation and population growth. We need to know what constitutes minimum increases to preserve current services: […]

Vote Yes slideshow

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, May 27th, 2009 - 8 comments

Referendum 2009 – Unicef NZ The Vote Yes campaign is about preserving s59 of the Cirmes Act, which gives children the same right as adults to not be assaulted. More information here. [just a couple of quick suggestions to the Vote Yes people: ‘Vote yes, for a law that’s working’ is a bad slogan, it doesn’t […]

Pigs

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 27th, 2009 - 14 comments

It’s good to see Green MP Sue Kedgley calling on John Key to personally fix the abuse of pigs in sow crates. The chair of Nawac appears incapable of seeing that there’s even a problem, and the Minister of Agriculture has already been caught misleading the public on national television to defend the industry. It’s […]

Granny Herald – getting more irrelevant

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 pm, May 26th, 2009 - 24 comments

This morning’s NZ Herald was interesting. I picked it up while waiting for the bus, rather than reading it on the iPhone in the mobile edition as I usually do. It has fewer ads. I realized yet again that the NZ Herald editorial staff do not live in the same city as I do. Yesterdays […]

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