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A Budget for the rich, by the rich

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, May 20th, 2010 - 141 comments
Categories: budget 2010 - Tags: , ,

Paul Reynolds is the CEO of Telecom. He has sacked 1200 Kiwi workers during his tenure. They’re you’re neighbours, the members of your community. His company has been disasteriously run as we fall further and further behind in internet and cellphone technology.

This is just the kind of man that National thinks we need to keep in New Zealand with tax bribes using our money. Hell he must be valuable, that’s why Telecom pays him $7 million a year.

So, National has given him another $290,000 a year of our money. Forget about a few extra bucks for school principal on $100,000, it’s the few on the really big bucks that will be getting our money. That money is coming from our higher GST, our higher rent bills.

Reynolds’ ‘rich guy bonus’ alone is enough to hire six nurses or teachers. It’s enough to pay for 40,000 hours of early childhood education. It’s the added GST bill for some 400 typical Kiwi workers.

But, nah, it’s gone to a man who already seems quite happy working for $7 million a year.

Let’s see what else is in the Budget:

Tax cuts favour the rich:

– GST increases from 12.5% to 15%

– Company tax rate drops from 30% to 28%

– Top tax rate from 38% to 33% (up to $70,000)

– Medium tax rate from 33%-30%, Lower rates 21%-17.5% (up to $48,000) , Bottom rate 12.5%-10.5% (up to $14,000)

So a great windfall for John Key and Paul Reynolds there…

(Update 1) Education and health cuts:

Both education and health will get too little money to cover inflation and increased population. Health and eduation have been cut.

(Update 2) Landlords, conservation, deterioration of public services

Clamp down on landlords as expected, which will hit renters hard. This is what is funding Key and Reynold’s tax grab.

Health and education do not get the funding they need just to tread water. So expect deterioration in these vital public services.

Conservation gets another cut by being forced to fund Key’s pet cycleways from its existing budget.

(Update 3) Greens slam the budget as fiscally irresponsible

John Key’s Government has chosen a Budget of fiscal, social and environmental deficits when smarter options were available, the Green Party said today.

‘The Government is borrowing to pay for poor quality spending on tax cuts that heavily favour the wealthy, more motorways for more congestion, and subsidies for the worst climate polluters,’ Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman said.

‘There is a deficit of vision in this Budget.

(Update 4) Early childhood education slashed by 50%

Audrey Young writes: “The Government will save about $400 million over four years in abolishing the top two funding rates for early childhood centres. – the funding rates depend on qualified staff.

Officials tell me that that will affect about 2000 centres or about 50 per cent of them.”

(Update 5) Borrowing for tax cuts

The tax swindle isn’t fiscally neutral as promised. This year, the cuts for the rich will cost $465 million more than the tax increases will bring in.

(Update 6) No growth from tax cuts

Oh and on the promise that this give away of our money to the rich will boost growth? The Budget documents forecast growth will be just 0.1% a year higher as a result. So, your slice of the pie just got smaller but, hey, the pie is microscopically bigger.

(Update 7) No Vision

Armstrong: “It is after that [tax cuts] the Budget suddenly stops dead in its tracks. Those looking for the bright ideas and initiatives to galvanise economic growth are going to be hugely disappointed.”

The Nats have no vision. Cut taxes for the rich and rip minerals from the earth – it’s thinking straight out of last century.

(Update 8 ) Cuts to education details

These are the cuts in simple dollar amount to education, let alone the cuts when you take rising inflation (5% this year because of the GST rise) and rising rolls into account.

Curriculum Support cut 2.5 million (4%)

Education Research Initiatives cut $150,000 (5%)

Professional Development and Support cut $7.4 million (7.5%)

Quality Assurance cut $4.3 million (56%)

International Student Scholarships by $800,000 (26%)

Mapihi Pounamu (assistance to at-risk secondary students) by $550,000 (14%)

National Study Awards by $1.7 million (6%)

Study Abroad Awards by $550,000 (30%)

Tertiary scholarships by $4.2 million (20%)

Adult and Community Education by $23.7 million (28%)

Tertiary Education Organisation Component -Capability Fund by $224.6 million (54%)

School Furniture and Equipment by $7 million (28%)

There you have it. Quality assessment, upskilling teachers, tertiary capability, scholarships, at-risk kids, hell even furniture all getting the chop.

(Update 9) Real term cuts to Health

NZ Herald: “Govt puts Health on life support”. Link.

“…health will get $1.95 billion in operating costs over the next four years. That is just under $500 million annually – $250m less a year than the increase in last year’s budget”

“…unions had calculated that $555 million in new spending was necessary to keep current levels of health services, but the Budget offered only half that.”

(Update 10) Still thinking short term

Scoop: “Also missing is any mention of superannuation or indications of timing for a resumption in contributions to the Cullen New Zealand Superannuation fund.”

141 comments on “A Budget for the rich, by the rich ”

  1. lprent 1

    Interesting. The question really is how they’re going to pay for those cuts…

  2. Michael Foxglove 2

    A typical Tory budget. Slash the progressive taxes, increase the regressive ones. Leave the Paul Reynolds of this world much better off, while seriously increasing costs for middle NZers.

    Not bloody fair.

  3. ieuan 3

    It’s sad that you focus on one of the highest paid individuals in your commentary of the budget and say stupid stuff like ‘So, National has given him another $290,000 a year of our money.’

    As much as I think he is massively over paid and not worth anywhere near $7M a year, he is employed by a private company and the money he is paid is ‘his’ (not ours).

    You would be better placed looking at how ordinary New Zealanders on low to middle incomes fare in the budget and if the country overall can afford to provide the necessary services, investment and debt repayment required.

    • Michael Foxglove 3.1

      It’s sad that you think redistribution of wealth from poor South Aucklanders to Paul Reynolds is just.

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        Exactly – his income is the business of the company – the tax on his income is our business.

      • Craig 3.1.2

        Michael

        At $7m a year, Paul Reynolds’ tax bill will be something north of $2m. That is a serious amount of wealth redistribution from Paul Reynolds to poor South Aucklanders.

        How much do you think he should pay of his money?

        • burt 3.1.2.1

          If he keeps more than a beneficiary receives he is ripping us off…. Letting him keep more than say $150/week is not helping us stay in recession and therefore is not helping entrench state dependence. State dependence IS the fuel for getting Labour govt’s elected.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1

            What NACT are after and this budget will help the achieve is everyone else’s dependence upon the rich which is far worse as it opens the door to dictatorship. Of course, that’s just what you and your buddies in NACT want.

          • burt 3.1.2.1.2

            What I want Draco is taxation to be taxation and welfare to be welfare. I want taxation to fairly extract the cost of running the country and social policy to protect and provide for the most vulnerable rather than pick winners and losers across the income strata. Labour significantly intertwined tax and social policy, I think we can agree on that? When welfare extends to income levels twice the tax definition of rich; I call that social engineering but I’m picking we won’t agree on that?

            I also suspect that you think Reynolds paying $2m odd in income tax is insufficient, I think that’s quite enough from one person and I’m comfortable with his $290k reduction in burden. I hope he spends/invests it in NZ, but that’s his choice not mine.

            • Nee 3.1.2.1.2.1

              And national’s tax cut’s aren’t inter-twinned with social policy? Of course they are. They are directly helping those that voted for them and support their campaigning funding through the tax cuts. you’re happy right?

            • burt 3.1.2.1.2.2

              I agree, It’s just tinkering with Labour’s birds nest. Second term the handbrake should come off and hopefully we’ll see a move away from using the popularity levers to using the structural modification levers.

              • Nee

                So your original point about Labour is null and void – as national are being political and enabling their social policy through borrowing money to pay for the tax cuts. Doing EXACTLY the same as Labour – ALL POLITICAL PARTIES DO IT>

              • burt

                If they all do it then I guess that makes it OK, should we just move on?

      • Daveski 3.1.3

        If your measure of fairness is comparing Paul Reynolds with the average punter, we all have a problem. It’s no different from the right idiots using extreme examples of people rorting social welfare (swimming pool fences and the likes!) which aren’t representative of reality.

        Mind you, I’d happily argue that Reynolds is better off than if he was to receive performance pay. And a second point, why don’t we have NZers in these roles? They can’t be any worse and at least we could understand their excuses for their ongoing failures.

  4. katie may 4

    OOH, Goff’s up now and he is ripping into it. As he should.

    • katie may 4.1

      “Tax swindle” is today’s phrase that pays

    • Armchair Critic 4.2

      Now Johnnie’s up and he’s saying “it’s okay because the Labour first ACT government raised GST and lowered personal tax in 1989. Good one, Johnnie – what happened at the 1990 election? Bring it on, I say.

  5. Joshua 5

    National has not given him $290,000 a year of OUR money – it has let him keep an additional $290,000 of HIS money. His salary is $7million – The Government did not set that, it is what Telecom’s shareholders had sanctioned. At $7million, his tax at 33% = $2.31 million per annum. That provides a huge amount of services to New Zealand.

    • Michael Foxglove 5.1

      Where did he get “his” money Joshua?

      Oh that’s right, out of the pockets of ordinary Kiwis.

      Out of ordinary Kiwis paying for services that Reynolds is employing workers earning 1/200th of his own wage to do.

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        No Joshua, like it or not taxable income is ‘our’ money. He’s just gotten a tax cut. That money was ours.

    • Nee 5.2

      Do you know he will actually pay that tax though? – got proof of that?If you have fat cash you have a means to get out of taxes. If he has a family trust etc good luck NZ coffers.

  6. Alexandra 6

    ieuan – The windfall Paul Reynolds as just been gifted isnt from the private company, its from us all.

  7. Armchair Critic 7

    Are our tax rates lower than Mexico’s, now?

  8. Nick C 8

    Most of the media reports about this budget have been positive actually. Of course we all knew what The Stranded was going to say before they said it.

    You never mentioned the stuff around property, which increases revenue from the rich to the tune of $2.48billion over 4 years

    • kaplan 8.1

      You mean those extra expenses that landlords are going to pass on to the low/middle income families that are their tennats?

      • Mark M 8.1.1

        What a load of rubbish.
        Landlords have never been able to simply put up rent just because their costs go up.

        They also dont put them down when their costs decrease as they have in the last couple of years with lower interest rates.

        Housing rentals in the private sector always were and always will be ,set at the highest level the market can sustain.
        Most posters here are saying the poor are going to be worse off , therefore having less ability to pay the rent.

        This is more likey to lower rentals as people shift properties looking for better rentals.

        Landlords who will be worse off by the tax changes ,will bend over backwards to keep their properties occupied.

        Phil Goff dosent seem to understand this but just wait and see

  9. randal 9

    this the brown budget where they crap all over the poor.

    • big bruv 9.1

      What utter rubbish.

      Show me one example of the “poor” being crapped on…….just one.

  10. Jay 10

    I’m one of those principals on 100k who I’d rather you didnt forget about. There are a lot more of us in this country than Paul Reynolds.

    I am actually quite happy. At the end of the day my family (wife and three kids) are going to be about $130 better off a month. Thats actually going to make a hell of a difference. I just wish Labour had done more like this when in power and they might still be there.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      Under Labour you got pay rises. Let’s see if you get them under National. And then you’ll see if tax cuts matter more than wages.

      Oh, and how do you feel about the education budget?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      are going to be about $130 better off a month.

      No you won’t. The GST and rent hikes will take of that.

    • all_your_base 10.3

      I don’t think it’s quite the free lunch you might think it is Jay. That money has to come from somewhere. Significant cuts to things like health and early childhood education for example. The reality is we’ll all end up paying.

    • Keep hoping dude.
      Inflation 5.9%. You will have to use that money to just keep up.

  11. watching Key’s smugness was nauseating…shows the man in a different light

    • katie may 11.1

      Did you also notice during Goff’s speech that whenever the camera cut to Key and English it showed them hunkered over the desk, giggling like bitchy little schoolgirls? Gag me with a spoon.

  12. vidiot 12

    – Top tax rate from 39% to 33% (up to $70,000)

    http://www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/taxrates-codes/itaxsalaryandwage-incometaxrates.html
    from $48,001 to $70,000: 33 cents
    $70,001 and over: 38 cents

    eh ?

    • Bright Red 12.1

      should be 38% to 33% above $70,000.

      Is that the biggest angle you can come up with, vidiot? ‘dude makes slight error in blog post’?

  13. Health and education has not been cut.

    • Zorr 13.1

      Keep up with the play Brett. Health and education budgets have not been increased to keep pace with inflation and population increase – hence the services provided per capita for this country are now less funded than they were previously.

      I know it is difficult to follow all this information at once and combine it in to a coherent understanding, but if it does take you a little longer to think it through before posting some tired nonsense, please do.

      • seth 13.1.1

        Keep up with the play Zorr – the government has been restructuring health and forcing DHB’s to be more efficient and cut waste, which offsets the inflation and population increases…..

        I know its difficult to actually look at things objectively, but, dude, you’re looking like a tool when you rant without understanding the big picuter

        • Zorr 13.1.1.1

          Restructuring the DHBs? Pray explain how they have been doing that to reduce waste? By making ‘backroom’ staff redundant? The same staff that mean the doctors (who are more highly paid and are a limited resource) are able to work and perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently?

          Nothing this government has done with regards the health system has been a success worth trumpeting because otherwise they would have made sure we heard it from every rooftop.

          Feel free to provide some actual evidence to support your position that National has made the DHBs more efficient, cost effective and able to deliver required services but I doubt your ability to because “cutting costs” isn’t the same as “working more cost effectively” – National want costs cut at the expense of the services offered and that is not a trade off I am willing to make. If anything, National have made the health service less cost effective by forcing the restructing to focus less on essential services and more on elective options.

        • lprent 13.1.1.2

          seth: It is interesting that those thrifty habits don’t show up in the actual spend in the last budget year. You’d expect if they were happening that DHB’s would be getting in under budget – and I can’t see that happening anywhere. After all Ryall has had 18 months – he should be able to show some effect, however minor, on the DHB’s debt levels.

          You sound like you’re just repeating the empty rhetoric from that epitome of vacuous bullshit – Tony Ryall. Neither he or you sound like you have more than passing grasp of reality, but live in a state of wishful thinking.

      • Brett Dale 13.1.2

        Zorr:

        But spending has been increased.

        • Bright Red 13.1.2.1

          No. Spending has decreased. Because it it less than inflation and population growth.

          That means the public health system will be supplying less healthcare per person. That is a decrease.

          catpcha: omg, ‘healths’

    • all_your_base 13.2

      NZ Herald: “Govt puts health on life support”. Link.

  14. belladonna 14

    No one is commenting on beneficiares. Their increase doesnt even cover the increase in GST – disgusting. Anyone from the left care?

    • jcuknz 14.1

      I think it depends on how much of your income goes on non-GST bearing expenditure such as rent. But it doesn’t look good for you.

    • toad 14.2

      Actually, it does cover the increase in GST for beneficiaries, because beneficiaries spend a disproportionate share of the pittance they receive on financial services and/or residential rent, both of which are GST exempt.

      But that’s not the point. It widens the gap between rich and poor, and increases relative poverty.

      The beneficiary effectively gets nothing.

      Someone working part time and earning $20K a year is $2.83 better off a week.

      But someone earning $100K a year is $41.67 better off a week.

      5 times the income = 14.7 times the tax cut.

      Oh, and then there is Paul Reynolds on $7,000K a year.

  15. bobo 15

    Fiery speech from Goff was good to see on the budget hopefully can see more of this from him outside the debating chamber.Key was pathetic trying to crack jokes for the first 5 minutes harking back to the late 80s as has been their attack line on Goff. The devil will be in the budget detail, will be interesting to see feedback and analysis over next few days of what it really means for the average worker.

    • seth 15.1

      It was great to see Key then rip Goff to shreds and send him back to school wasn’t it?

      • Bright Red 15.1.1

        I must have missed that.

        • Lew 15.1.1.1

          You must have. The bit where Key quoted Goff’s own justifications from when Goff was implementing nominally identical fiscal policy back in the olden days is another reason (if one were needed) that he’s a liability.

          Yes, times have changed. Sure, the comparison was capricious and hollow and unfounded. But it looks good, it’ll get widespread play, and it makes Labour look inconsistent. Which arguably they are.

          L

  16. Any idea where the briefing papers are? This is where the interesting details are. All that I can see right now is a pile of PR releases.

  17. Name 17

    Dear Mr. English.

    Thank you for your budget designed, so you told me, to help me get ahead.

    Although you repeated this several times, you never actually told me who or what it was supposed to help me get ahead of.

    I don’t think it could have been my neighbours or fellow workers because, of course, you also gave them the same opportunities to get ahead of me.

    It certainly couldn’t have been the opportunity to get ahead of anyone earning more than me because you gave them back a bigger slice of their income, thus putting them even further ahead of me.

    I suppose you have given me a chance to get ahead of superannuitants and beneficiaries as they only have a 2% rise to cope with 3% inflation and the rise in GST but, really, I don’t see myself as being in any kind of competition with them.

    It would be nice to think you care enough to help me get ahead of my mortgage debt and student loan but you’ve done nothing that’s going to hold down the interest rates which the Reserve Bank has warned will start going up as soon as there’s a little fat back in the system to feed the bank shareholders, speculators and foreign lenders, while the rise in GST isn’t going to help me get ahead of the cost of living or even help me get ahead of my local government rates – where, of course, GST is a tax on a tax.

    So while I’m not sure who you want to help me get ahead of – the Chinese, perhaps? – I appreciate the thought and in response to the main thrust of your budget to transform New Zealand into the envy of the developed world will do my part by getting up five minutes earlier, having a nine-minute coffee-break instead of ten and will try to use nine pieces of paper where I previously used 10 in order to keep Standard and Poor’s happy.

    Kind regards,

    A New Zealand worker.

    • seth 17.1

      Let me spell it out for then, seeing as you can’t comprehend it yourself……

      Its designed to give you an incentive to have of your own income in your hand. Its not a competition against anyone else. Having more of your income means you can pay off more of your debt or spend it on upskilling your education among other things. It also means there is an incentive to better yourself and get to a higher tax bracket, because the government will now take less money from you when you do so.

      Thats what getting ahead is – its getting ahead of your current situation.

      • Zorr 17.1.1

        I feel the below quote manages to perfectly symbolize the position that seth (and his ilk) seem to take:

        “The most serious fraud is committed not by the members of the welfare culture but by the creators of it, who conceal from the poor, both adults and children, the most fundamental realities of their lives: that to live well and escape poverty they will have to keep their families together at all costs and will have to work harder than the classes above them. In order to succeed the poor need most of all the spur of their poverty.”
        (Gilder, 1981, p. 118)

      • Name 17.1.2

        Hello Seth.

        Actually I don’t have any debt. With my (free) university-level skills I retired at 45 owning a very nice property in a very nice part of New Zealand with a mixed investment portfolio that returns comfortably more than the average wage without my having to get out of bed.

        “It also means there is an incentive to better yourself and get to a higher tax bracket, because the government will now take less money from you when you do so”

        I have enough. The only reason I can see for getting into a higher tax-bracket to “better myself” is, I assume, to drive a flasher car, have a bigger boat, take my holidays where the ‘in-crowd’ do or drink more expensive wine, none of which I have any desire for.

        Why should it be necessary for me to earn more in order to be ‘allowed’ to keep a bigger proportion of it? In my view the more you earn the less of it you actually need, unless like John Key you believe that the more expensive your lifestyle, the ‘better’ you are as a person.

      • Tiger Mountain 17.1.3

        try this old chap, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those that falsely believe that they are free’

        • Macro 17.1.3.1

          Let’s turn the tables on that Tiger.
          “None are more hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe that they need more”
          Now that I can believe.
          I – like Name – are also in a similar fortunate position. But I do not find anything in the latest Budget that provides any incentive for the average NZer to “get ahead”. Unless of course the head belongs to a member of the NACT administration.
          Parents of young families are particularly hit. Yes spending more on child care will really help them to make ends meet.

        • Name 17.1.3.2

          Tiger Mountain (or rather Johann Wolfgang. 1749-1832) is right, although I’m not sure of the point either are making in this context. After all, there’s no-one free-er than the man imprisoned for life. He is guaranteed food and shelter, top-notch medical attention, books, exercise and entertainment – in fact freedom from all wants. Even sex, in these enlightened days of conjugal rights. Nor can he have any false beliefs about the extent of his freedom.

          Seth, on the other hand, has fallen for the great carrot dangled before him – the harder you work for us the more we’ll reward you. It’s one of the fundamentals of training any animal – give it a taste of a reward for doing what you want with a promise of more if it does it again but better. Training it to upskill itself is a trick like any other. The skill of the trainer is in never giving the animal enough so the incentive – Seth’s word, not mine – to upskill in exchange for a bigger bit of the carrot, or apple, or fish, or piece of steak or more expensive car is never fulfilled.

          The worst animal trainers don’t achieve obedience and endeavor with rewards but with necessities, and use rewards (such as having an extra bit of carrot etc) for when you go the extra mile, or two, or three, or put in an sixty hour week, or spend your evenings at tech rather than with wife and family at the end of a day’s work.

          I can imagine Seth the Cormorant sitting on the fisherman’s boat with the leash around his throat scanning the water eagerly for the biggest fish which might earn him a little bit more of it for his dinner.

      • Nee 17.1.4

        How can you upskill in education when the universities have no more space for students because the funding is capped?

  18. Chris 18

    No we don’t win Mr Key. I want great education, fantastic social welfare, brilliant healthcare. I don’t want a tax cut!

    • bobo 18.1

      Why does National need to put budget through under urgency? Also the Maori party supported this with 5 votes ? So much for Hone walking.

    • A Nonny Moose 18.2

      This. How freakin’ hard is it to have empathy for all people. Geez

  19. big bruv 19

    Thanks Mr English

    Although I think you are gutless and not prepared to really take a knife to social welfare I am at least happy that you have let me keep a lot more of my own money.

    Our healthcare is far better than it was under Labour, our Education system will be better with national standards, I await real drastic cuts in social welfare now.

    Keep going Bill, make next years tax cuts really count, after all, we know how to spend it far better than you do, oh, and if the so called poor want more then tell them to get off their arse and work harder, it worked for me so it can work for them.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      He just ensured that you will be worse off and you’re thanking him? Yep, completely delusional.

      • big bruv 19.1.1

        Draco

        I will be much better off thanks very much 🙂

        • Clarke 19.1.1.1

          You’ll be better off in the same way that turkeys are better off when Christmas arrives.

    • freedom 19.2

      Big Bruv, perhaps some time in the future you would present some examples of exactly what Welfare cuts you would like to see as i have seen numerous comments on the subject from you but absolutely no detail. Many here do supply examples and data with their posts on government policy, and i think it contributes to a much more informed debate, which in the end makes The Standard a better resource for all.

      • big bruv 19.2.1

        Freedom

        Delighted to do so.

        1. An immediate end to the DPB
        2. Six month time limits on the unemployment benefit, long term bludgers forced to work for the money they now receive.
        3 Far stricter criteria for the sickness and invalid benefit, those suffering from depression to be placed on the unemployment benefit, not the sickness of invalid benefit.
        4. A gradual removal of the pension, e.g, all those under the age of thirty to be told that there will be NO state funded pension when they retire.

        How would I fund this…tax cuts, each and every kiwi would be responsible for their own welfare, they can fund their own unemployment insurance and pension scheme.

        [lprent: Releasing you from durance vile aka auto-moderation. Your attack of the trollish behaviours appears to have waned. I haven’t had to note on your comments for a while, and I’m tired of just releasing your comments without added sarcasm. 😈 ]

        • big bruv 19.2.1.1

          It was never “trollish” behaviour in the first place Iprent, you just have to realise that not everybody (indeed, over 60%) agrees with Labour.

          Believe it or not I do want a strong Labour party, one that will keep the government honest and force Neville Key back to the right, the problem with the current Labour party is that you have left the middle and centre left ground wide open for Neville Key.

          It is time you claimed your own people back again, you will only do that by taking Labour back to the once honourable working mans party that it used to be, as Trotter said, you need to win back Waitakere man.

          It can be done and it can be done quite easily.

        • freedom 19.2.1.2

          just a quick reply as this is a bit off topic, but i would like to see a real debate on this subject in the future

          Big Bruv
          i know you are serious but i asked for details not t-shirts.
          Start with 1, slowly, and as the days pass we will understand if you decide that it really is a ridiculous list of unworkable and very sad ideas.

          to start you off regarding idea #1
          an example of a real world scenario to consider for your no DPB policy:
          -a 23 year old single woman is pregnant from a sexual assault but does not believe in abortion and has only been in professional employment for six months after finishing a University Degree and has approximately $17,000 of debt, and no immediate family.

          do you really think policies like yours would improve society?

          • big bruv 19.2.1.2.1

            Freedom

            “do you really think policies like yours would improve society?”

            Yes.

            If the woman in your scenario has a university degree then she will be in a rather well paid job, hell, she may even qualify for “rich prick” status.

            She can put the child into day care, after all, this is all about the child. It is infinitely better for the child to see his mum going off to work everyday instead of sitting at home sponging off the tax payer, the child has a great role model and the mother contributes to society.

            If she does not want to do this then adoption is another possibility.

            • Tiger Mountain 19.2.1.2.1.1

              The whimp BB splurts forth, what a guy. This post on The Standard goes into specific detail on education and health cuts among many other matters in todays budget announcement. What are tax cuts if not social service cuts? Head the kids off at the pass (pre school funding) that’ll do it!

            • Anita 19.2.1.2.1.2

              How long are you going to let the twins benefit from breastfeeding before you are going to insist on them going into daycare?

              • big bruv

                Twins now?….why not make it triplets.

                She may not choose to breast feed, but, if she did she can always express milk.

                And by the way, I am not insisting on anything, Anita can choose to do whatever she likes, the only difference is that she will not have me paying for her choice.

              • Anita

                (you’re getting your examples mixed up btw)

                The pregnant victim of sexual assault cannot choose to do whatever she likes: she didn’t choose to be raped, and she can’t choose to not deal with the consequences of the rape.

            • Name 19.2.1.2.1.3

              For the society Big Brother is promoting just look over to the US. Actually visit the trailer-parks and the tent-cities of the unemployed and now homeless, whole families living on food-stamps. Look at what employers can do to wages and conditions when they have a work-force terrified of losing their jobs and the health insurance they carry. Talk to some of the people suffering and even dying of curable conditions because their health insurance ran out, or the insurer found a loophole to wriggle through, or they could never afford health insurance in the first place for hereditary or pre-existing conditions etc. Drive through the rust-belt and breath the fear and despair that comes of no work, no welfare, no future and of being told by the Sarah Palins and Big Brothers of this world that it’s all your own fault. Try talking to people who believe the world was made by God 6,000 years ago – and that we are now in the end of Times – because that’s what they were taught at school.

              Do it and weep.

              Because, Big Brother, there but for the grace of a liberal society that believes it has a duty to care for its members go you.

        • Anita 19.2.1.3

          Ok, let’s imagine you get rid of the DPB and then let’s consider the case that the DPB was created for…

          Mary is the mother of two year old Thomas and three month old Matiu. Since she got pregnant the second time and her partner has been hitting her when he drinks (the Friday after pay day usually), but over the last four or five months the beatings have become much worse, and since Matiu was born he’s started hitting Thomas.

          What should Mary do?

          Without the DPB she, Thomas and Matiu will be starving and homeless is she leaves her partner.

        • Anita 19.2.1.4

          Next, you’ve limited the unemployment benefit to 6 months, and depression puts you on the unemployment benefit not the sickness or invalids benefit.

          Anita is 24, she has been a good university degree and has worked since graduation, but she has started suffering from major depression and can no longer work full time and is often unable to work at all. Her doctors (specialists included) are working really hard to find a combination of medication which makes her well enough, she’s attending counselling, eating well and doesn’t drink alcohol or use any drugs. She’s on the … unemployment … benefit; some weeks she is well enough to work a few hours, and some of those weeks her old employer has 10 or so hours work that she can do. Whenever she can work she rings WINZ and declares the income, and her benefit is reduced to compensate for the few hours of income.

          This situation has now been going on for some time, and she’s been on the … unemployment … benefit for six months.

          What should Anita do?

          In your scenario she’d be starving and homeless.

          For extra points, does your answer change (or your sympathy for her) if you know that her depression is a symptom of a brain tumour and the medical consensus, given the position and size of the tumour and the state of neurosurgical options, is that trying to find a medical (medication) treatment path is by far the better (and safer) option than surgery.

          • big bruv 19.2.1.4.1

            Anita

            The female concerned will have private medical insurance and income protection insurance, if she has a brain tumour she will receive the best treatment possible, she will still have her income because she was prudent and took out insurance to cover that.

            • Anita 19.2.1.4.1.1

              What say she didn’t have income protection insurance? What say the depression kicked in during her last year at university? What say she can’t get income protection insurance because of her underlieing health condition?

              Private health insurance doesn’t lead to miracle cures. Let’s imagine that trialling different regimes of medication until one works adequately (each of which take 2-4 months to trial) is the best treatment possible.

              • big bruv

                “What say she didn’t have income protection insurance?”

                Then she would be mind numbingly stupid, any change that the government made would be well signposted, everybody would have plenty of warning.

                The tax payer cannot keep picking up the tab for the terminally stupid.

                Anyway, this female has a brain tumour (according to you) so she would be covered by the sickness benefit (while she as at university) which I would not abolish. I would however make it a damn sight harder to get, on the upside, I would make the payments to the few GENUINELY sick or permanently invalided far more generous.

                Once Anita hit the workforce and assuming she was not “ill” at that stage then she would be expected to cover herself for health and income.

              • Anita

                So if she is unable to work because of depression then she can be on the sickness benefit indefinitely if the depression is caused by a brain tumour, but only on the unemployment benefit and only for 6 months if there is no known cause?

                If so, why?

              • big bruv

                Sorry for the out of sequence reply but it seems we have used up the available space…..(or not, as it seems)

                “So if she is unable to work because of depression then she can be on the sickness benefit indefinitely if the depression is caused by a brain tumour, but only on the unemployment benefit and only for 6 months if there is no known cause?

                If so, why?”

                First of all she does not have depression, she has a brain tumour.
                Secondly, depression is one ‘condition’ that is open to massive abuse, I am firmly of the opinion that depression can be cured by a huge dose of HTFU.

                [lprent: I only allow 6 levels of nesting, otherwise the comments end up more vertical than horizontal and it drives people batty because they get mousewheel OOS ]

            • travellerev 19.2.1.4.1.2

              If like in America Anita has private insurance and she has brain tumour there will be a person on the other side of the telephone line who has the duty to safe as much money as possible for the share holders and he or she will try to find a way not to have to pay for Anita’s medical treatment. Nothing personal just business.

              What you propose BB is just callousness by proxy and total egotism for yourself.

              You are hiding it behind a rationale of everybody has to take of themselves but what you’re really saying is I don’t want to be bothered with anybody else’s problems.

              Maybe you can afford to be so callous but we out here in the real world are aware that we need the help of others once in a while while they need ours too.

              I’ve seen you floating about around here and Frogblog and your comments have left me in disgust time, time and again, you sad little prick.

              • Macro

                Well said! Couldn’t agree more trav.
                No man (or woman) is an island BB.

              • big bruv

                Travellerev

                What I propose is good for the country, the people and the economy.

                For far to long we have had the unproductive sector (which just keeps on increasing) holding back the vast majority of Kiwis who want to get on, better themselves and look after their own family.

                You however, think it is my job to look after my own family, and other peoples families who have made bad choices or cannot be bothered taking responsibility for themselves.

                You have no idea what the real world is, as usual you have accused me things I have not said, I do not advocate a removal of all social welfare, you ignore the fact that I said I want to INCREASE the payments for GENUINE invalid and sickness beneficiaries.
                The problem is Travellerev is that you want to keep on giving people money to do nothing, this only breed or creates the next generation of bludgers and parasites.

                If my comments disgust you then that is a good thing, at least it shows that I am doing something right, you would only be disgusted if you knew (but refuse to admit publicly) that what I am saying is the right thing to do.

                Now, run along, I am sure you have hands to wring.

              • BB,

                This genuine thingy is another one of those rationales. “Genuine”… not false. No idea what it means but if you’re not genuine you don’t deserve any help or support. Who decides what is genuine? You? Me? Why get rid of the pension system? My poor parents in law worked hard all their lives for f*&k all and you would deprive people such as them of some peace in their old age now or in the future?

                And than there is the unproductive sector. Which one would that be? Those few thousand sad cases who don’t have the wherewithal to be “Highflyers” or the likes of John Key, who have made their money gambling in a system that is now crashing around our ears due to their irresponsible gambling in fraudulent financial products and who never produced a real thing in their lives.

                For those of you wanting to know more about the history of the Wallstreet scheister’s machination leading up to the collapse we are about to witness here is a good series about the financial tsunami

                Or perhaps the scheisters ripping off mom and pop investors who recently collapsed and whose owners are still living it up while their victims have lost everything or perhaps you are talking about all those big corporate bigwigs who outsourced all the real wealth producing jobs to China and Mexico.

                So you see you are not really clear about the unproductive sector.

                Perhaps the sector you are talking about would love to get a job but if 1200 people show up for some 50 jobs in a blooming supermarket I think there is a problem a hell of lot bigger then those hapless couple of thousand on a meagre benefit.

                Perhaps in the future some of your family will have to stand in those cues for a job and they don’t have help and support when they need it and perhaps you will reconsider what the real unproductive sectors are in this country and I’ll think you’ll find that we pay them a whole lot more money than the bennies you’re trying to bash.

                I think you’ll find that the real parasites are people who like you like to kick people when they are down and trust me one day you will be one of them because these parasites are a whole lot richer and more powerful than you. One day real soon I might add. And if I were you I would not hold my breath about people like me wanting to support an asshole like you or your family.

                I think I’d rather spend my money on some of those hapless ones.

                Captcha: LOVE. LOL. Yeah, baby and peace too. Seriously though that’s what it amounts too. Love and compassion.

            • freedom 19.2.1.4.1.3

              i popped out for a bit but need to point out to BB that with most income protection insurance and similar methods of personal responsibility that you present as replacements for welfare, i guarantee there would be a period of qualification required. With the current insurance business as a guide this conceivibly would be up to twelve months which is why the six month period of employment was mentioned.

              • big bruv

                That is the beauty of competition Freedom, things like qualification periods can and would change.

          • burt 19.2.1.4.2

            Anita. I wish ‘Anita’ well in all of this. However what we are essentially debating is the root cause of the problem. We are squabbling over which list we put Anita on, how we classify her because it effects the politically motivated indicators that matter at election time.

            Somewhere in all that the fact ‘Anita’ is a person and needs the benefits of a safety net provided by a decent society got all tangled up with ideology over about how we implement it. But one thing is clear in NZ, if ‘Anita’s’ condition continues for any length of time she will get to experience all options as the political football of healthcare gets kicked after avery change of govt.

            • Anita 19.2.1.4.2.1

              Exactly – the quality of her safety net would be dependant on the squabbling over the root cause of her depression. In BB’s world it’s not what her symptoms are, or the the severity of them, or how disabled she is, it’s whether or not the root cause has been identified, and whether or not BB considers that root cause “worthy”.

              In BB’s world whether or not a specialist has referred Anita for a a gadolinium contrast head MRI will determine whether or not she is given enough government support to eat and pay her rent. That MRI doesn’t change her symptoms, or the doctors’ ability to treat her, but somehow in his world it makes her worthy of our support.

              • big bruv

                Antia

                Was that last post directed at me?

                It is not always easy to tell when other people leap into the middle of (what so far, has been ) a civilised conversation.

              • Anita

                big bruv,

                Yep, you’re BB in my comment. I was having a lazy fingers kind of a moment 🙂

              • big bruv

                Who said there has to be a squabble?, private medical cover is far superior to that offered by the state, the odds are that Anita would find out far sooner that she has a brain tumour and then receive the treatment and or benefits she is more than entitled to.

              • Anita

                In Anita’s experience (fuck, talking about myself in the third person is doing my head in 🙂 )

                In my experience private medical cover has made no diagnostic difference to my life. The same specialists work in the public and private systems, the same tests are performed in the public and private systems. A doctor doesn’t become more competent when a private insurer pays, or less caring when they walk into a public hospital.

              • big bruv

                Maybe not, however, there is little doubt that with private medical insurance the cost factor is not such an issue.

                There is a good argument to suggest that Anita would receive the MRI scan a damn sight faster than if she had to wait on the public health system.

                Only last week there was a story about some poor sod who was refused an MRI three times because the public health system said that his condition did not warrant an MRI, it was only when he started to fall over that they finally agreed to do one, guess what it showed up?

                Anyway, Anita, I thank you for what has been a most enjoyable chat, it is refreshing to see that at least one person here can debate the issues without resorting to personal abuse.
                It is time for me to go to bed, I have to be up early in the morning.

              • Anita

                Before I knock off for the night, let me summarise…

                You would have cut off my benefit after six months (and allowed me only a grudging unemployment benefit during that period) because you consider depression unworthy of government support. You would have done that because although you actually consider my brain tumour a worthy illness I wasn’t diagnosed at the time because medical science is imperfect and some diagnoses are tricky (and insurance money doesn’t make diagnosis any easier for specialists than tax money).

                That seems pretty unjust, and pretty counterproductive.

                IMO it would have been unjust and counterproductive even if there was never a diagnosis of an underlieing cause.

                As it happens our somewhat functional welfare state supported me for two years while we found medication that worked well enough. I now earn well (Key seems to think that should make poor people grateful to me) pay lots of tax, and like to think I am a generally positive influence on our economy and society.

                You want to judge some illnesses as more worthy than others, some people as more worthy than others. I think I am no more or less worthy than any other, and a tumour is no more worthy a reason to be unable to work than nameless reasonless depression, or depression caused by a childhood of abuse.

                (P.S. I still don’t have income protection insurance, apparently I’m too great a risk for a private insurer to take on. So the state has to take that on, to some limited extent, fair enough?)

                (P.P.S. G’night, me too 🙂 )

  20. McRad 20

    Sometimes writing satire is too easy and far too difficult at the same time. However I have had good feedback on the ‘personal budget evaluation’ here: http://weeklycoitus.co.nz/?p=1259

  21. Pascal's bookie 21

    So not fiscally neutral tax cuts then, by some distance. yay for us. jam today in october! etc.

    Cute though, the claims it’s neutral over a longer term. Fair enough, if the casts are fore square.

    Gotsta be careful though. If those budget forecasts get screwy, as is their wont, it’s no longer neutral and the cuts are locked in. A little change in the numbers at the beginning, can have quite the effect 3-4 years out.

    Tory boys T-boyz, watcha gonna do, watch gonna do, when the fiscal responsibility act comes gunning for you. Slash spending? Where? Not to mention the RBA and the inflation, with the interest rates and the floating mortgages, and such like. Ouchy. For all the ones.

    So he better hopey hope hopiddy hope, like me, there isn’t a double dip in the global situation, coz Dr Cullen’s Preparation has been all used up and won’t be there to save him if some assumption in the forecasts turns out wrong my droogies. As one always does.

    So I’m hoping they don’t.

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      Yes, that’s about the gist of it.

      The tax cut is well and good if the projections pan out. If they don’t, we’re screwed. Given that Key just recently said “it’s not if there will be another recession, it is when”, it seems like they’re baldly doing what the electorate wants now, so if the shit blows up in the future they can just say “well we didn’t know this would happen”.

      Although putting yourself on record as saying it would happen kinda hurts that excuse.

      • Clarke 21.1.1

        I’m taking solace from the fact that this is as good as it gets for the Nats – it’s all downhill from here. They’ll get a blip of support which will be long-forgotten by the time Christmas arrives and higher retail prices begin to bite … and in the meantime the political mis-management and vacuous posturing will continue, with the commensurate damage to their re-election chances.

        If Labour can find a leader with Goff’s expertise and Key’s charisma, the 2011 election will be a shoo-in.

  22. tc 22

    I didn’t even get a kiss before Blinglish and Sideshow F’d me up the arse……where’s the lovin?

    They simply don’t care about the middle/bottom levels and this recipe for a single term……I’d like to say it’s been fun NACT…..but that’d be a lie……NZ’s not that stupid as they seem to think it is.

  23. artist not on the dole 23

    the good news is if Labour cannot come up with some new Budget ideas, then the Greens have a real shot next year to help this country back into shape

  24. just saying 24

    Unbelievable pro-govt spin on tv one, slightly less so on tv two, (from what I caught).
    Tv one didn’t even bother to ask a poor person for a reaction, maybe they thought they didn’t want to condone poverty.
    NACT with all their combined wealth and backer’s wealth couldn’t buy the sort of media coverage they continue to get even if they pooled their new windfall’s for a year. lucky for them they don’t have to.
    Really disappointed in Pita Sharples’s response.

  25. infused 25

    Finally. Love it.

    • freedom 25.1

      que?

      • infused 25.1.1

        No bait today. Don’t care. This is justice.

        • r0b 25.1.1.1

          Your allegiance is for sale very cheaply infused.

        • zonk 25.1.1.2

          So you’re part of the bald white 50 year olds who proudly gave the budget 100%. That was a good use of our tax dollars TVNZ! way to represent an age-dynamic, culture dynamic country. The reaction to the budget: financial advisors like it.

          Parents? didn’t ask them. Sick people? didn’t ask them. People who support a truly fair tax system? The people from the top segment of the tax bracket (must be those liberal elites. Thanks by the way- you’re heroes.) who were paying their taxes because they believe this is a fair contribution to this country?

          • Craig 25.1.1.2.1

            Zonk

            What, in your opinion is a truly fair (sic) tax system? What tax rates would you implement, at what levels?

  26. freedom 26

    one point on this fallacy of rent being g.s.t. free

    the g.s.t. tenants pay is not from the rent per se, but every landlord in the world adds their projected g.s.t. costs for the property into the base rent figure and that will only mean rent increases for tenants everywhere with the raise in g.s.t. to 15%

  27. just saying 27

    And when are they going to stop getting away with the ‘switcheroo’
    Announce something atrocious, later amend it to just ‘dreadful’ – everyone swoons with gratitude.

    • Anita 27.1

      Ooo… also the ghost of disasters past! Trotting out Roger Douglas to say “this doesn’t go nearly far enough, let me tell you what they should have done …” is getting old too.

  28. Sanctuary 28

    I was astonished that the personTV3 chose to interview as “typical” earnt $70,000. By the look of comments above, TVNZ was the same. Now combine that with the “Don’t be envious” comments of John Key, and utter sense of entitlement of Amanda Hotchin with this –

    Mark Breyers (who defrauded 3,000 investors of more than $80 million through his failed “Blue Chip” finance company) was today sentenced to 75 hours of community service on 34 counts of improper record-keeping related to his fraud.

    And it all reminded me of a comment made about Greece by Pablo over at Kiwipolitico. By just changing place names, does this sound like a country near you?

    “…That, in a nutshell, is the problem of New Zealand. An utterly contemptuous corporate (often hereditary) elite that indulges the political classes and orchestrates oligopolistic control of the national economy from the comfort and safety of the Auckland north shore and eastern suburbs. An elite that weekends at the bach and watches the strikes on TV. An elite that will, by all measures, be singularly unaccountable or untroubled by the austerity regime now imposed on their fellow citizens…”

    • bobo 28.1

      Was strange to hear of a nurse on $79k on tv3 complaining shes struggling and expected more after voting national.. How about some people on the average wage or below for some feedback, they don’t seem to exist to the msm..

      People leave nz for higher wages not lower taxes, why do so many kiwis go to uk which has much higher taxes than here.

  29. It seems a majority of the public is impressed with this public.

    So perhaps the posters of the standard maybe a little bit out of touch with the average kiwi?

    • infused 29.1

      Pretty much sums it up. They have been. Same with Labour for the last 3 years.

      Spam:irritating – yes, that’s what labour voters are

      • zonk 29.1.1

        that’s a major part of the population fucko. and a major part of our history. Perhaps you could avoid dropping in to make abusive generalisations about them. Or perhaps we could ship you somewhere that has never had a government with a sense of responsibility towards the welfare of its citizens.

    • Armchair Critic 29.2

      Hey Brett, don’t believe the hype. Just because Johnny and Bill say it’s a good thing, and just because the MSM repeat their words ad nauseum, doesn’t automatically make it good, or even true. Perhaps the writers at The Standard are prescient.

      • Inro to NZ Herald story: ‘The Govt’s wide-ranging income tax cuts have drawn widespread praise despite GST jumping to 15 per cent ‘

        Actual people quoted as praising it: Er … two. Both tax accountants.

        • Armchair Critic 29.2.1.1

          I found someone who likes it too. He seems to think that by dropping the company tax rate, suddenly the multi-nationals whose clever accountants have them running at a loss every year in order to minimise their tax will stop running at a loss and pay their fair share. Wishful thinking, a lot like the budget, with little substance IMO. The rest of the article is just as insightful dumb, too. I think he should stick to his day job, my guess is he writes billboards for Tui.
          Personally I stand to benefit from the tax cuts. On face value I should be happy. But there’s nothing there to get the country moving forward, and that’s not good for me or my businesses. The way to catch up with Australia is looking more and more obvious.

    • freedom 29.3

      if there is any one thing that does not present an honest view of ‘the public’ then it is television

  30. Doug 30

    Poor old Phil Goff has passed his use by date, Key made a fool of him today

    • Bored 30.1

      Doug, you are spot on about Gough, he is yesterdays man, an also ran from a party that desparately needs to reinvent itself. What really pissed me off with his response was that he failed to understand that the budget looks great to most of middle NZ if taken at face value. In fact if you read the fine print its bad for all NZ except those that have at the top. Gough should have attacked the implications, like less health care, less education, less bloody everything unless you are prepared to pay for it. That really is the trouble with asking a Rogernome to attack another Ruthenasian over a budget.

      Starter for 10….tax is paid on wages, where si the attack on fat cat wages as opposed to how much tax the fat cats pay?

      • burt 30.1.1

        where is the attack on fat cat wages as opposed to how much tax the fat cats pay?

        Labour do policies of envy better than National, it is obvious you miss the tall poppy bashing being part of the govt budget strategy. Diddums – National won, Labour lost – eat that!

  31. Puddleglum 31

    One more step towards a more dysfunctional society; one more step towards higher rates of mental illness; one more step towards nightmarish lives of hardship, destitution, fractured social relationships, child abuse and neglect; one more step towards a New Zealand that ceases to be an environment for people and becomes one purely designed and organised for capital – all proudly done under the reprehensible, Orwellian rhetoric of ‘aspiration’, ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘incentives for hard work’.

    Those who have got what they wished for with this budget will no doubt find someone else to blame when these trends accelerate. You may have heard the phrase, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch’ – so true. There’s a cost to organising the human world primarily for the accumulation and concentration of wealth (aka ‘capital’). In simple terms, doing so means, by definition, that it ceases to be optimally organised to reproduce a functioning society populated with functioning, flourishing individuals.

    If we don’t collectively want to pay for a functioning society we’re not going to magically get one by waving pseudo-moral buzz words around while we corrode what all-too-inadequate supports remain to hold together what we – surely nostalgically – still refer to as a ‘society’ and ‘community’.

  32. Jum 32

    Two ‘aspects’ (kapcha) of this budget debacle:

    Paul Hutchison told the Labour benches that his party was ‘helping your people’. What did he mean I wonder, that those on the lower rungs of the pay ladder were not fit for National and Act. Did he not realise that if those people had not been blinded by the youngish rich white male lies at the 2008 election, NAct would not have been elected to government.

    Key told us that the Labour Government run by Roger Douglas in the 80s did exactly what his government is doing now with tax levels. He tried to blame the 80s on Goff. No Goff did not have any control over what Roger Douglas was doing then. And Now? Proof positive that Roger Douglas is once again running the government (and the country into the ground and the people into suicide.) Watch and remember what the 80s and the 90s produced – loss of spirit and a sense of helplessness. Exactly what I said this party would do if it ever got voted in and I was right. Shame on this visionless, greedy, manipulative and misleading government.

  33. burt 33

    So how will this budget effect our previous PM who had 5 rental properties but refused to remove the rental property distortions?

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