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Asleep at the wheel

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 am, June 24th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: economy, employment, workers' rights - Tags:

Yesterday, Goff asked Key for some evidence that his government is doing something to save jobs. Key squirmed and squirmed.

Goff: What have the three main ideas that emerged from the Job Summit, and that he promised would save or create thousands of jobs, delivered in actual job numbers?

Key: I would say that the Job Summit has and will create thousands of jobs.

Goff: Is it not true that the first idea, the $2 billion credit fund, has produced nothing and has fallen over; the second idea has created 345 jobs, which is approximately the same number of job losses that occur in 1½ days under his Government; and the third, the nationwide cycleway, has become a pathetic remnant of the original idea and has created no jobs so far?

Key: Is it not weird that the Opposition does not like success? You see, this is a Government that goes out and engages with people in real debate, and gets businesses, unions, and the Government all on the same page, working hard for the country. I think the Leader of the Opposition should take a look at this chart. It is the Roy Morgan Research survey. I know that Opposition members do not like talking about it, but the business confidence survey shows what New Zealanders think. When Labour was in Government the line on the graph was down; now it is up*. This Government is working for the country

So, how many jobs saved was that? Bugger all? How many lost? 50,000? If the Jobs Summit is success then I guess I don’t like success either.

The media are starting to see Key’s failure to deliver for what it is:
Government pressured to curb job losses
Buzz goes flat at the Beehive
Time for some fresh ideas on economy
1000 a week signing up for unemployment benefit
Labour accuses Govt of not doing enough for unemployed
Mass job losses seen

The government is asleep at the wheel. Everyone else is waking up to the fact.

*[when you’re at the tail of a deep recession, of course business confidence which is expectations for growth in the next 12 months – is going to be good].

25 comments on “Asleep at the wheel ”

  1. bobo 1

    I noticed in the house today National is using the “Labour left health in Crisis” or have they seen reports on blah blah then proceed to just spout on about the previous government, avoiding as usual any direct questions, Key said some absurd thing about unemployment figures are at record lows for a recession compared to the 1930s as if losing 1000 jobs a week is great.

    Lockwood Smith looks increasingly like a defense lawyer answering questions on behalf of the primeminister, so in effect the government don’t need to answer any questions if they determine the public doesn’t need to know.. I can understand Mallards frustration at the recurrent theme of stonewalling Key is doing and looking constantly awkward.

  2. We voted asleep at the wheel.

  3. Ron 3

    The “last government defence” will runout eventually. Sooner or later the morons on the press benches will do a jokey video montage of it.

  4. lukas 4

    Ron and Bobo, one could only assume you are new to listening to or following the proceedings in Parliament. For 9 years Labour Ministers pulled out the excuse of the last National Government for failings in areas that they had not corrected. If National continue to do this this time next year, your complaint will have some validity, though Labour complaining about it will just stink of hypocrisy.

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      “Mr Key said that New Zealand still has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the world.” (Radio NZ, this morning)

      If he wants to take credit, he can take the blame too. Can’t have it both ways.

      He could just acknowledge that he inherited low levels of unemployment, and the Jobs Summit had nothing whatsoever to do with that. But then he’d be telling the truth.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    I notice that some reporters are saying the National Government looks like it is out of ideas, this is of coarse quite incorrect, National had no new ideas before the election.

    The only major change in direction was tax cuts. This was of coarse not a new idea it is as old as. The same old mantra from the right that anyone who has been an adult for longer than 10years knows is just bullshit. Tax cuts were going to stimulate the economy and change our economy from the slow sluggish one we had under Helengrad to a new fresh economy of aspiration. Waiting waiting waiting!

  6. Tom Semmens 6

    Craig Glen Eden: Course, not coarse. 🙂

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      Point taken Tom, I just got in the flow, my spelling is not as good as my rants.
      Possibly my rants are not good either but my spelling can be shit I admit.

  7. Zaphod Beeblebrox 7

    Didn’t hear him mentioning that we had the lowest rate of unemployment in the OECD last year.

    Instead they complained that our tax cuts weren’t big enough.

    Now he’s trying to claim that reducing appeal rights in the RMA is going to cause an economic boom. It probably won’t hurt property and commercial developers but its unlikely to be the cause of economc nirvana either.If your competitors are able to get their developments built as quickly as you are- you will still face the same business conditions in the end. Maybe your short term holding costs will be reduced but lower interest rates should have done that anyway.

    What really need is a properly resourced industry strategy.

  8. So Bored 8

    I thought the current economic orthodoxy which has been in place since Dodgy Roger in the 80s was “hands off” from government, the “market knows best” approach. So here we have everybody having a go at a NACT government who have not openly espoused any other approach. Goff cant complain, Labour are just as straight jacketed in their economic orthodoxies, they leave it to the market to create jobs aswell.

    Talk about being asleep at the wheel, the passengers are snoring aswell as the vehicle goes over the cliff.

  9. coolas 9

    Shame Cullen isn’t commenting because I’m sure he would push for re-establishing a viable rail network as a recession initiative. Thousands of jobs could be created upgrading tracks etc and why not make our own carriages in new factories. Can’t be that hard.

  10. bobo 10

    Bill English was saying in the house that buying back rail has no value or negative value, the same goes for roads too if you look at it with that logic. All infrastructure is a money pit but essential ,Nact treat rail as some sort of bastard form of transport unlike most other major cities of the world.

    • Ianmac 10.1

      Yes bobo and include schools or hospitals in that they provide services at a cost. If you fail to equip them or rail then they are even worse off. It would be a waste of money actually.

  11. gnomic 11

    A couple of points on this topic. Firstly, the unemployment statistics only vaguely reflect the actual reality of unemployment, underemployment, Mcjobs, etc, both here and overseas. Some would say for example that the real figure for the USA is round 20%. Governments of all persuasions seem unable to resist the temptation to fib about this matter, or at the very least obfuscate.

    Secondly, there is a stream of comments here suggesting the recovery is just around the corner, green shoots everywhere, happy days will be here again as we get back to blowing up our real estate bubble, business as usual soon, and so forth. Yet Mr English seems to be suggesting our financial straits are dire for the next decade or so, while just this morning no less a blithe optimist than Phil Goff talked about recovery in a couple of years. Bill E is no doubt softening us up for a diet of bitter pills on a There is No Alternative basis, but could we please consider the possibility that the global contraction is not just an ordinary recession?

    • r0b 11.1

      Hear hear. I hate to be a pessimist – but read widely folks. A lot of the analysis and predictions on the international situation are pretty dire…

      • So Bored 11.1.1

        Agree, people should look at what people like Kunstler say about oil, or Orlov about the failure of the state etc. These turkeys in government (and opposition) are facing a tidal wave of issues and dont seems remotely aware. The common thread is that they want to take us back to the broken model so it can break all over again. Theres a poverty of breadth to their thinking and world view.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1.2

        Which makes inaction even more incomprehensible. If someone can’t convince Key and English to get off their butts the social, economic and environmental problems are going to keep piling up.

        • So Bored

          They got to see them first, and they are not programmed to, so in a nut shell we are f*****d.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox

            Yeah thats obvious. The irony is that we have Obama trying to similtaneously solve his country’s (and everybody else’s) debt, health care, environmental, social justice and foreign policiy disasters whilst our leadership thinks building a cycleway and waiting for ‘the invisble hand’ is all we need to do.
            You’d think NZ exists in some sort of existential paralell universe, i you listened to our leaders.

    • roger nome 11.2

      I’m sick of right-wing sicophants that base their handel on mine – don’t these people have any imagination?

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    I have to agree doing nothing is doing nothing and only allows the effects of doing nothing to go deeper. If you get my drift. As for the rolling bloody maul?

  13. mike 13

    So what are Phil-in’s master plan? no brilliant, fresh ideas about saving jobs then guys?

    Per-capita NZ is doing much better than many other developed countries in a global recession but the desperate left try and spin that’s its all John Keys fault – laughable

    • Ianmac 13.1

      Lucky little Nats! Because of the prudent Cullen approach NZ is doing better than otherwise. All the Nats have to do is sit it out and take the credit!

      • Razorlight 13.1.1

        So if we accept New Zealand is doing well in this global recession it is because of the economy National inherited from Cullen, as suggested by Ianmac

        But Zaphod and So Bored are inferring we are doing so badly because Key and English won’t get off their butts and take action.

        So in left land if their is positive news it is because of Cullen, but negative news is all a result of that evil Mr Key. You people make this so simple.

        I think National could do more and should do more. But in my opinion the reason why their is no mass rejection of this goverment yet is because all we are hearing from the Gabour opposition is how bad Mr Key is. I haven’t heard what the positive alternative is to this goverment.

  14. r0b 14

    So if we accept New Zealand is doing well in this global recession it is because of the economy National inherited from Cullen, as suggested by Ianmac


    But Zaphod and So Bored are inferring we are doing so badly because Key and English won’t get off their butts and take action.

    No. you are misquoting. Z and SB and others are pointing out that there are new dangers ahead (e.g. skyrocketing unemployment). And the NACT government is doing nothing about it.

    I haven’t heard what the positive alternative is to this goverment.


    Labour need to get off their butts and come up with something similar now, an update of their policy before the election where they set out a detailed recovery package as noted here:

    If actions speak louder than words, Labour was the winner on Day One of the official election campaign – game, set and match.

    Key’s earlier speech at National’s campaign opening in Auckland’s SkyCity Convention Centre said nothing new on economic policy. In fact, it said nothing new about anything.

    If that was not bad enough, Labour was getting ready to lay out something really meaty just a few blocks away in the Auckland Town Hall.

    There, Helen Clark trumped Key by delivering the recovery package he had been demanding, including contingency plans to save jobs and the promise of a mini-budget in December.

    The upshot was that Labour looked like it was governing; National looked complacent and flat-footed.

    We had the option of a real plan and a competent government to meet this crisis. Pity we decided not to take it. Time for a change I guess. Wonder how it’s going to work out…

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