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Better off with National?

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, April 13th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: national, wages - Tags: ,

One of the questions voters will ask themselves in November will be: do I feel better off after 3 years of National?

The answer will mostly be “no”.

We’ll have to wait until October for the third year’s statistics, but after the first 2 years the median household is $3489 worse off.  In 2008-9 their income went down $1196, and inflation ate up another $1242 from the value of their money.  2009-10 their income went up a meagre $104, but inflation ate up $1155, meaning after 2 years of National most families had lost thousands of dollars.  The last year isn’t shaping up any better: inflation is hitting recent highs (released today: food prices up 5.5% in year to March) – so households are on course to lose around $2500 to that – and there’s no evidence that wages are recovering to remotely cover that loss.

Sure the very wealthy who are still in work are doing well – with great pay increases and large tax cuts nicely skewing that average after-tax full-time wage that National like to spout – but peculiar statistics don’t help middle- and lower-income New Zealand pay their grocery bill.

And is it all the recession’s fault?  The first 2 years can obviously not be blamed on the Christchurch earthquakes.  But Australia is showing that wages in the Great Recession don’t have suffer like they are through National’s massive wealth transfer here.

The wage gap with Australia, ballooned out under the 90s National Government, Labour held it steady for 9 years, and it was still 30% when National came in.  In 2009 it grew to 35%, and then further to 41% in 2010.  And that’s before adding in the large superannuation payment your employer funds in Australia.

Which leaves us with a government that John Key said had a ‘fundamental purpose’ to close the wage gap with Australia completely failing; and Bill English touting our low wages as an economic advantage, as though it was always part of their plan.

What’s Wealthy?  According to National $22,000/year for a single person or ~$50,000/year if you have dependants – that’s the proposed cut-off level for legal-aid for some “lesser” crimes.  If they think that’s wealthy it shows just how out of touch they are.  Although it would explain why they think the country is doing well despite all evidence…

(Nine to Noon had an excellent interview this morning about the undermining of the right to a fair trial this move will cause.)

27 comments on “Better off with National? ”

  1. infused 1

    It’s worse off for everyone apart from Aussie and China. Maybe if we actually mined something we would be catching aussie.

    • Bright Red 1.1

      we do mine stuff, genius – $8.5 billion worth in 2009 plus $13.4 billion from oil and coal manufacturing (the GDP contribution is a lot smaller, of course).
      The question is ‘where and how should we mine?’.
      And the answer is ‘not in environmentally sensitive areas and not in dangerous ways that risk a disaster we can’t fix, like deepsea drilling’

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    and Bill English touting our low wages as an economic advantage, as though it was always part of their plan.

    It always was part of their plan. This cannot be stressed enough.

  3. infused 3

    It’s actually another typical post from around here. You authors keep bleating on about National, but offer little in the way of how Labour/Whoever would do any better.

    • Ben Clark 3.1

      Hi infused,
      If you look at my recent post “Economy” I offer alternatives that could have made a difference.
      This post is obviously just looking at the consequences of National’s actions, but they need highlighting.

      • Afewknowthetruth 3.1.1

        Ben. Your problem is you are still living in the twentieth century and are still talking the eonobabble that got us into this mess -nonsense about stimulating the economy and promoting economic growth. You want to retain debt slavery as the basis of the system and retain a continuous assualt on the habitability of the planet we klive on. Sorry, I’m not at all impressed. 

        The economic growth game is now well and truly over. It should have been over decades ago, but lunatic fringe economists and money-lenders have had such a stranglehold on the system they have managed to resist all attempts to introduce  sane policy, and have managed to run the economic system past the point of no return and into collapse phase. The rapid degradation of the environment continues, of course  -indeed is it is accelerating.

        We need leaders who understand peak oil and how it will demolish current economic arrangement in the very near future. And leaders who understand environmental collapse. 

        The Labour party has no such people and just offers further attempts at tweaking a collapsing system.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Labour party has no such people and just offers further attempts at tweaking a collapsing system.

          Uh, there are such people within the Labour Party. A few in fact. However, none of them are in positions as ‘powers that be’ who can simply push out policy of this nature unchallenged.
          Agreed though, the time for simple “tweaking” is long at an end.

    • lprent 3.2

      Ummm I can remember saying almost exactly the same thing to you and others prior to the last election about both a lack of policy from National and focus of criticizing the government rather than offering solutions from the Nact supporters (apart from the religiosity of taxcuts) . Now if I remember it correctly, the general response from the right to that criticism was that the policy didn’t matter and that you were all only interested in kicking the feminazis / Klark / Liarbour / Dear Leader / Teh Party / leftard’s / helengrad / gummit / lickspittle’s out (a small selection from the auto-moderation words that were used for troll elimination)

      Now that we’re in opposition, you and most of the other NAct supporters appear to want us to act differently?

      Looks to me like you just have a double standard. Besides, as I pointed out during and after the last election campaign, this style of blogging would have to be done. Purely to make sure that the idiots in National who thought that was a good style of election campaign last time did some learning.

    • Pete 3.3

      Ah. The both sides suck, so vote National argument. Doesn’t really cut it when the burden is on the party in government for two and a half years to come up with the goods.

      • Luva 3.3.1

        The differernce lprent is that National was miles ahead in the polls. They were almost guaranteed victory so had no need to present detailed policy.

        Labour 2011 is arguably the most useless opposition in history. It is almost comical how bad they are and how they can’t get traction against a sloppy government.

        Labour need to show there hand with good alternative policy. They don’t have the advatage of being popular

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.4

      Failed infused Just like Key. Labour is not going to have to say much at all one question will do it for middle NZ, are you better off with John Keys brighter future?

  4. North 4

    On the issue of legal aid I urge everybody who has any interest whatsoever NOT to be taken in by the ignorance of editorials,  nor listen to Guyon Espiner, or any other “media” commentator for that matter.  Without exception they display appalling ignorance of the facts and wittingly or unwittingly they misrepresent the truth. 

    These writers and commentators know what they “want” to say and that is exactly what they say – not what is true or factually based.  Espiner particularly in his pretty,  lispy little style misrepresents the reality.   

    This is not surprising of course.  The entire debate started with the utterly fictitious report of Dame Margaret Bazley –  a tissue of innuendo and falsehoods masqueraded as fact.  A report designed to conceal the essential tenet of Simon Power’s thinking –  “the culpable poor are not entitled to the same legal protections as the wealthy”.

    Today’s online Herald editorial on the issue is a classic example of this arrogant “I’ll say what I ‘want’ to say…..” approach. And if I’m wrong and it’s not arrogance then it can only be stupidity.

  5. ianmac 5

    Thanks for the facts Ben. The simple issue for non-political people is:
    “Meat, Vegies, milk, cheese, petrol, bus fares have gone up very quickly under National. Living Costs are too high. Key promised a better deal. He failed. No excuses.”

  6. North 6

    How’s this for the Herald’s embrace of “freedom of expression” ?

    This afternoon I read the online Herald editorial on legal aid.  In a response at the foot of the editorial I noted that there is not one District Court level legal aid lawyer who earns up to $900,000 a year – it being asserted by the editorial writer that this is fact as to some legal aid lawyers.

    I also corrected the editorial writer on the assertion that legal aid lawyers get $159/hour being “x” times the average wage or hourly rate.  It’s a lot of nonsense.  This is the rate for High Court,  Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court criminal matters where the offence charged carries a maximum of life imprisonment.

    I also mentioned the fact that there is always a cap on the number of hours whihc can be charged.  Given the appalling misrepresentations in the editorial I  stated that the writer is ignorant of the facts,  said “Wrong, Wrong, Wrong” on all these points and said there should be an apology for the misrepresentations.

    Herald’s response:  we don’t publish “abusive” material.

    How gutless can they be ?  How sick are they ?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Let’s teach the Herald a lesson by sinking their circulation numbers.
      Then they can have as much relevance as steam powered harvesters.

  7. chris73 7

    Arn’t you going to acknowledge whaleoil? I mean this is what he says Labour should be saying.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Which bits?

      • todd 7.1.1

        I acknowledge that whailoil is a lecherous slob who is still going on about an internal move against Phil Goff, when it was a complete fabrication by National and their media lackeys. Perhaps we should acknowledge just how retarded this hack has become… Exactly what part of Slater’s drivel would you like us to acknowledge chris73?

        • NickS

          Obviously Cameron’s little known National-Act slash fan fiction, filled full of hot Rodney/Key “action” amongst other couplings.

  8. chris73 8

    “Do I feel better off after 3 years of National?”
    Is what hes been saying should be a slogan for Labour and hes been saying it for awhile now.

    I’m not saying you guys shouldn’t be repeating it but you should at least acknowledge whaleoils idea

  9. M 9

    Do I feel better? Oh, fuck yes!

    Power’s up along with food, some of that due to PO of course, but not helped by NACT’s GST ramp up plus all the retailers who took the opportunity to add a little more to their prices.

    Death by a thousand cuts.

    We won’t have to wait until October either. Was listening to Mike Ruppert and he was saying that because of the FFU (Fuku Fuck Up) the world’s first quarter GDP is down but by July with all the nuke action in Japan the world’s second quarter GDP figures will show we’re on life support.

    Yay, can’t wait.

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