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Another “Zero budget”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, April 6th, 2012 - 72 comments
Categories: budget2012, economy, national - Tags: ,

The Nat’s misguided austerity program is stiffling prospects of recovery. The tax take is down, there’s no money, and they made the last election all about getting back into surplus by 2013/14. Put it all together and it adds up to another “zero budget”. Vernon Small reckons that’s brave:

Zero Budget political and extraordinary

Like it or loathe it, delivering a second “zero Budget” will be an extraordinary achievement if Finance Minister Bill English pulls it off.

It was not so long ago that a new spending allowance of about $1.5 billion was considered tight given the insatiable appetite of the health budget alone, which could swallow $750 million extra a year without any trouble at all.

But as the years of austerity have dragged on, it seems the big-spending ministers and the public servants who report to them have come to accept the message Mr English has been hammering since the global financial crisis hit; that restraint is a permanent state of fiscal affairs.

Hunkering down and waiting for the wheel to turn back in favour of extra spending was not an option.

Even so, consecutive Budgets with no new spending – and more to the point, no major revolt by voters (yet) – is a considerable coup. …

Make no mistake, the zero Budget is far more a political promise than a necessary economic goal. But it will be an extraordinary achievement all the same.

With all due respect to Vernon, I beg to differ, The zero budget isn’t brave or extraordinary. It’s the only option left to a bunch of incompetents who have painted both themselves, and the economy, in to a corner.

72 comments on “Another “Zero budget” ”

  1. Small obviously did not see the last Roy Morgan poll result.

    The next few months are going to be interesting as the Government grapples with a number of scandals, tries to quell a bitter civil war being raged within its ranks and tries to maintain the rather thin veneer it has constructed suggesting that it is a good economic manager.

    Its problem is that the effect of many decisions that it has made were not going to be felt instantly but their effect will become more and more pronounced as time goes by.  The failure to tax properly is the biggest one of these.

    It has until recently managed to maintain popularity by appearing to be Labour lite.  A zero budget will reveal without doubt that it is a typical short sighted brutal selfish tory administration the likes of which the country has regrettably seen too many times before. 

    • It has until recently managed to maintain popularity by appearing to be Labour lite.

      Hardly. National increased popularity in the last election, and Labour decreased popularity, by appearing to have a more austere econonimc approach. Labour-like spending and borrowing even more was not rewarded in the ballot box.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Nah Pete the National-ACT-UF vote went down, Labour’s did go down too but for the benefit of NZF and the Greens.  

        The Labour spending myth is something that you keep trotting out but it bears no relationship to reality.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2

        Another baseless smear from the hypocrite, Pete George. He knows it’s a lie, because he’s been corrected every single time he’s parroted it, but that won’t stop him. What a fuckwit. An unelectable fuckwit.

        • Pete George

          I’ve already posted the actual numbers today that back up what I said.
          National 2008 – 1,053,398 – 44.93%
          National 2011 – 1,058,636 – 47.31%

          You must have seen them, you commented right underneath. Your abuse makes a very poor argument.

          • Colonial Viper

            Still waiting for National to run a $6M referendum on asset sales. Let’s see how popular the buggers are then eh?

          • RedLogix

            Umm yes. National gained about 3,100 voters.

            That’s a 0.031% increase. If that gives you a warm feeling who am I to take that away from you?

            • Colonial Viper

              Not forgetting that the National led coalition lost the guts of its majority. That’s real popular.

              One more scandal away from being a lame government.

            • Pete George

              It’s factually correct, and the % rise was significant for a second term.

              And especially when seen beside this:
              2008 Labour Party 796,880 33.99%
              2011 Labour Party 614,937 27.48%

              • McFlock

                Actually, Pete, your statement “National increased popularity in the last election” is false.
                They received a percent of a percent increase in the number of votes. Sadly the number of enrolled voters increased by about 1% between 2008 (here) and 2011 (here).
                So in 2008 National received 35.2% of votes from enrolled voters. In 2011 the received 34.6%.
                Does this look like “increased popularity”?

              • RedLogix

                Lots of ways to slice and dice this cake PG. Let’s just look at the total vote for the clearly definable right wing parties:

                Total Right vote in 2008:

                National: 1,053,398
                ACT: 85,496
                UF: 20,497

                Total: 1,159,391

                And in 2011:

                National: 1,058,636
                ACT: 23,889
                UF: 13,443
                Con: 59,237

                Total: 1,155,205

                In other words the total right wing vote between the two elections decreased by about 4,500. Now of course we can quibble about whether NZF is left or right, but overall the change in right wing absolute numbers was ‘noise margin’ stuff.

                Although as a proportion of enrolled voters it clearly declined.

                • Herodotus

                  You should * NZ1st as I would love to hear justification how this party can be classifed as a weft wing leaning party or even centralist – they promote policies of the right
                  I would also like to hear how Labour given the policies that were inacted are left leaning? The rich got wealthier with the policies and not taxed, whilst the worker was left begging for scraps and paying the max tax that they could !!
                  “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”- In Labours case winning meant selling out the worker to win the Throne.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You should * NZ1st as I would love to hear justification how this party can be classifed as a weft wing leaning party or even centralist – they promote policies of the right

                    Not really correct.

                    NZ1 policies echo those of the traditional conservative right wing of 30 years ago, not the neolibs of today.

                    Quite a difference. In other words they are way left of today’s National. $15/hr minimum wage, no asset sales, no farm land sales to foreigners.

                    • Herodotus

                      What porpotion of NZ1 policies are built on philosophy as opposed Winny reading public opinion? Protecting NZ from foreigners is not a platform that is defining to left:right attitude as over the years both swings of the political spectrum have pushed for it be it Autarcy from Albania, China or Germany/Italy of the 30’s
                      Selling our power compaines is not a left:right issue it is common sense verses poor business acruemen arguement.
                      Be it a left or right government how is it that kiwis are always worse off (both for the bird and the people !!) ?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”- In Labours case winning meant selling out the worker to win the Throne.

                    can you be sure that the result for Labour is “win” and not “die”? The wheel hasn’t stopped spinning yet, after all.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    What porpotion of NZ1 policies are built on philosophy as opposed Winny reading public opinion?

                    Conservative politics of 30 years ago was populist. In other words, just as delusional as today’s RWNJ but at least they did have some concern for the good of the country. NZ1st is centrist/authoritarian and is thus more to the left than is Labour.

                    “When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.”

                    The wheel hasn’t stopped spinning yet, after all.

                    Ages come and go, history becomes myth and legend and to be long forgotten when the Age that spawned them comes round again. And we’ve always been at war with the Peoples Republic of Haven.

                    Can we kill the pop-sci sloganeering yet?

                    • Ed

                      Interesting comparing the charts on the political compass between 2008 and 2011. They assessed both Labour and Greens as no having moved right, as some were seeing it, but ACT changed.

                      Of course the increased vote for National would have been affected by their cannibalisation of ACT – having eaten their offspring they grew a little. We knew that ACT was imploding – only hard work by Key and the National candidate in Epsom restored it a little, but where did all those 61,607 voters go? some would not have voted, but surely say 20,000 of them would have turned to National – perhaps Pete George can enlighten us as to where he thinks those remaining ACT votes went . . it doesn’t seem to have been to United Future..

          • bad12

            Your figures just dont add up,is this the result of a stupid mistake on your part or are you suggesting that the election result was rigged,

            The difference in what we assume is your party vote figures for National in both 2008, and, 2011 is a paltry 5438,

            Your further figures show National,s share of the vote(again we assume it to be the Party Vote) to be 44.93% in 2008 and 47.31% in 2011,

            Are you suggesting here that a difference of plus 2.38% between 2008 and 2011 can be a paltry 5438 actual Party Votes…

          • mike e

            167 votes pg

      • Break down the borrowing that’s led us to our current debt and the surpluses that have paid it off and I will bet you that Labour governments do better on both fronts than National ones.

        Besides which, spending and borrowing is precisely what National have done- they spent everything on ineffective tax cuts for the rich, and had to borrow to even get them! Unlike National, parties of the centre and of the left actually know how to spend money somewhat effectively.

      • millsy 1.1.4

        National cannibalised ACT and UF’s votes. Labour lost votes to NZF and the Greens.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      These ‘zero budgets’ have lots of cumulative effects.

      One that I’m involved in is a good, albeit modest, example. The backcountry hut network in the DOC estate is both vital to the tramping and hunting community (there’s well over 200,000 of us combined), and is the envy of visitors the world over.

      All we want is shelter from the storm. They represent ‘points of safety’ in a way that a tent simply isn’t. Caught out in a weather change on the tops it might take a tough hour or several to reach the nearest hut cold, wet and tired, but however modest, old or run down it is… it’s hugely appreciated. And loved.

      Yet with cutbacks year on year DOC simply don’t have the modest funds needed to maintain them. This isn’t the fault of the field staff. At the same time they have building codes and regulatory standards which they have to apply to these huts which means that each year more and more of these rudimentary structures are ‘condemned’. Yet there is a very real mismatch between technical building standard demanded by a risk averse Department, and the actual far lesser requirements of a tramper/hunter on a cold wet night.

      At present there are strong suggestions that they have listed for ‘removal’ some 30% of the 1000-1100 or so huts that exist. And one can only assume in next round another tranche will be targetted. This is the logic of forever ‘austerity’.

      Even more absurdly they’re spending good money on flying engineers in to report on these buildings, and presumably crews to demolish and remove them. Money that could be used to save them. And once we lose this heritage… we’ll never get it back.

      Is this DOC’s fault? No.

      It is directly the result of a government that has cut funding year on year. It cannot be sustained and it has consequences.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        These ‘zero budgets’ have lots of cumulative effects.

        So would year after year of stimulation.

        We headed for recession four years ago, that’s an unusually long time. As it is we’ve increased borrowing substantially, with overspending budgets we would come out of the recession much more badly encumbered with debt.

        • RedLogix

          The trouble is Pete, when we lose these huts we will never get them back.

          What you never seem to understand is the inherent asymmetry at work here. Slash burn and cut is easy and cheap. Any fool can do it.

          Building things takes skill, effort and time. Fools need not apply.

          • Colonial Viper

            PG also forgets that the top 5% of NZers have maybe a hundred billion of liquid wealth salted away – a fraction of which is enough wealth to rebuild NZ from the ground up, if it were taxed to that end.

            Getting hold of $7M here to rebuild DoC huts, $11M there to hire specialist itinerant teachers for special needs children, $19M here to give every child in primary school 2L of milk to take home a week is peanuts.

            If that kind of thing was a priority to the nation, rather than sustaining the unaffordable consumption expectations of a cohort of aging upper middle class wealth hoarders.

            • RedLogix

              Exactly CV. In the bigger scheme of things I’m acutely aware that these huts are only one of many, many community assets, resources and programs that are being run into the ground.

              In their own way both National and Labour are guilty of neglecting the power of community initiative. National simply don’t see it as a profit centre for corporate gain, while Labour tended to steer it’s efforts into state bureaucracies.

              In the meantime what really matters to us ordinary people gets bulldozed.

              • Herodotus

                Ordinary people have been screwed by Labour to the same extent as by National. Perhpas that is why Labour has lost traction with the masses. On a day to day basis life got more difficult over the 99-08 years. In a country of 4.5m we are pay the highest cost for housing, we are paid a substance wage and food for a producer nation is more expensive than to our export markets ( as from the likes on Fonterra we have to pay internation prices- Funny as the price has reduced Dairy prices in the super markets are not comming down 🙁 ). Labour has forgotten the masses for winning battles that only the beltway take any notice of.
                DOC have been treated poorly by all govts as a nice tohave expenditure when times are good. Yet NZ builds its image & tourism by how well our country is presented. Spend nothing and all we will have are only introduced flora and fauna and have to go to Germany or the UK to see a living Kiwi !!

                • bbfloyd

                  not interested in the rest of your rant…. just the drivel that states” ordinary people have been screwed by labour to the same extent as national”….

                  regardless of ones shade of politics that stands as utter bullshit……. you really need to get some rational perspective…..

                  my old grandad would have told you to “get your thumb out of your arse sonny”… i disagree. it’s probably safer left alone…..

                • Labour could have been braver, (for instance doing a CGT or removing GST from fresh produce while still in office) but they did make life better for average people, and even for those of us who had it hardest, to an extent. The trouble is that they tried to appease the wealthy elites at the same time, but they’re never appeased by a party that doesn’t do exactly what it’s told, and Labour will never be that party.

                  You’re right that DOC is underfunded by everyone though. Yet another reason you should vote for the Greens. 😉

        • Ed

          With a bit less money being sent overseas and taxed here instead we could actually have jobs, and reduce the cost of unemployment benefits . . .

    • David H 1.3

      And don’t forget they could always attack the beneficiaries next year just in time for the next election. A perfect target.

  2. Vivienne 2

    Responding to Pete,

    My you have been so influenced by NACT rhetoric, that is lies.

    Who did the borrowing and resultant budget deficits? Oh funny this all occured after election 2008!

    NACT to the tune of $250M plus each week and deficites at the end of the financial years.

    Through the Clark -Anderton years the Labour-led government ran surpluses not deficits. Look at the treasury records.

    Unemployment is one of the better indicators of how well the economy is performing. Under NACT it has increased and continues to increase. But then, thank goodness for Australia. If the 1000 New Zealanders heading out each week were staying, I hate to think what the unemployment figures would be!

    One other point Pete. Nearly 1 million enrolled voters did not exercise their vote. So how can you assume National increased it popularity with the size of this abstention?

    • National 2008 – 1,053,398 – 44.93%
      National 2011 – 1,058,636 – 47.31%

      More notably Labour lost support.

      We were headed into recession in 2008 under a Labour led government.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.1

        A recession due to a global financial crisis created by neo-liberal fuckwits, which our two biggest trading partners have weathered in better shape than us because the neo-liberal fuckwits you excuse and justify and enable with your lies, Pete George, have pursued economic fantasies rather than common sense.

        • Pete George

          Seeing as Roy Morgan seems to be in vogue:


          Unemployment was 9.3% (down 0.4% since February 2012) — an estimated 1,120,000 Australians were unemployed and looking for work.

          A further 7.9% (unchanged) of the workforce* were working part-time looking for more work (underemployed) — 959,000 Australians.

          In total 17.2% (down 0.3%) of the workforce, or 2.08 million Australians, were unemployed or underemployed.


          And how’s our next biggest trading partner looking now, compared to four years ago?

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep that’s Australia’s two speed mining based economy (the one National wants to copy). Coastal areas of Oz have been slowing down noticeably over the last 2 years.

            What do you expect. Australia is a two product, two customer economy. Coal and iron ore. China and Japan.

            The Japanese economy is well on the way to going tits up shortly, so Australia will follow not long after.

          • Eddie

            Roy Morgan unemployment stats for australia should not be compared to the official stats here. RM’s numbers differ greatly from the australian official stats, which use the same methodology as our official stats. Official unemployment there- 5.2%, here 6.3%

            • Colonial Viper

              Roy Morgan unemployment stats for australia should not be compared to the official stats here. RM’s numbers differ greatly from the australian official stats, which use the same methodology as our official stats.

              Which begs the question – why are the “official” stats so much more favourable?

              From Steve Keen quoting Roy Morgan (my emphasis/comments):

              ”According to the ABS definition, a person who has worked for one hour or more for payment or someone who has worked without pay in a family business, is considered employed regardless of whether they consider themselves employed or not. [That’s a pretty shit definition right?]

              The ABS definition also details that if a respondent is not actively looking for work (ie: applying for work, answering job advertisements, being registered with Centre-link or tendering for work), they are not considered to be unemployed. [i.e. they just fall out of the statistics as an invisible person]

              The Roy Morgan survey, in contrast, defines any respondent who is not employed full or part-time and who is looking for paid employment as being unemployed. ” (Roy Morgan, September 2011)”


              As Steve Keen observes, the Roy Morgan definition gives a truer representation of what is happening to people.

          • mike e

            NZs unemployment will be higher as those who are not looking for work aren’t included

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    English’s “Zero Budget” are likely to be as successful as his “Fiscally Neutral” tax cuts. So don’t worry about it.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    If Pete George is to be permitted to dominate and run the stream of comments, enjoying this game-playing of his, I must reluctantly cease to read or offer my own comment. The tragedy is that this sad man gets away with evoking so much reaction. Does anybody really think he is capable of understanding “reason”? Save time and breath!

    [Blogging is ultimately rooted in the liberal notion of giving ordinary people a voice. It’s not ‘free speech’, rather it is speech shorn of of power and privilege. Prior to the net the public debate was totally dominated by those with access to the media; now it’s you and I having these conversations.

    At the same time we moderate the site. You don’t get to say just anything you please. At a minimum there is the site policy. Beyond that there is a question of what value a commenter brings to the table. That’s a grey area and every moderator approaches this according to the particular commenter’s track record, context … and how cranky we are feeling on the day.

    On balance Pete survives, not because he isn’t irritating and alarmingly stupid at times, but because if I banned everyone who irked me then it would quickly degenerate into an echo chamber. That’s assuming lprent didn’t get peeved and booted my butt first….RL]

    • McFlock 4.1

      Although I find the opinions of folk like pete pretty worthless (and I acccept that the feeling might well be mutual), occasionally the responses do provide some useful points of view – like the differences in unemployment measures described above.

    • marsman 4.2

      Dr Terry. If I see a post that has been doggy-pissed all over by the waffling Pete George I scroll down to a Pete-free patch and read from there. If there’s no Pete-free patch I don’t bother to read the post. Same with the drivel dribbler Gosman.

    • I presume Dr Terry’s a Green – if the Greens are going to get into a coalition government they will have to answer far more probing questions and learn to deal with much more scrutiny than they’ll get from a random blog question.

      They’ll either have to learn to avoid the questions with a bit more grace than demonstrated here, or get radical and be open and transparent – and not hiss off anything they feel uncomfortable with.

      • felix 4.3.1

        Yeah, that’s the most common complaint about you Pete; your questions are too probing and your scrutiny too rigourous.

      • bad12 4.3.2

        Do you mean learning to avoid the questions like this,

        Slippery answering a question from the Greens Russell Norman in the Parliament this week on the National Governments shortfall in revenue from taxation and what part tax cuts for the rich had played in such a shortfall,

        ”Ha ha ha imagine what it would be like if we hadn’t raised GST Ha ha ha”,unquote John Key…

      • We don’t like you because your critiques are vacuous and easily refuted, and you ignore it most of the time when they are, but you’re certainly not worth the precedent of being banned, in my view.

    • David H 4.4

      He’s like a mozzy buzzing away just out of reach of that favourite I put Pete G in the same vein. An annoyance thats just out of range of the slap, or spray, so I just ignore his inane drivel.

  5. Reagan Cline 5

    RedLogix. The huts have to stay and we could do with more of them.
    What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?
    You used to be able to pack materials in and build a hut – Hikurangi Hut was a good example and no doubt there are others, and come ti think of it I did a bit of hut maintenance myself – UNPAID. The other thing is the critria the engineers that inspect these huts are using in their reports – how realistic are these ?
    The hut needs a basic timber frame, a window ot two, a door, bunks, a bench, a fireplace, water tank and dunny. None of this is hugely expensive – I just do not get why DOC is claiming the network is too expensive to maintain.
    I don’t mind by the way if we spend less on exterminating introduced plants and animals – it is a losing battle anyway. I reckon track and hut maintenance are far more important – and even more important is showing our children how cool it is to use them.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?
      You used to be able to pack materials in and build a hut – Hikurangi Hut was a good example and no doubt there are others, and come ti think of it I did a bit of hut maintenance myself – UNPAID.

      And this is happening. As the Government shirks from its activities, ordinary people have to pick up the pieces.

      None of this is hugely expensive – I just do not get why DOC is claiming the network is too expensive to maintain.

      Wake up.

      Budget cuts have already forced DoC to disband specialist teams and positions all around the country, losing huge amounts of expertise and capability which will never be regained or rebuilt.

      You try maintaining the DoC estate for 5c per hectare.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?

      Yes. That’s happening to some degree already. Consider the fantastic success of the Permolat group on the West Coast who’ve achieved a remarkable turnaround in the access and status of numerous otherwise threatened huts. (Warning… the link above is saturated with ‘tramping porn’. Safe for work, but hazardous to bandwidth.)

      In the Lower North Is there is a Tararua Hut Committee that currently co-ordinates between various clubs and DoC to achieve exactly what you have in mind. For instance the quirky and unique Blue Range Hut was saved and now maintained by the Masterton Tramping club. DoC used to have some limited funding for this work, but it’s gone now.

      There is stuff going on; we just need to ramp it up to the next level. DoC need to make buying Annual Hut Passes a lot easier and more accessible. Being a member of any hunting or tramping organisation needs to include a mandatory Hut Pass purchase, and the flow of cash from these Passes needs to be a lot more transparently spent on it’s intended purpose. There is a huge opportunity to make it a lot easier for volunteers to contribute to hut and track maintenance. Again there are things happening, but on a modest and fitful scale.

      The entire tramping and hunting community need to wake up to what is happening. Under the current bureaucratic logic we will lose most of them, leaving just a small number of big huts, charging big fees, on a handful of ‘big walks’.

      What impresses me is just how many people are out there. Last weekend I did a quick day trip into Mitre Flats and on my way out I passed 22 people in four different parties heading in for the night. All ages and sizes. And this isn’t an easy walk for most people.

      It’s not a sport, or even a recreation. It’s a way of life. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I pretty much learnt my values in these hills and huts. And yes I really want to see it there for our kids.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      What is to stop tramping clubs (or even corporates) adopting huts and fund raising to maintain them ?

      Nothing but it’s less efficient than having the government do it and thus takes away resources for other things. Generally speaking, that’s why we have community in the first place.

      he hut needs a basic timber frame, a window ot two, a door, bunks, a bench, a fireplace, water tank and dunny. None of this is hugely expensive

      If you don’t take into account the environment around the hut then it’s not but it gets a little more complicated when you do. Also, a basic wooden frame doesn’t help much if it falls down every time it snows (Yes, I have actually heard of buildings built this badly by people who thought standards weren’t needed).

      • RedLogix 5.3.1

        I understand where you are coming from DtB. If you’re building a new hut, it makes sense to do it right. Not fancy… but done right. This need not be expensive, especially if you work to a standard design. The old NZFS six-bunkers were a remarkable success for just this reason.

        Overall I think the best way forward is a strong collaboration between DoC and the community clubs. That’s not effectively happening right now and… coming back to the point of this thread… is an example of what happens when budgets are locked into ‘austerity mode’.

    • joe90 5.4

      I’ll see your remote huts and raise you some Cabin Porn.

  6. Blue 6

    The zero budget is ‘brave’ from a political columnist’s standpoint. But we all know political columnists do not concern themselves with what is right or wrong.

    Skimping will always come back to bite you in the arse in the end. But Small cares nothing for that. When the effects come home to roost, the Key-led government will no longer be in power.

    Leaky homes, Cave Creek, Pike River, they are all meaningless to a political columnist who only looks at the cut and thrust of the here and now.

    The similarity in short-term, shallow thinking recommends right-wing politicians and political columnists to each other.

  7. Pete 7

    Sir Humphrey: If you want to be really sure that the Minister doesn’t accept it, you must say the decision is “courageous”.
    Bernard: And that’s worse than “controversial”?
    Sir Humphrey: Oh, yes! “Controversial” only means “this will lose you votes”. “Courageous” means “this will lose you the election”!

  8. james111 8

    I believe the budget should be a zero budget. If you arent earning the revenue due to the world wide recession you cant spend it. Although I know labor would just take the spend spend spend spend wastefully approach.

    • fender 8.1

      It’s Labour ! not Labor ! For the umpteenth time james 111

      See your sock is overflowing again you dirt eating sock fiddler

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      As has been pointed out to you before, it’s NATIONAL that’s taking the “spend spend spend spend wastefully approach.” Which is why the budget is getting blown out every friggen week.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      If you arent earning the revenue due to GIVING BILLIONS TO THE ALREADY WEALTHY you cant spend it.

      fify Jimmie 3.

    • RedLogix 8.4

      Nonsense. New Zealand earns it’s way in the world. We actually run a surplus in tradeable goods and services. Did you know that?

      The only reason why we have a Current Account deficit is because there is a huge $12-15b annual outflow of “Reverse Investment Income” …fancy economist speak for “our owners and overlords exporting their profits overseas”.

      And because we are in a global recession the economy is running at somewhat below capacity. In that scenario there is every reason for the government to print some money in order to stimulate demand, utilising that spare capacity.

      But that’s likely too big a sound-bite for you….

      • Colonial Viper 8.4.1

        The only reason why we have a Current Account deficit is because there is a huge $12-15b annual outflow of “Reverse Investment Income” …fancy economist speak for “our owners and overlords exporting their profits overseas”.

        As Greer states, empires are built and maintained by the pumping out of wealth from vassal states (NZ) and centralisation in an imperial core (consisting of the world’s elite 0.01%).

        NZ is, to put it bluntly, on the wrong side of the wealth pump.

  9. bad12 9

    A National Government zero budget=20,000 more unemployed in 18 months…

  10. bad12 10

    Election 2014 will be fought by whats left of National on ”another sale of SOE,s for the greedy, and,”another kick aimed at those reliant on benefits as their income”…

  11. Treetop 11

    I just hope that there will not be a zero budget when it comes to requiring a comprehensive investigation into ACC. NZers require the truth as they have lost the right to sue in most circumstances. The functions of ACC need to be transparent.

  12. gnomic 12

    Erm, is not the answer to whatever the question was here, we are all doomed, resistance is futile. Aotearoa New Zealand has recently given $100 million to the IMF for Greece and Portugal to save them from financial collapse. This would likely be money borrowed from overseas as NZ is already bankrupt to the best of my knowledge.


    This Pete George, is he or it of the same ilk as John Galt? At least we know JG was a fictional character created by a headcase, has anybody ever seen PG in a room with other human beings? But wait, didn’t someone called PG run for an imaginary party in the last election? Imagine being lead by Dunne. Oh all right, don’t even bother trying to imagine that, it could be hazardous to mental health.

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  • Twenty highlights of 2020
    As we welcome in the new year, our focus is on continuing to keep New Zealanders safe and moving forward with our economic recovery. There’s a lot to get on with, but before we say a final goodbye to 2020, here’s a quick look back at some of the milestones ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year Honour recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has added her warm congratulations to the New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to their communities and the country in the New Year 2021 Honours List. “The past year has been one that few of us could have imagined. In spite of all the things that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • David Parker congratulates New Year 2021 Honours recipients
    Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment David Parker has congratulated two retired judges who have had their contributions to the country and their communities recognised in the New Year 2021 Honours list. The Hon Tony Randerson QC has been appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year’s Honours highlights outstanding Pacific leadership through challenging year
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year’s Honours List 2021 highlights again the outstanding contribution made by Pacific people across Aotearoa. “We are acknowledging the work of 13 Pacific leaders in the New Year’s Honours, representing a number of sectors including health, education, community, sports, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Supporting seniors to embrace technology
    The Government’s investment in digital literacy training for seniors has led to more than 250 people participating so far, helping them stay connected. “COVID-19 has meant older New Zealanders are showing more interest in learning how to use technology like Zoom and Skype so they can to keep in touch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago