web analytics

Anger, that’ll solve our problems

Written By: - Date published: 2:05 pm, January 9th, 2009 - 11 comments
Categories: bill english, economy, national/act government - Tags:

Yesterday, Labour leader Phil Goff challenged National to present its plan for getting the economy through the global downturn. Halfway through National/ACT’s much-hyped first 100 days and, Goff pointed out, while Obama and the UK are pushing ahead with a ‘Green New Deal’ we’ve seen nothing from National/ACT except the cancelation of the one Green New Deal programme we did have, the home insulation plan.

bill-lolz

While the UK, Aussie, UK, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, and just about every other government in the world have cancelled their usual holiday hiatus to respond to the crisis, ours is still on vacation. John Key was too busy at his holiday home in Hawaii to even respond to Goff’s criticism. That fell to Angry Bill who spat “Given the mess Labour left the economy in, they should be focused on getting their own house in order, rather than telling the new Government what to do.”

That’s the same Bill English who was praising the former government’s economic management just last month, along with various other commentators. And so they should. Labour left government with the government’s finances in the best shape they have ever been in, with record-low unemployment, with tax cuts targeted at low income workers, with rapidly rising wages, with a larger social wage, with Working for Families meaning many families pay no income tax, and with Kiwisaver increasing our private savings. In the face of a series of external shocks – the drought, record-oil prices, the sub-prime crisis, and the credit crisis that has emerged from it – the economy held up as well as it could have. Labour did as well as it could in trying circumstances. Of course, that doesn’t stop Bill resorting to angry attack as his only defence – he knows the attack is dishonest but it doesn’t matter as long as it distracts from the gaping hole where his government’s policy ought to be.

National/ACT can try and fix the blame wherever it chooses but the only question now is ‘what is National/ACT going to do?’ Where are its answers?

Bill and the Tories can spit all the bile they like but the job now is to govern. We’re still waiting.

11 comments on “Anger, that’ll solve our problems ”

  1. Steve Pierson said “Labour left government with the government’s finances in the best shape they have ever been in”

    This is a piss-take post, right? Or have you forgotten PREFU?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10542881

    “Treasury has painted a very ugly economic picture for the incoming National government with cash deficits increasing, growth shrinking, tax revenue diminishing and unemployment rising.

    Prime minister designate John Key was briefed by Treasury yesterday and told the economic outlook had deteriorated further since the pre-election fiscal update (Prefu).”

  2. Whero 2

    You sound surprised?

    Of course National don’t have any idea what to do – they are waiting for thier big business masters to get back to their offices and tell them what to do.

  3. Inv2. Read the actual PREFU, not what Granny has to say about it. And I’m not denying things are bad, Labour isn’t denying that either which is why they are begging National to do something. I’m saying it’s not Labour’s fault and Labour did well given the circumstances, which is what English and experts have said too.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    I have a suspicion that if a new government, nine years out of power, with many of its Ministers new to the role (and one even new to Parliament itself!) had rushed headlong into a “plan” to deal with not just a crisis, but a pile of inter-related crises with the potential to completely wreck our economy if mis-handled… then the headline to this post would read something like “Ignorant noobs think they can solve all our problems”.

    I do agree, however, that perception-wise I don’t think it’s the cleverest idea in the world to have our PM sunbathing in Hawaii (and probably hoping Obama will drop by so he can meet someone else “famous”). Unless it’s part of a cunning plan to calm fears at home and settle the markets… but I doubt it.

    He’s got the job he’s supposedly wanted since he were a lad, you’d think he’d pull on a suit and at least give the impression of being at the helm.

    But that’s perception. The reality is that we need to tread carefully and with our eye on what much larger economies are doing, rather than “leading the world” on everything at great expense to ourselves. I sincerely hope that’s what they’re doing.

  5. “I’m saying it’s not Labour’s fault and Labour did well given the circumstances, which is what English and experts have said too.”

    No you’re not Steve – once you start using absolutes like “best shape they have ever been in” and “record low unemployment” you paint yourself into a corner. Unemployment is NOT at record low levels. When Holyoake was PM (which I’m old enough to remember 😉 ), unemployment was almost unknown. The joke in those days was that the PM knew all NZ’s unemployed by their first names.

  6. Inv2. Record low unemployment – the measure we have for recording unemployment is the Household Labour Force Survey, the unemployment rate under that measure has been lowest in the last four years, under Labour. Hence, record low, the lowest on the record.

    I’m aware of the old joke about Holyoake and it refers to the number of people on the unemployment benefit, not the number of unemployed. The number of people on the unemployment benefit reached a low of 12 in 1950 but the number of unemployed was far higher than that – just as the number of people unemployed according the the HLFS today at 94,000 is far more than the 20,000 on the UB. You’ve also got to understand the difference between a time when complusory military service and a huge public workforce intentionally created work for all even if it was valueless and today.

  7. the sprout 7

    sp
    You’re forgetting National’s other Master Recovery Plan policies of cancelling the Buy Kiwi Made campaign and the Fire At Will Bill to promote unemployment.

    English’s anger is borne of his impotence. He know’s there’s bugger-all his party can come up with that will do much good and still hold on to its rightwing support base. They are in a serious pickle, and so soon into their reign.

    Inv2,
    You’re pissing into the wind if you try and parrot English’s line that Labour left the economy in bad shape. There are few politicians of any colour and even fewer journalists – let alone economists – who’d believe that.

    Whero
    “Of course National don’t have any idea what to do – they are waiting for thier big business masters to get back to their offices and tell them what to do.”

    Many a true word is said in jest.

    But really… a pretty lacklustre and disappointing performance from National so far and one I doubt will improve in the coming 34 months or so before they’re consigned to history as One Term Wonders.

  8. Ari 8

    You know, blaming the Labour government for the international financial crisis is very “bipartisan” and totally consistent with his earlier comments that they had left the economy in a comparatively good state.

    I really hope I don’t have to watch Bill English’s slow descent into schizophrenia as he tries to be “bipartisan” and attack Labour at the same time. XD

  9. r0b 9

    Here were some of Bill’s words on the topic – all the way back in December:

    Bill English had to swallow the proverbial dead rat this morning and effectively acknowledge that Michael Cullen had done something right in his stewardship of the Government’s finances in the past nine years.

    Having condemned his predecessor for many years for paying off debt too quickly, English said: “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

    “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

    Right wing trolls always want to beat up the dire economic predictions as Labour’s failure. They are not, they are a result of dire international circumstances. Without the good work of the last Labour government, things would have been a lot worse. Here’s some notes from the Treasury briefing (pdf link) to the incoming National government:

    New Zealand’s economic fortunes are tied to those of the world
    economy. In the immediate future, international economic conditions
    will be dominated by events in the financial sector and their
    aftermath. The instability of global financial markets has required
    radical policy responses to stabilise financial systems. The full
    impact of this instability on economic activity remains uncertain, but
    a key factor will be the speed with which stability returns to financial
    markets. Economic growth has already weakened significantly around the world accompanied by substantial losses in wealth. […]

    Past macroeconomic policies have put New Zealand in a reasonably strong position to weather economic shocks.

    Significant fiscal stimulus is already in train, and tax and spending should be allowed to adjust as the economy In the medium-term, fiscal consolidation will be needed.

    So I guess we look to the government for urgent action in these urgent times right? Wrong. Even National’s best friends in the media (hello Granny) can’t help but notice that National haven’t got a plan:

    Many may find the new Government’s initial programme, outlined to Parliament in the Speech from the Throne yesterday, a trifle bland for the times. National has come to office in economic circumstances it describes as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    But despite the parliamentary urgency it has invoked for its election promises there appears to be no particular urgency to meet the crisis.

    The speech delivered by the Governor-General added little flesh to the bare bones of policies announced before the election or agreed with National’s supporting parties more than a fortnight ago. The stimulus package that the country expected, no matter which of the major parties was elected, has not materialised yet and there was no hint from the throne that one is imminent.

    What Granny Herald is trying to say is that the National government is frozen like a rabbit in the headlights, dithering while Rome burns. They blew all their political capital violating the democratic process by rushing punitive bills through before Christmas under urgency, while doing nothing (zero zip nada) to address the truly urgent problems of the economy.

    Note to John Key. Summer silly season will soon be over, and the country will be looking to you for leadership and results. What’s your plan?

  10. randal 10

    you are on the money SP
    the National party and its supporters have turned into an angry party
    make that a very angry party
    just listen to radio spud and the rest of the squawkback radio and all you hear is an endless parade of very angry people who want change in the world but dont know how to change anything except their underpants
    on the whole they are very CLEAN people too
    so they now they have “power” of soprts but dont know what to do with it because to effect change costs MONEY and the angries are also very mean as well

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago