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Key’s surprise for Aucklanders

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 am, June 16th, 2009 - 18 comments

Analysis by Rhema Vaithianathan, which hasn’t itself been critiqued but has seen her subjected to the typical vicious personal attacks from National, shows that the supercity will have big economic costs for the areas of most of the existing councils: • Rodney: annual regional GDP falls by up to $74 million and 270 job losses […]

Nats slash education

Written By: - Date published: 6:37 am, June 11th, 2009 - 21 comments

Did anyone else notice that for all this supposed government waste that National was going to get rid of it made only $500 million (less than 0.7% government spending) of ‘savings’ per year in the Budget. To get these ‘savings’ that it had to cut education spending savagely: Cut Early Childhood Education Professional Development – $9.8m Rescinding […]

Productive debate

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, June 9th, 2009 - 23 comments

There was nothing in the Budget for productivity. Education, the foundation of producitivty, was actually cut when you take into account inflation and population growth. There was a bit more for a few more roads but shaving a few minutes of the commute has no effect on productivity. Yet Bill English is very keen for […]

More opposition than ever to supercity

Written By: - Date published: 5:51 am, June 8th, 2009 - 27 comments

While the mishandling of the Worth scandal grabs all the headlines, the mishandling of the supercity process is still grinding on. And Aucklanders aren’t fooled. A ShapeNZ poll released on Friday shows that Aucklanders want more consultation, want a government that really listens, want a referendum, and don’t want a supercity. Here are the poll’s findings: […]

Crying wolf?

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, June 5th, 2009 - 12 comments

From The Independent: No lasting harm from airport credit downgrade. Analysts and management of Auckland International Airport are unconcerned at Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the airport’s corporate credit and debt rating from A to A-minus. The downgrade will add less than $1 million to the airport’s overall interest bill of around $80 million. If […]

Air New Zealand, shame on you

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 5th, 2009 - 1 comment

In Brisbane yesterday, members of Australian transport unions took over an intersection outside AirNZ’s HQ to show their solidarity with the Zeal workers. Great to see the workers supporting each other across national borders. As for Air New Zealand, their shame is now international. -Marty G

Super projections

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, June 3rd, 2009 - 19 comments

I’ve had a crack at working out how much we lose by cancelling the Cullen Fund contributions according to the Treasury’s figures in the Budget. I come out with a loss of $7.5 billion by 2023. That’s a little lower than the figures Guyon Espiner was leaked, which were presumably based on more detailed modelling. […]

DPF agrees, cancelling Cullen Fund rips off NZ

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 pm, June 2nd, 2009 - 39 comments

DPF writes on the cost of cancelling contributions to the Cullen Fund: First of all, it is true that under the 11 year contributions holiday, the Super Fund in 2030 will be worth only $81 billion instead of $118 billion – a $37 billion difference….Over the 11 years 2009 to 2020, there would be $19.5 […]

Future shock

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, May 30th, 2009 - 18 comments

Yesterday, my comrade Zetetic wrote that despite all the bad stuff in the Budget there was still a “meta-victory” for the Left because the ‘social wage’ hadn’t been attacked. That is, health, education, and social welfare aren’t cut in this year’s Budget. Well, I’ve been doing something Zetetic has probably been wise enough to avoid. […]

No super contributions = worse net debt

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 114 comments

I’ve had a dig into Treasury’s numbers and worked out that they expect the Superannuation Fund will make a 13% return next year, falling to 11% a year by 2012. Those figures seem pretty good, not too optimistic. It’s what the Fund made in ordinary years before the crunch and bear in mind the Fund […]

Mission accomplished

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 20 comments

John Key famously said “we would love to see wages drop“. It sure didn’t take him long in government to see his ambition achieved. Here are the wage hourly wages rates, adjusted for inflation, over the last decade and Treasury’s projections from today’s budget. After peaking this year (wages lag unemployment), wages will drop then stall. […]

Bleak and bleaker

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 12 comments

Treasury’s main forecasts for the economy have worsened significantly since December: Nothing for jobs in the Budget. Tens of thousands more on the dole. We need better than this. – Marty G


Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 27th, 2009 - 24 comments

One of the oldest tricks in the book for a government that’s cutting public services is to say ‘we’re not cutting, we’re spending more in our budget than ever before’ while not mentioning that their spending ‘increase’ doesn’t match inflation and population growth. We need to know what constitutes minimum increases to preserve current services: […]

The credit rating bogeyman

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 26th, 2009 - 25 comments

It’s pretty clear how Key and English plan to spin their budget. They will use the bogeyman of a credit rating downgrade to justify doing what they want to do cutting contributions to the Superannuation fund and spending on core services like health and education. They’ll attempt to overshadow the cuts by making some spending […]

What’s the point again?

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, May 25th, 2009 - 20 comments

Remember – March against National’s undemocratic supercity today 25th, noon, Queen St [More info] Accepted truths are funny things. For example, everyone has just accepted that the local government mergers in 1989 saved money and that costs are out of control now. From these premises, it flows that the further merger of Auckland’s councils into […]

The Standard now largest NZ political blog?

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, May 24th, 2009 - 110 comments

No, not because we’ve overtaken Kiwiblog in readership just yet (although ours is growing at a healthy 10% a month) but because I don’t think we can call Kiwiblog a political blog any more. 1) A blog is meant to be writers giving their views on issues; a web-based log of their thoughts, if you […]

“Confusing and might be taken the wrong way by some”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, May 21st, 2009 - 50 comments

Duncan Garner had to do a balance piece against David Shearer because he has been at the forefront of covering the implosion of Melissa Lee’s campaign. Garner says someone “deep within” Lee’s campaign pointed him to an interview where Shearer says keeping employment high, particularly among migrant communities is important because when people don’t have […]

Bye bye democracy

Written By: - Date published: 12:50 pm, May 19th, 2009 - 51 comments

So what is this Transition Board thing that National and Act created by ramming through legislation in a huge rush last week last week and only to get cold feet over appointing its members? Basically, it gives five people (rightwing businessmen) who are appointed by the government the power to veto spending decisions made by the elected […]

Power on Q+A

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, May 17th, 2009 - 9 comments

On Q+A this morning, Justice Minister Simon Power flew a kite on some possible changes to the justice system. The first was raising the severity threshold at which defendants can elect trial by jury. Currently, if you are tried for a crime with a maximum sentence in excess of 3 months on prison you can […]

Class warfare, with bulldozers

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, May 15th, 2009 - 30 comments

Using Labour’s Google Map of National’s Waterview route and Google Street View, I had a look at the type of houses that National wants to bulldoze and the ones it has decided to save by having a tunnel under them.   State houses and lower-income houses to be knocked down.  Upper income houses, to be saved […]

Boring into the numbers 2

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, May 14th, 2009 - 15 comments

National has released its Waterview plan. Basically a trench rather than a tunnel, and a few hundred more homes knocked down. They reckon it will cost $1.4 billion. What’s missing from the costing? Financing costs were included in the cost of the tunnel to inflate it to $2.77 billion but are excluded from the trench option. […]

Boring into the numbers

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, May 13th, 2009 - 32 comments

Here’s a trick you can all play at home. You’ll need several different plans for a major motorway project produced by NZTA and a compliant Treasury ready and willing to alter figures to make your preferred option look better than it is. Now, you want to save a little money by going for the cheapest […]

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