Armstrong on the budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, May 22nd, 2011 - 13 comments
Categories: budget 2011, economy, john key, newspapers - Tags: ,

Gotta confess that I really can’t figure John Armstrong out. He is capable of writing the most embarrassingly sycophantic twaddle it has ever been my misfortune to read. But then on a good day he can get right to the heart of the matter, such as this piece on the budget:

National will pay if voters feel fooled

John Key and his National Party colleagues may well take a hit in the polls after the mediocre Budget. The document has had a chilly reception. Few are shouting its merits from the rooftops.

That is because National has been too clever by half. National’s softening-up exercise was so unsubtle, voters felt they were being manipulated. They did not like being taken for a ride. They did not like being treated like fools.

They don’t like National’s fiddling with KiwiSaver. They don’t warm to hearing National claim the scheme will be better than the current one when National’s changes will leave them paying more and getting $520 a year less from the state. They don’t warm to National speaking out of the other side of its mouth the next moment by boasting how much money it has saved by chopping back the scheme. In short, voters are not stupid. The changes to KiwiSaver will make them rightly suspicious of what National has planned elsewhere. …

Before the Budget, National’s private polling is said to have shown its support dropping by a few percentage points. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaffected apparently parked themselves in the “don’t knows” rather than shift its way. …

The Budget has displayed a degree of cynicism one would expect from a Government in its third term, not its first.

We were told for months by Bill English this was going to be the “Savings and Investment Budget”. Yet English cut the Government contribution to KiwiSaver in half and then, to add insult to injury, expanded the tax on employer contributions to pension schemes to the lower rates of KiwiSaver. Trying to argue black is white …

Just as questionable is the Budget’s banking of partial asset sales in Government accounts covering future years. National has yet to get the mandate it is seeking before selling stakeholdings in Air New Zealand, power generators Genesis, Meridian and Mighty River Power, plus coal company Solid Energy. …

Key’s popularity is based in large part on him being straight with the public. Such reputations are hard won and easily lost.

Key never deserved any reputation for being straight with the public. If he ever had one, it should certainly be long gone by now. Key has been a liar right from the start. Still, better late than never John. You can see through this sham of a budget. Time to turn the same critical eye on the rest of this sub-zero government.

13 comments on “Armstrong on the budget”

  1. tc 1

    The failure to detail exactly where cuts go is clever as there’s nothing specific to target the injustice of over and their mates in the MSM won’t bother holding them to account.

    Expect Armstrong to revert to type with more sycophantic pieces over the coming months but when all is said and done how totally piss weak are the media for not ripping the govt to shreds over a budget that is as vague and accurate as many a sales forecast you’ll see.

  2. Anthony 2

    Well the latest horizon results on the budget are out:

    http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/127/no-mandate-f
    http://www.horizonpoll.co.nz/page/129/budget-forec

    Yeah yeah self selective polling blah blah blah.

  3. ianmac 3

    John Key and Steven Joyce were seen in the Parliamentary loo slapping each other on the back and giggling, “Suckers. Suckers. Those Kiwis are suckers!”

  4. Jum 4

    quote from Becoming Jane ‘Nothing destroys spirit like poverty.’

    That’s this government’s plan.

  5. “Savings and investment budget” Savings (made by halving the government contribution to KiwiSaver) and investment (investing in shares by privatising energy shares). I FAIL to see the public benefiting from either savings or investment. If there is no benefit to the public why do it in the first place?

    Failure to see there is no gain in touching KiwiSaver and flogging off energy shares is the failure by this government to save or recieve a stable return from SOE’s which will probably in the long term pay for borrowed money for the KiwiSaver government contribution.

  6. Terry 6

    John Key being straight with the public? When ever was that occasion? The truth is the public talked it self into believing he is straight! After his Budget speech it is very possible that the public (middle class) will buy yet again all his hype, rhetoric and Labour bashing. Key has this speech off by heart now as do some of us. After November 26 will come the specifics and that will be too late.

  7. NickC 7

    “Gotta confess that I really can’t figure John Armstrong out. He is capable of writing the most embarrassingly sycophantic twaddle it has ever been my misfortune to read. But then on a good day he can get right to the heart of the matter.”

    Maybe that’s because you dont so much evaluate the quality of his articles but whether or not they conform to your view. The quality is consistent but only some articles reflect your view, so you percieve a difference in quality between those which reflect your view and those which dont.

    • r0b 7.1

      You’re kind of right NickC. I have a consistent mental and ethical world view. Armstrong clearly doesn’t. Just blows in the wind.

  8. randal 8

    you so right jum. this government likes losers because its the only way to kid themselves they are winners. ekshully they are justa bunch of servile bootlickers to overseas investment banks who want to do “deals’ on the backs of the working people of this country.
    and btw a winner is anyone who goes off in a jet and stays in a hotel in another country so they can look down their noses at the help. wow!

  9. Tanz 9

    He’s just an old leftie, so he would say that. Fran is much more on the money.

    • Craig Glen Eden 9.1

      Right Armstrong and old leftie. Left what ? Kicker, bowler, what ever he is, he certainly until this article has been right up Shonkey’s arse.
      After all nothing has changed, National are running the same lines and the same plan, the same figures even in some cases I mean shit talk about slow Mr Armstrong.

      But never fear Shonkey can rely on people like Tanz to run distraction lines.

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