Budget 2015 – A reactive budget

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, May 21st, 2015 - 161 comments
Categories: budget 2015, class war, economy - Tags: , , , ,

key-surplus-2014

For latest updates [feel free all] see below.

Morning edition

But what was probably supposed to be the centerpiece of the budget has apparently been scooped by details pre-released on a website: “‘Thousands’ of homes could be built on former Crown land in Auckland”. It’s like (ht Scott Milne) KiwiBuild with all the social justice elements removed, see also NRT: “A lot of devils in those details”.

[Update MS] – Looks like Scott Milne is right about Kiwibuild although we will need to see the details.  Labour’s 2012 Kiwibuild policy said this:

Much of the land will come from HNZC buying new land or building on existing developments. Labour will also use public land and look at reconfiguring and subdividing some existing state house land as opportunities arise.

The main difference seems to be that National will be supporting developers whereas Labour wanted to support first home owners.

Update2:  The information is now available from the budget website.

The deficit is $684 million and forecast to be a wafer thin $176 million next year.

There are measures to address child poverty including the following:

  • Strengthening work obligations for beneficiary parents (compulsory bene bashing).  Most sole parents, and partners of beneficiaries, will have to be available for part‐time work of 20 hours a week once their youngest child turns three.
  • ƒRaising benefit rates for families.  Benefit rates for families with children will rise by $25 a week after tax. This is the first time since 1972 that core benefit rates have been increased by more than inflation. Interesting …
  • ƒIncreasing Working for Families payments.  Lower-income working families not on a benefit will get up to $12.50 a week extra from Working for Families, and some very low‐income working families will get $24.50 extra.
  • ƒIncreasing Childcare Assistance.  The subsidy rate for low‐income families will increase from $4
    an hour to $5 an hour for up to 50 hours of childcare a week per child.

Update 3:

A good summary from The Herald: “Budget 2015: 10 things you need to know”.

See also: Budget 2015: How it affects you

But don’t bother with Armstrong’s pathetic: Budget 2015: The give-and-take Budget

Stuff has a breakdown by sector: Beehive Live: New Zealand Budget 2015

Summary

[r0b] So – a panicked response to the Auckland property crisis. A welcome (albeit inadequate) adjustment to benefit rates – credit where it’s due for that. In short, public pressure is forcing action on the Left’s political agenda. This is a reactive budget, trying to get bandaids on some of the worst crises, without delivering any kind of long term plan for the environment or the economy (the cuts to Kiwisaver incentives emphasise the short-term focus). There is no vision. As to the criteria that National has set for itself – still no surplus, and no one believes the projected one next year.

161 comments on “Budget 2015 – A reactive budget”

  1. millsy 1

    I am left in no doubt that this government is ideologically opposed to public sector ownership and provsion.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    The mantra that there are an extra million people coming to Auckland over the next 30 years is ‘bubble and fluff’ that has been pushed by Mayor Len Brown and Auckland Council’s Chief Planning Officer, Dr Roger Blakeley.

    Spatial planning is supposed to be ‘evidentially based’.

    The Dept of Statistics recommended ‘medium’ population growth projection (700,000 people) NOT ‘high’ population growth projection (1,000,000 people).

    How convenient that this manufactured ‘driver’ of an extra 300,000 people has helped to spawn the ‘Special Housing Areas’ – which is being used to help economically ‘cleanse’ State Housing tenants off prime Tamaki real estate, over which property developers have been licking their slobbering chops for years.

    ‘Democracy for developers’ ?

    Who is benefitting from this Auckland ‘$upercity’ (for the 1%)?

    Follow the dollar …..

    Auckland ‘housing crisis’?

    When, according to the 2013 census, there is a ‘ghost city’ in the Auckland region, of over 22,000 EMPTY private sector homes???

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • Sacha 2.1

      “The mantra that there are an extra million people coming to Auckland over the next 30 years is ‘bubble and fluff’ ”

      You have been corrected on this same basic point here recently, Penny. Stop regurgitating lies.

  3. Tracey 3

    Nice little fluff piece in stuff about English and Key…

    Note that English is not quoted by the editorial, just Key… and if you ever wondered about Key’s priorities

    “it was in our best interests, and actually the party’s interests, for that to happen.”

    Key first
    National Party second
    Country… nowhere

    • Sable 3.1

      Yet another mess from this disaster of a government. But hey, don’t worry, the shifty MSM will assure the sheeples there is nothing to worry about. Either that or blame someone else.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    ” Some land zoned as reserves was currently being used as a construction yard, he said.”

    Could that be land set aside for the Onehunga – Avondale railway link.

    Some of the other land could be ‘reserves’ because its unstable.

    Most is likely to be defence land, such as around Whenuapai, Birkenhead ( a large area for a explosives storage mostly for navy ships) and in Army bay Whangaparoa

    • tracey 4.1

      Could well be. Fletcher’s must be very excited, although not surprised at the announcement.

    • Heather Grimwood 4.2

      When there was a danger from reserve land being used (sold) for housing by earlier national governments I lived in Whangaparaoa and our fears of that beauty of that immensely desirable defence land at end of peninsula being lost, we were assured that it was safe from such desecration because local Maori had first right to it . This same situation had saved the beauty of Bastion Point from developers a few years earlier. I know…taught nearby and supported the Maori stand.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    I have been underwhelmed for the past 6 budgets.

    I didn’t really expect that to change today

  6. Grace Miller 6

    Yeah, let’s see Bill ‘I cheated on my housing allowance until caught’ English spins this imaginary surplus.

    $80 billion in debt and rising – the surplus is just like their principles – non-existent!

    • linda 6.1

      Jun-2003 39.33 billion
      Jun-2004 37.72
      Jun-2005 37.73
      Jun-2006 40.00
      Jun-2007 41.90
      Jun-2008 46.11
      Jun-2009 61.95
      Jun-2010 69.73
      Jun-2011 90.25
      Jun-2012 100.53 billion
      un-2013 100.087
      Mar-2014 104.086
      Jun-2014 104.354
      may-2015 108 billion government debt
      housing debt 200 billion
      farm debt 51 billion

      total NZ debt 510 billion

      frighting ! debt bomb

      • Grace Miller 6.1.1

        Holy fuck!

        Thanks for that… I was going on the NZ Debt Clock website.

        This is even more frightening.

  7. Richard@Down South 7

    Got a link to a bigger version of that image?

  8. Sans Cle 8

    Joseph Stiglitz is calling for a Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy , for more equality. Time to rewrite the rules in Aotearoa too. Similar problems the world over. Main message: neoliberalism is not working.
    (Not to mention effects of climate change)

    • Grace Miller 8.1

      Yeah, the trickle-down theory is in reality, the rich pissing on the poor.

  9. Ovid 9

    $1000 Kiwisaver kickstarter no longer available to new members of the scheme. Not great for household savings.

    • tracey 9.1

      Funny that Nats pass themselves off as champions of the middle class and middle NZ but removed that…

    • millsy 9.2

      No real incentive to join now…

      • Brutus Iscariot 9.2.1

        You still get the 1000 dollar yearly tax credits. Anyway, the $1000 Kickstart was designed as an added sweetener to join up a scheme that they had no real idea of what demand would be.

        In reality, Kiwisaver enrolments have wildly exceeded forecasts and the need to spend taxpayer money on the extra carrot has diminished.

        • Grant 9.2.1.1

          The yearly tax credit is now half what it was. Now approximately $500 + change

        • b waghorn 9.2.1.2

          Pretty sure the max tax credit is $550 ish and only if $1200 is put in

        • tracey 9.2.1.3

          No you don’t. Try and keep up It’s been $521 since 2011

          “The first change to take effect is to member tax credits, which are paid into members’ accounts in June each year. These will reduce from a current maximum of $20 a week (up to $1042 per annum), to $10 a week (up to $521 per annum). The reduced level will apply to all contributions made on or after 1 July 2011.

          • Hayden 9.2.1.3.1

            Anyone remember when they changed employer contributions from 2% to 3%, then immediately grabbed the increase as tax?

            • Craig H 9.2.1.3.1.1

              I was working in the IRD contact centre at the time – it cost more to adminster ESCT than it brought in… Employers just didn’t get it, and mistakes were (and still are, apparently) rife.

    • Lanthanide 9.3

      They should have made it $1,000 spread over 5 years, so $200 a year, and requiring a matching investment of the saver (either via compulsory savings or optional top-ups).

      That greatly lessens the impact on the crown will still giving the benefit.

      • tracey 9.3.1

        you already have to make a minimum contribution to get the government tax credit.

        • Lanthanide 9.3.1.1

          I know, I never said you didn’t.

          What I’m suggesting is to make the $1,000 kickstart have the same requirement.

          At the moment (well, until today), people were signing up for kiwisaver for their kids, they’d get the $1,000 kickstart and then not contribute anything.

          Under my suggestion, they’d have to contribute $1,000 over 5 years into order to get the $1,000 from the government.

          Note that people under the age of 18 are not eligible for the tax credit.

          • alwyn 9.3.1.1.1

            ” signing up for kiwisaver for their kids, they’d get the $1,000 kickstart and then not contribute anything”
            How much do you think would be in the Kiwisaver account by the time a kid, signed up at one, reached 21 if they did this?
            A thousand dollars wouldn’t generate enough income to pay the fees for the organisation running the account and at the end of 20 years the account would be worth nothing. At worst I suppose it could have a negative value and the beneficiary would owe the organiser money.
            You wouldn’t be able to start a new account of course as you are only allowed to have a single Kiwisaver scheme. Would it be possible to get some other organisation to take over a zero balance account?

            • Colonial Rawshark 9.3.1.1.1.1

              How much do you think would be in the Kiwisaver account by the time a kid, signed up at one, reached 21 if they did this?
              A thousand dollars wouldn’t generate enough income to pay the fees for the organisation running the account and at the end of 20 years the account would be worth nothing.

              That’s why you give every child born in NZ a $1000 in a KiwiBank account, accessible when they are 18 years old. You avoid these hedge fund pirates like the plague.

              • alwyn

                KiwiBank would have to change their policy then.
                I just looked and it appears that they charge the following

                “Investing Fees:
                Ranges from 0.45% up to 1% per year depending on the investment portfolio(s) chosen. Subject to a minimum fee ranging between $40 and $50 per year depending on the investment portfolio(s) chosen. ”

                A minimum of $50/year would very neatly wipe out the whole account wouldn’t it?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  What are you talking about, just lock it up in a rotating term deposit until the kid is 18. I told you, avoid these hedge fund arseholes. You know what their client account managers joke about right? “Where are the clients’ yachts? Where are the clients’ yachts? They don’t have any yachts! LOL”

                  • alwyn

                    Sorry. I misread it.
                    I was thinking about KiwiSaver accounts and read your proposal as if it was to give each kid $1000 in a KiwiSaver account at KiwiBank.
                    Not what you said at all, so the KiwiSaver fees they charge aren’t relevant.

                • Lanthanide

                  ““Investing Fees:
                  Ranges from 0.45% up to 1% per year depending on the investment portfolio(s) chosen. Subject to a minimum fee ranging between $40 and $50 per year depending on the investment portfolio(s) chosen. ”

                  A minimum of $50/year would very neatly wipe out the whole account wouldn’t it?”

                  Yes, if your Kiwisaver account is returning 0% interest for every single year your child is invested in it. I would suggest changing funds if that were the case.

                  Note: bank accounts will typically return 3-4% per year, at 4% return with 0% tax, you’d be losing $10/year in your account. After 20 years you’d still have $800. At a 0.45% fee annually for the Cash fund, minimum $50 vs 1% fee for the growth fund. As it’s entirely free money and your child has nothing to lose, you’d be stupid to put it in a cash fund.

                  In the last 12 month, my growth fund has had 21% return, AFTER fees and tax.

                  If you had the extraordinary luck for a consistent return like that, the $1,000 you start with would be worth $25,000 after 18 years. Not bad for ‘free’ money from the government.

                  • Ovid

                    The Dow on 21 May last year was 16533 and at present it is 18285 – a 10% growth even without any fund management expertise. If the people managing your fund are beating that, you’re doing okay. The growth fund of my provider isn’t as spectacular as yours – returning 16% in the past year. The portion in the automatic fund – with a reducing risk profile as you age, is at 14.5%.

                    For people like us who can get by without that 3-8% of income, it’s a great thing. It’s how I saved my home deposit in the first place. Starting early is the very best thing, though. Compound interest when it works for you is amazing. It’s a real bastard if you’re working against it, though.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    If you had the extraordinary luck for a consistent return like that, the $1,000 you start with would be worth $25,000 after 18 years. Not bad for ‘free’ money from the government.

                    One day before long QE xx and LTRO xx is going to end rather badly for everyone. This pumping up of financial asset prices in complete divergence from the real economy can only go so far (although that might be a bit further yet – but GFC 2 is already beckoning).

  10. millsy 10

    $25 a week increase in benefits for families with kids.

    Nixon goes to China….

    • Chris 10.1

      The poorest of the poor are those who receive the temporary additional support (or TAS) which used to be the old special benefit. The increases to the benefit and to the tax credit will do nothing for this group because both the benefit and the tax credit are regarded as income when assessing the level of the TAS. This means that any increase in the benefit and/or the tax credit reduces the TAS dollar for dollar. On top of this the accommodation supplement for people getting the benefit increase will reduce because it’s based on 25% of the person’s income. For those worse off i.e. those who receive the TAS benefit it’s give with one hand and take with the other. The only people in this group (the very poorest) who will get a better deal are those who are entitled to get the TAS benefit but weren’t receiving it (although that is a pretty big group).

      • weka 10.1.1

        Holy shit, I didn’t know that about TAS and tax credits.

        And let’s not forget that $25, once adjusted for inflation is probably still less than the $20 they took off most benefits in 1990. It’s not really an increase, it’s resetting benefits to what they were in the 80s.

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1

          And let’s not forget that $25, once adjusted for inflation is probably still less than the $20 they took off most benefits in 1990. It’s not really an increase, it’s resetting benefits to what they were in the 80s.

          Key and English are willing to reset benefits closer to their pre-Ruthanasia levels in a deficit year. Labour were never ever willing to do that reset with benefits throughout all their years of surpluses, year after year.

          • Lanthanide 10.1.1.1.1

            But as demonstrated above, it’s simply a shell game, because very few people will actually receive an increase in their pocket due to the new money being offset by other benefits.

            • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I’d like to see what the numbers of beneficiaries are; hopefully that will become clearer in the next day or two.

              • weka

                Yes to you both, but my point was that National are simply reversing their benefit cuts of 25 years ago. I guess it depends on whether you think that benefit rates in 1990 were liveable on or not, and yay NACT and boo Labour, but let’s not clap National on the back just yet. They’re not doing something substantial for beneficiaries, they’re partially undoing damage from the early 90s. It should have happened a long time ago, and it will take a lot more than this to really undo that damage.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Sure. But credit where credit is due. Both in terms of doing the right thing by beneficiaries, not using the excuse of a deficit to implement slash and burn austerity, and also completely trumping Labour in political positioning in this pre election campaign period.

                  • weka

                    They’re not doing right by beneficiaries, that’s the point. You can admire National for some strange reason, but if Labour did this lame shit they’d be getting slammed for it and rightly so.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Yep. And let’s not forget all the “lame shit” Labour did against beneficiaries when they were in power including the various social welfare legislation reforms, work testing, cutting the special benefit etc.

                    • weka

                      Don’t know what your point is.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      It’s pretty obvious my point – National have helped beneficiaries during a deficit year in a way that Labour could not bring itself to help beneficiaries after 9 long years of surpluses.

                    • Chris

                      Labour are even doing it when in Opposition by supporting government attacks on the poor. Just bastards plain and simple.

            • Saarbo 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Well if that is the case Lanth, then its typical slippery National stuff, and politically a brilliant move.

              Also, If what you are saying is correct, could it be that Labour did in fact increase benefits via accommodation/special benefits by stealth?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Pretty sure previous commentators in the know about the benefit system slammed Labour for several revisions of the system which took beneficiaries backwards, not forwards.

          • Chris 10.1.1.1.2

            And that’s just one reason I’m sick in the stomach when I hear anyone from Labour talking about welfare benefits.

    • McFlock 10.2

      I suspect that they’ve done the crunching and figured that the increase will be offset by the benefits they will be able to cancel due to the increased hoops beneficiaries will have to jump through.

      Their ideal would be to set benefits at a living wage so they look good, but with almost nobody in need qualifying to recieve the benefit…

      • tracey 10.2.1

        3 year olds are old enough to start learning to take personal responsibility for their lives. I mean if John Banks can… oops

      • Chris 10.2.2

        Yes, there’s that, too. The big decrease in benefit numbers started after the last set of attacks on the poor and since then neither Bennett nor Tolley have been able to show precisely where these people have gone. Willful blindness at its worst. Leaves absolutely no way to monitor effects of policies on people.

        • Shedila 10.2.2.1

          The single mothers have decreased quite a bit!

          • Molly 10.2.2.1.1

            Link to source to show what you mean: ie. is the number receiving income from MSD decreased and why, or has there been a change in the actual number of single parents in NZ?

            And by the way, you probably mean “the custodial parent”. The continued use of the “single mother” term ignores the biological involvement of another adult – male – who remains the father even if not looking after or visiting his offspring. (Yes, ignoring the smaller percentage of alternate family groups and origins for the purpose of addressing “single mothers”).

      • millsy 10.2.3

        Credit where credit is due though. An extra $25 can go a long way in a poor household. Not too keen about the work requirements, given the state of ECE in this country, but nothing that Labour cant clear up though (if they have the guts).

        It goes to show that benefit levels can be increased without the world coming to an end, though as I said before, the Waitakere men will be fuming. David Farrar is, in his good cop way.

  11. tracey 11

    A new levy (like a tax) on those leaving NZ and returning. Residents and non residents.

    “An extra $4.7 million over four years will fund more Customs officers to screen departing passengers for threats such as terrorism and drugs.”

  12. The Real Matthew 12

    I imagine you fulla’s on the left will be in love with this budget

    It’s the sort of Budget Helen Clarke would deliver

    • It is more left wing that Norman Kirk and Wallace Rowling’s efforts.

      • Jester 12.1.1

        So true Matthew. Next thing is we will be reading a Bill English guest post here at the Standard!

      • tracey 12.1.2

        You’d think it and previous budgets would make ACT supporters not want to prop this government up… and yet they do… sort of (most of the ACT voters in Epsom are, of course, National supporters). ACT is a kind of Clayton’s party, don’t you think Matthew? The party you have when you don’t really have a party.

        • The Real Matthew 12.1.2.1

          I must say I was surprised that David Seymour gave the budget a Standing Ovation whilst Peter Dunne didn’t. Thought it would have been the other way round.

          • tracey 12.1.2.1.1

            Yup. It seems ACT is no more than a Nat MP in disguise.

            And Peter Dunne probably couldn’t see what was in it for him 😉

    • millsy 12.2

      Talkback would be ablaze with rednecks pissed off that thier beloved Key is giving money to poor people. All those Waitakere men pissed off that their hard earned taxes are going to support the booze habits of deadbeats will be regretting voting National…

    • tracey 12.3

      Do you mean Helen Clark, who was a former Prime Minister of New Zealand? or someone else with a similar name?

  13. Ovid 13

    I tried to consider what my reaction would be if a Labour government had delivered this budget.

    I’m pleased that benefit rates are increasing. I’m philosophical about the end of the Kiwisaver kickstarter if it means more help for the disadvantaged here and now. The departure and arrival tax isn’t huge and in fact is quite minor in the overall costs of international travel.

    Additional money for rail is a good thing and hopefully will relieve pressure on roads and improve commuting capacity.

    The jury’s out on using Crown lands for housing developments. I don’t think there’s enough there to address Auckland’s housing crisis.

    I object strongly to the more intense work-ready requirements for solo parents.

    If I were to grade this, I’d give it a B.

    • tracey 13.1

      So far it should be really pissing off it’s supporters… so like you I consider some things are what I might expect from a Labour Government.

      I am reluctant to get excited about the money for rail given some of the 500 hectares to be opened up by decree in Auckland and given as a subsidy to Fletchers, includes transport land.

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        National are good at playing politics and giving its different constituencies something. This budget is positioning for 2017, make no mistake.

    • Shedila 13.2

      Yes, that’s hard. But since National have been in power the rate of single women having children has decreased significantly. This will surely help in further decreasing the number of children in poverty as single unemployed (or even employed) females might take more care in ensuring they do not get pregnant. Making people responsible for the consequences if their actions seems to be working rather than flinging more money at them.

      Win win for all!

      • RedBaronCV 13.2.1

        or have they given up looking after them

      • RedBaronCV 13.2.2

        And how do you know there are less children rather than mothers simply being unable to get the benefit. And why don’t you sledge the useless fathers who do nothing & pay nothing – they are responsible too.

      • tracey 13.2.3

        ” But since National have been in power the rate of single women having children has decreased significantly.”

        Source required. And to assist I have provided the definition of “significantly”:

        Mirriam Webster “: in a way that is large or important enough to be noticed or have an effect”

  14. tracey 14

    “$25 a week after tax”

    Coincidentally the amount rents are going up in Auckland (where there is no housing crisis)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/68697868/trade-me-says-rents-are-up-25-a-week

  15. Oh dear. I think Labour is going to need a new leader, again. That was a dreadful effort, giving the rubbish the government just served up.

    • Clean_power 15.1

      I would agree with M. Hooton: Mr Little’s performance today was well below par. What happpened to the promising Labour leader? Let us hope he had an off day.

    • millsy 15.2

      Who would step up to the job though? Not a lot of candidates?

      Robertson? Nash? Oh god…

    • tracey 15.3

      What did Seymour say?

    • tracey 15.4

      Seymour must be LIVID… tax increases, rewards to beneficiaries… subsidies to Fletchers (do ACT people dislike subsidies to BIG corp sand incredibly wealthy people?) – Ive googled but can’t find is speech of outrage

  16. Puckish Rogue 16

    Well theres another term for John Key so thats something, as for the rest well it none is really going to have too much of an effect on me so…meh

    • thatguynz 16.1

      Well as long as you’re alright PR, that’s what matters eh..

      • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1

        Seems all right for others as well

        •ƒRaising benefit rates for families. Benefit rates for families with children will rise by $25 a week after tax. This is the first time since 1972 that core benefit rates have been increased by more than inflation.

        Not bad for a National government, in fact any government

        •ƒIncreasing Working for Families payments. Lower-income working families not on a benefit will get up to $12.50 a week extra from Working for Families, and some very low‐income working families will get $24.50 extra.

        •ƒIncreasing Childcare Assistance. The subsidy rate for low‐income families will increase from $4
        an hour to $5 an hour for up to 50 hours of childcare a week per child.

        • millsy 16.1.1.1

          But wont they spend all that money on booze and smokes?

        • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.2

          These are good moves for Kiwis and I think National deserve kudos for these particular Budget decisions. I’ll single out Bill English as an FM who deserves particular credit for helping guide these social policies past the fiscal hawks in his caucus.

          Unlike Labour, National have decided that a technical “surplus” in the government’s book keeping is nowhere as important as helping the poor and vulnerable in our society with extra spending.

          • millsy 16.1.1.2.1

            He did something that Cullen and Clark were prepared to die in a ditch not to.

            2 years in a row (last year was the doctors visits).

            • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s very interesting, isn’t it.

              • tracey

                It’s interesting because even millsy thinks they have already done the doctor’s visit change. As lprent states, they haven’t, but could ditch kiwisaver kickstart by 2pm yesterday.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Could the NATs have done much more sooner for beneficiaries and children. Sure. So could Labour. What impresses is that the NATs are willing to take these steps in a deficit year; LAB was never willing to take these steps even after years of surpluses.

                  • Tracey

                    Which is why I stopped voting for them…

                    It’s about time National’s cynical desire to have power at any cost had a slightly positive impact on those who suffer their policies.

            • lprent 16.1.1.2.1.2

              …last year was the doctors visits.

              Which still hasn’t happened – starts July 1 (been listening to Brent Edwards on the way home), just as these benefit rises kick in when? Next year would be my bet. It means that they can be promised and not impact next years budget.

              • b waghorn

                And yet they managed to stop the kick start money for kiwi saver effective immediately.

                • lprent

                  The big difference is what can be done by regulation vs requiring legislation. But many of the things that happen in budgets don’t require that.

                  But what they do require is prep time to get the code and systems in place for things going in. But they require virtually no time for things coming out where they aren’t subject to contracts. Turning off code and systems is a whole lot easier that turning it on.

                  But yes, governments to take a lot of advantage of that dichotomy

          • tracey 16.1.1.2.2

            I agree that the polling must be showing them that they actually need to do something for the people they claim they care about. This budget shows that you do not have to be in Government to have an impact.

            National have only “decided” that because they couldn’t do it and reverse some of the trends in the polling. The side-effect of that is this kind of budget, but I disagree their intent was turn their idedological back on the notion of a surplus.

    • Clean_power 16.2

      Grant Robertson can now start his campaigning for the Labour leadership, aiming at the 2020 election.

    • millsy 16.3

      But he gave money to poor people PR…POOR PEOPLE!! How you will sleep at night knowing that those on benefits with kids will have a bit more money?

  17. Colonial Rawshark 17

    Let’s see what the next 2 Roy Morgans say. I think they will define the remainder of this pre-election campaign period.

    • millsy 17.1

      Do you think Waitakere men would approve of the government increasing benefits?

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        Yes.

        • millsy 17.1.1.1

          Why? It flies in the face of everything they have said on talkback over the past 15-20 years.

          • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1.1

            Oh, you mean the hundred or so mean spirited punters who inhabit talk back radio. Yeah they probably won’t like it. The average man in Waitakere will be fine with the Budget tho.

            • millsy 17.1.1.1.1.1

              I actually thought they would do something like scrap school donations or something like that, something not too scary to the rednecks, but to blatantly go and partially reverse Ruth’s benefit cuts (which it what has effectively been done) is something else.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yeah its gobsmacking, I’m still gobsmacked. And its taken a National Govt to do it.

        • tracey 17.1.1.2

          Which ones? The Waitakere males I speak with (and I do so 3 times a week in Henderson) who are not beneficiaries are some of the most damning of beneficiaries as bludgers and no-hopers I come across.

          I accept that you are a Dunedin chap and so can’t go to Henderson weekly as I do.

  18. felix 18

    Just heard Brownlee trying to pass off the new border security tax as a “user pays” measure. He said the cost of border security should be met by those who use it.

    FFS have you ever seen such a glaring example of idiotic right-wing thinking? If there is any public service, anything at all, that can truly be said to be “used” by everyone in the country, it’s border security.

    Fuckwits. Just absolute fuckwits.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1

      Having said that, the top quintile of society do the bulk of international travelling; having them pay more for it is not bad at all.

      • millsy 18.1.1

        If you can afford $800 for a plane ticket, $50 for travel insurance, etc you can afford $6 to leave…

      • felix 18.1.2

        Oh I don’t give a monkey’s about the tax CV, just staggered that anyone could be so dense as to see border security as a “private good”.

        In NZ, FFS.

        • Shedila 18.1.2.1

          Of course, nothing will ever happen in the little old land of the long white cloud!

          Until it does!

        • tracey 18.1.2.2

          border security and cyber security are a private good in the minds of this government, and the tax payers subsidises both insofar as it assists our largest businesses, their well paid management, directors and of course the shareholders.

  19. RRM 19

    You simultaneously criticise them for not spending ENOUGH on benefit increases, AND for not getting back into surplus?

    Run that by me again? I’m confused. You can’t spend money AND save it.

    • r0b 19.1

      Raise money – raise taxes. And the surplus is their fetish, not mine.

      • tracey 19.1.1

        It’s amazing how many supporters of the government are happy with this budget. No criticism, at all. It’s like they are all Labour voters in disguise. Or is it that they genuinely see the budget, our future, as a game and as long as the budget is seen as a “win” over the other guys it is by default a good thing?

        Matthew has obliquely criticised it by suggesting it will require Labour to change leaders. As an ACT supporter propping up this government he ought to be livid, but as long as he is winning the game….

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.2

      You can’t spend money AND save it.

      You can decide not to slash your own revenue because your invisible hand sky-fairy told you to.

    • lprent 19.3

      Run that by me again? I’m confused. You can’t spend money AND save it.

      You are kidding right? Or you are a complete drooling idiot about understanding the difference between a analysis of what went on last year, compared to what shows up in the costs the year after next.

      The surplus was for last year which was a failure because BInglish announced a loss. The budget announced expenses will probably be in the expenses for the year after this coming fiscal year because they take time to go into usage. Usually a year or more.

      As an example for the your mindlessly incompetent stupidity. The doctors visits for children announced in last years budget (ie 2014 – you do remember last year right?) will not start significantly cost the government until July 1 this year (2015 right!). So those costs announced last year are only going into the coming year and will come out in the BInglish’s deficit report next year (ie that is May 2016 if you are having finger problems).

      So lazy troll, which part of your stupidity do you now not understand?

      But don’t hesitate to ask. I’m happy to help….. 😈

      • tracey 19.3.1

        And those who call supporters of this government stupid or unintelligent get lambasted and yet, as you have pointed out, some who are praising their Government’s management don’t actually unnderstand the figures they are reading.

  20. Michael 20

    Increasing core benefit rates for the first time in nearly half a century makes “Labour” look increasingly illegitimate. I know the increases are inadequate and do not extend to far too many people (to say nothing of working testing sole parents of three year olds), but it’s better than anything Labour did (or promised to do) after 1984.

    • Mike the Savage One 20.1

      Michael, please read my comment below, it is more perception that reality, what National promises.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 20.2

      Ha ha ha ha National running deficits increases benefit rates when Labour couldn’t bring themselves to do it while running surpluses. It’s not even part of Labour policy and nor was it at the last two elections.

      Kudos to Greens and Mana who did have it as part of their policy.

      That’s a big EFF YOU to Labour.

      Yeah it should happen now not 2016, yeah it should apply to all beneficiaries, no there shouldn’t be any increased obligations but Labour is left looking completely inept by such an announcement.

      Not only will this put more money it people’s pockets it will put more money into regional economies.

      Local shopkeepers should be happy as well.

      • Colonial Rawshark 20.2.1

        Ha ha ha ha National running deficits increases benefit rates when Labour couldn’t bring themselves to do it while running surpluses. It’s not even part of Labour policy and nor was it at the last two elections.

        THIS

        Labour caught flat footed. English and Key hit a bullseye with this, and with centrist Kiwi voters. As I said elsewhere the next 2 Roy Morgans will define the rest of the pre-campaign period.

      • tracey 20.2.2

        Which is why it is wrong for people who visit this site to assume all commenters/authors vote Labour.

        I also accept that any such shift by National is probably due to the polling they have been getting (how much DO they spend?) and the polls are affected by public opinion.

        Labour has been churning out petition after petition on issues that many here consider important. Responses to the axing of CL also saw an increase in support for that show and by extension what it cares/focus about/on. ALL of those things, and more, have, imo, impacted the decisions made in this budget.

        So, we need to keep doing that stuff. Keep shouting about what matters to us and those around us. You do not have to be in Government to effect change (Greens = insulation). You have to be in Government to make the change faster (if LP wants anything faster) or to take credit for the change.

  21. mickysavage 21

    There is a catch to the increased benefit payments., It abates if there are any other payments including the accommodation supplement …

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Shuffling money and calling it an increase.

      What a cunning plan 🙄

      We need better wingnuts.

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.2

      There is a catch to the increased benefit payments., It abates if there are any other payments including the accommodation supplement …

      What English appears to have done in that case is lift the floor $25/wk or so higher for those on the very lowest level of benefit entitlements – including those beneficiaries who have been denied things like the accomodation supplement.

      • tracey 21.2.1

        for those on the very lowest level of benefit entitlements who have children

        FIFY

        • Colonial Rawshark 21.2.1.1

          Labour is the same. Treating ordinary working people with children as being special and deserving of lower tax rates than all other working people.

    • weka 21.3

      Do u have a link to that bit Micky?

      • joe90 21.3.2

        shitty bits tucked away

        As usual, however, the devil was tucked away in the detail. Although many low income families will benefit from the increases to Working for families tax credits (“WFTC”) from 1 April 2016 the sting in the tail is an 5.9% increase in abatement rates from 21.25 cents to 22.5 cents in the dollar.

        From 1 April 2016 WFTC will reduce by 22.5 cents for each dollar earned over $36,500 of gross income (a term which has itself been widely expanded in recent years). What this means is for families receiving WFTC their effective marginal tax rate (“EMTR”) will increase by a combination of tax and abatements.

        For a small group of about 4,000 families on low income their EMTR is 100% that is every extra dollar they earn will be lost in tax and abatements of WFTC and other benefits such as accommodation supplement. Until the interaction between the tax and social spending systems are overhauled this intractable problem will remain.

        http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/75612/terry-baucher-finds-few-surprises-budget-2015-around-working-families-tax-credits

  22. SMILIN 22

    Strange thing I got a bee in my bonnet about financial scams at the time the Budget was being read while I was working on fixing my planer
    now I will be able to adjust the table to an accurate measurement
    I sure it will be more accurate when it cuts wood to the right size consistently with out any humps and hollows unlike the budget which is inaccurate because of its tables
    Bill is a scammer

  23. Mike the Savage One 23

    One thing stands out like a damned thick sore thumb, when it comes to this budget, why did Andrew Little no pick up on it, nor many others?

    So here we have English promise the “first benefit rise” for 30 or 40 years, as it was widely propagated, and the MSM, even Little and “Little Labour” sucked it up, possibly not having had anybody crush the numbers.

    The truth is, there will hardly be any extra money spent on beneficiaries, rather the opposite, given strict criteria for entitlement and other small print!

    So that supposed “increase” for sole parents is to be effective from 01 April next year, but the NEW criteria for sole parent beneficiaries to seek work once the youngest child is only 3 (rather than 5 so far), same as a minimum part time work expectation for working at least 20 hours a week, are taking effect RIGHT NOW!?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but that is what I heard Bill English say in his speech. Never mind the propaganda mad-hat Prime Minister, who lashed out at Andrew Little, once again, look at the damned facts, and let MSM and others not distract from it.

    I also just listened to Radio NZ National and Checkpoint, and an interview there raised these and other questions:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755317/bill-english-explains-benefict-increase-of-25-dollars-a-week

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755318/not-much-for-poor-in-budget-family-centre-boss

    Bill English is BACK TRACKING faster than a lightning bolt, and welfare front line professionals discredit the government’s bold claims of supposed “benefit increases”. With the regime we have, where a few dollars a week extra will lead to abatement in other components of benefits, there will be damned few that will actually get ANYTHING extra at all.

    Here we have more smoke and mirrors, more lies and deception, and most on benefits, certainly also sole parent beneficiaries, are going to be WORSE off, not better, as the lying government tells us.

    Spin, spin, lies and deceit, smoke and mirrors is the agenda, they are liars and corrupt operators, it could never have been more obvious.

    Shame on so many in the amateur MSM to not pick this up, and to rather fall for all the shine and gloss on a corrupt, rotten budget, that will not do much at all, if anything, to alleviate poverty, for kids or adults!

    • mickysavage 23.1

      There is always a delay. The opposition gets little notice of what the budget contains and it always takes time for the implications to be understood.

      • Mike the Savage One 23.1.1

        I understand, but they have ample ammo to hit back now, and I hope they will.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 23.2

      I think peoples initial reactions about abatement likely ignore the fact that many people have limits on the assistance they are paid to regional cut-out points.

      This was a common mis-understanding when I was doing advocacy work even amongst some, at the time, Income Support, staff.

      For many people their high costs will mean they will still receive the maximum payable.

      The higher your costs the less likely you are to be abated.

      Still Labour aren’t known for their mathematical nous or understanding of the systems they hope to run if they ever get back into power eg Cunliffe announcing he would remove secondary tax and save people money. Muppets.

      • Colonial Rawshark 23.2.1

        For many people their high costs will mean they will still receive the maximum payable.

        The higher your costs the less likely you are to be abated.

        Does that mean that beneficiaries in a high cost city like Auckland or Tauranga will tend to benefit from this extra money?

        • Descendant Of Sssmith 23.2.1.1

          Depends if you look at the website for WINZ for accommodation supplement you’ll see the maximums payable for both that and other assistance.
          Somewhere will also be how to calculate the amount people can get.

          I’m going out so don’t have time to look it up and do some calculations but someone else might care to. Maybe someone from the Labour Party so they can get on top of how it actually works.

        • Mike the Savage One 23.2.1.2

          This may answer your question:

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201755318/not-much-for-poor-in-budget-family-centre-boss

          In fact, I have a lot of experience with abatement regimes, been on benefit, once disability allowance went up a few dollars, next review I got kicked down again, with special benefit (lucky to still have it) or others on TAS being cut back. In the end most, even annual increases due to “inflation adjustments”, that get a few dollars more, get kicked back down the ladder, so no gain at all.

          The wider public do not understand the benefit system, and all the problems with it, so when the news on MSM report this kind of stuff, most people (wrongfully) think, hey, again the benes get “special perks”, which is rubbish.

          This is what Nats and Key know, and they are experts in misleading the public and their perception.

          Had Labour stuck to the gun in the past, and stuck to principles, and not gone to try and “win” the “middle ground” that anyway now vote Nats, we might have the million non voters slowly wake up and think about talking to Labour.

          Hunting the same ground of selfish middle class, self employed and otherwise better to do voters, that is a lost cause for Labour. I cannot believe they still want to gain in that territory, although the socially minded in those classes will always rather vote Labour or Greens anyway, out of principle.

          It is time for a huge rethink, within Labour, I dare to say again.

          • Colonial Rawshark 23.2.1.2.1

            Hunting the same ground of selfish middle class, self employed and otherwise better to do voters, that is a lost cause for Labour. I cannot believe they still want to gain in that territory, although the socially minded in those classes will always rather vote Labour or Greens anyway, out of principle.

            Labour like appealing to the middle and upper middle class because that’s where the current Labour hierarchy and decision makers hail from.

            • Mike the Savage One 23.2.1.2.1.1

              Time to change the “decision makers” then, and bring that back to ground level, workers and representatives of workers, and disowned workers, forced to act and work as “contractors”, perhaps.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Indeed. Labour Parties worldwide entered the age of the “professional middle class politician” in the 80s and 90s. And that’s who they keep recruiting and self perpetuating.

        • tracey 23.2.1.3

          beneficiaries with children… and they must start going back to work when their youngest is 3.

    • Shedila 23.3

      Mike, the savage one – Because he is a bit slow?

    • tracey 23.4

      Even on this site some of us have jumped to quick conclusions about the largesse.

  24. finbar 24

    Cuts deep this comment,but has to be said.Our present corporation with its control is giving gifts with inclusions,$25 Per week extra for those disenfranchised solo parents,with a governing rider when your child reaches three years of age your D.P.B. ceases and you are required to seek employment at the rate of welfare support as a job seekers rate of entitlement.

    Seen the new Backbench show last night,talking all sorts about homes and their scarcity of affordable rent and chance ownership.Labours front man the chancing face of the future Mr whats his name,was asked about what homes does he own,he smart and supposed onto it said,i don!t own a home the bank manager does,cleaver answer until the questioner said what about the Apartment block you own.No reply did he have for that,and in serious care for the Labour understanding what hope us with his ilk in our ranks of representatives.

    • Colonial Rawshark 24.1

      Mr whats his name,was asked about what homes does he own,he smart and supposed onto it said,i don!t own a home the bank manager does,cleaver answer until the questioner said what about the Apartment block you own.

      ouch

    • tracey 24.2

      yes and you watch the media let Nats perpetuate the notion all beneficiaries got a $25pw increase, without question

  25. Mike the Savage One 25

    I do not wish to upset some dedicated activists and supporters here, but given the social and economic system and situation we have, I have come across some rather worrying developments. I know of persons who are so disillusioned with this society, with the whole system, they have seriously made inquiries re and with Islamic State. That is ISIS, and it scares me, what needs to happen next, with a society where the elite push things to extremes such as under Key and his government. It is certainly a sign of fear that they dared to even think of raising benefits, albeit under tight conditions, and while cutting back on entitlements for others. This government is hell scared, same as some others in the western democracies, as their neoliberal system is proved to be redundant and corrupt.

  26. Lanthanide 26

    My sister and her newborn signed up for Kiwisaver yesterday. Lucky them.

    • tracey 26.1

      Yup, we live in a society where to get ahead you really need luck… and the richer your parents are, the luckier you get.

  27. Skinny 27

    Let’s face the facts this budget was written by Crosby Textor.

  28. RedBaronCV 28

    And I think they now susidise childcare at $5 per hour for up to 50 hours a week. FFS why should small children be in care that much of the week. Surely that money could be handed out elsewhere.That would be a hell of a lot longer than most MP working weeks.

  29. RedBaronCV 29

    And the cops. The 22% decrease in crime (if it exists) hasn’t cut their budget by $280 million.They get a $50m increase must be expensive policing those NAct party functions. Or there will be fewer cops on higher salaries ready to do the NAct bidding.

    And the emissions trading costs have gone through the roof – S46m to $114m – time to get carbon serious that’s a big chunk of change

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