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Budget 2020: biggest and best from PM Ardern

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, May 14th, 2020 - 88 comments
Categories: economy, Economy, jacinda ardern, Politics - Tags: ,

Text of a pre budget speech delivered yesterday by Jacinda Ardern.

[Today] Budget 2020 will be delivered within the most challenging economic conditions faced by any Government since the Great Depression.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a global economic shock not of our making, but like every country in the world, we are also not immune to its fallout.

Let me be clear, the coming months and years will be some of the most challenging our country has faced in a very, very long time.

The International Monetary Fund predicts the global economy will contract by 3% in 2020, much worse than during the global financial crisis.

Around the world, unemployment will rise, significantly.

Businesses will fail and close.

Government revenue will decline.

And we will feel the pain here too. New Zealand is about to enter a very tough winter.

But every winter is followed by spring, and if we make the right choices we can get New Zealanders back to work and our economy moving again quickly.

Today I want to set out the values that underpin our economic response to the virus and signal how we intend to tackle it.

First the best economic response to the virus was always a strong health response.

Going hard and early means economic opportunities, and faster than many trading partners.

I know the last seven weeks have been a huge challenge to business, which is why the first phase in our economic response has been entirely focused on assisting business to stay afloat and supporting New Zealanders to stay connected to their jobs.

I’m enormously proud of the work Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni did with the wage subsidy scheme. This nearly $11 billion dollar investment has ensured that over a million and a half workers have stayed employed and connected to their jobs during the toughest period of the lockdown, while providing a guarantee to businesses to keep going as they can start to get back on their feet at Level 2.

Sitting alongside the wage subsidy has been the largest suite of business tax changes in modern history, aimed at freeing up cash flow to support businesses when they couldn’t trade. And our no interest loan scheme provides much needed cash for things like rent and other costs as they get up and running.

These measures have worked so far. Our unemployment rate will increase, but has not spiked so far. And Treasury scenarios suggest that because we stayed at level 4 and 3 for a shorter period of time our unemployment rate could end up be at the lower end of their projected ranges.

Dealing to the virus quickly also allows other economic opportunities.

A possible trans-Tasman bubble when safe could see New Zealand and Australia opening up greater tourism and trade opportunities while our borders have to stay closed to the rest of the world, offering some additional reprieve for our tourism and hospitality industries.

But the next stage in our journey of rebuilding together is recovery. Our focus now is the jobs and incomes of businesses and new Zealanders.

Budget 2020 is but the first step in this phase.

In normal years the budget sets out the Government’s economic plans for the following year in detail. This budget is different. It is not business as usual, instead it is a tailored solution to a unique situation.

There is no playbook for the recovery we are about to embark on. But nor do we need one. When it has come to COVID 19 we have carved a path based on our people, our health system, and our economy. And now that is exactly what we will do again, as we recover and rebuild.

And let me say from the outset: The team and I will bring the same determination and focus to the economic rebuild as we brought to our health response.

To start that phase, we need to consider what our objectives are and the best steps to achieve them.

The Finance Minister will set out much of this tomorrow, and I won’t pre-empt anything he has to say on that, but today I can set out what we are trying to achieve, and the values we bring to this work.

The first thing you will notice, is that we believe when times are hard, you don’t cut – you invest.

We will run the ruler over every line of expenditure, no question we need to ensure our expenditure provides value for money and supports our primary goal of jobs.

But the notion that at this time of need we would make cuts to the essential services so many New Zealanders need more than ever is not only immoral, it is economically wrong.

That’s why yesterday we made the biggest investment in health funding in two decades. It’s why on Monday we delivered pay equity for early childhood teachers. It’s why one of the first things we did when the virus hit was to increase benefit rates to ensure those who lost their job had more to help them through.

Now more than ever we need our schools and hospitals, our public houses and roads and railways. We need our police and our nurses, and we need our welfare safety net. We will not let our team of 5 million fall when the times get tough, instead we will strengthen the blanket of support the Government can provide. We are rebuilding together, not apart.

These foundations are essential. They are out base. But on top of them we must build the things that accelerate employment, empower businesses, and stimulate our productive economy. A relentless focus on jobs, economy and businesses is what’s required now for the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

Projections suggest our economic shock could be sharp, but hopefully short. That means we need a plan to get us through the worst and position us well for recovery.

The biggest fiscal asset we currently have to get us through the worst is the Government’s balance sheet. Due to our prudent economic management of the books heading into the lockdown we had debt under 20% of GDP, lower than what we inherited it at, low unemployment around 4% and a triple A foreign currency rating from Moody’s.

I defended the surpluses we ran in our first two budgets on the basis that we needed to prepare financially for a rainy day. Well that day has well and truly arrived and we are ready for it.

The Government’s ability to borrow, at very low interest rates, places us in a strong position to weather the economic storm ahead. But more than that we are well positioned to use our balance sheet to shelter New Zealanders from the worst impacts of the fallout and in doing so protect jobs and help grow our economy.

Our number one priority is jobs. That means this will be a jobs budget. That means doing all we can to support people staying in their current job or move to a new job if needed.

And the reason for that is simple. It harks back to the sentiment of Norman Kirk, that all anyone ever needs is something to do, somewhere to live, someone to love and something to hope for. Employment helps form a foundation. It supports families, pays the bills, helps provide self-value and worth and when times are tough like this workplaces can provide an important support network.

Our plan is to invest. By investing we will create jobs and get the economy moving again. Just as a rising tide lifts all boats, a growing economy supports us all – and allows us to bring the Government books back into the black.

This is not the work of just one budget. It will require relentless focus on growth and jobs, and not growth for growth sakes – but in a way that acknowledges we have challenges to our environment, to our wellbeing, that we can also use this time to also help resolve.

Tomorrow you will see how we will start to do that.

But in the same way that have fought the virus together, we also need to start our rebuild together. That will take all of us.

In the coming month the Government will launch a comprehensive engagement programme that will pose a simple proposition – look what our team of 5 million achieved together in beating the virus, now what can we do together to get our economy moving again, to look after our people, and rebuild in a way that make things better than they were before. That will of course include the business community, but it will be broader too.

If anything the last few months have shown that united we are a formidable force. When we channel our energies into a goal collectively we are stronger for it. Prior to the virus we faced serious long term challenges – persistent inequality and poverty, the threat of climate change, the need to diversify the economy, low productivity, limited domestic manufacturing and an abundance of low paid jobs.

Do we return to those settings or is now the time to find a better way?
There are tough times to come, but we have experienced tough times before.

And when confronted with external crisis, be it a great depression, a world war or now a global health pandemic our instinct has been to come together.

And we will again.

We will use the strength of our economic position as a Government’s to carry the load while businesses and households get back on their feet.

The situation is constantly changing and the future may feel uncertain.

But as I said right at the beginning – we have a plan. We know it will be tough but we will get through it the same way we got through the past two months – together.

88 comments on “Budget 2020: biggest and best from PM Ardern”

  1. Sanctuary 2

    Jacinda has started a pre-budget FB live, 10K viewers live and rising about 100 users a second.

    I bet the press gallery hacks are grinding their teeth as they watch it.

    • Unicus 2.1

      Top point

      The pricks were falling over each other  blabbering about funerals  and some cooked up sob stories – not one of the mongrels  uttered a word about the powerful speech she had just delivered. Of course the same  bullshit  was pushed on last nights news –

      One of the  many  brilliant outcomes of  the Jacinda and Ashley show has been  the  ability of  viewers to ascertain the truth for themselves  without the filter of the servants of fakery 

      Even as they hold their  hands out for taxpayers  money  to save their. dead ““profession”  these hinderances to public interest  mistakenly continue  to produce the fantasy’s  they believe  their readers  want 

       

       

      • mike 2.1.1

        Don’t hold back !!

        Goodonya!

        Yr right, J&A talked straight to us, right over the hack’s head.

  2. Reality 3

    She has wonderful rapport with people, because she enjoys people. Can’t imagine Simon Bridges chatting away like that without his one of his snide remarks. 

  3. observer 4

    Could do without the "biggest and best" headline. We don't know yet (biggest? probably, and best? don't know, can't we wait a few hours?).

    Deciding in advance is cheerleading, not analysing.

    • Ad 4.1

      They've already announced over $40b in spending. 

      You can take biggest as a given.

    • Yea well I could have done without the "Just as a rising tide lifts all boats" bit as well.  (It lifts all boats that don't have a ruddy great leak in them – you have to bale out just as much water to keep relativity with the 10%, often with less means to do so)

      I don't expect perfection. So for me it IS the biggest and best – its possible I might even keep voting Labour. "Ultimately" it's "Tremendous! tremendous" in fact, "but we'll see what happens" – in this space going forward

  4. Ad 5

    U.S. unemployment forecast for 25% – about the same as the Great Depression. 

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/13/economy/jobs-unemployment-rate-goldman-sachs/index.html

     

    If the New Zealand government can keep it to 10% or close we will be inside another miracle. 

     

  5. Tricledrown 6

    Simon Bridges saying going over $40 billion and up to $100 billion in borrowing would be disasterous.

    Canterbury earthquakes required $80 billion plus for less than 400,000 people.

    NZ is in just as big a disaster but on 10  times the scale.

    If to much of the economy is allowed to  fail it will take years to rebuild that economic output.

    Better to hold onto as much  as possible. Giving a much larger economic base to rebuild from.

    National promoting austerity already without any evidence that works it doesn't.

    Even Boris Johnston a Conservative PM with a much better funded RB research data says it would be disasterous to go down that path.

    • RosieLee 6.1

      Perhaps he needs to remember what our borrowing and debt were like under Shonkey and Joyce.

    • indiana 6.2

      What infrastructure was damaged by Covid-19 compared to an earthquake?

      "There is no playbook for the recovery we are about to embark on. But nor do we need one."

      Does this mean policy made up on the run/urgency?

      • Barfly 6.2.1

        What categories of employment were donald ducked by the earthquake?

        The pandemic has borked the tourism, airline and overseas students education sectors at a minimum.

        As this situation is unprecedented policy will be made as we go – just as it would be if the Nactoids were in power (shudder)

        • Poission 6.2.1.1

          The pandemic has borked the tourism, airline and overseas students education sectors at a minimum.

          Just like the canterbury earthquakes.

          13RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND /BULLETIN, VOL. 79, NO. 3, FEBRUARY 2016Despite the resilience of much of the Canterbury economy, two sectors have notably suffered in the period following the earthquakes – tourism and tertiary education. The earthquakes severely reduced available accommodation in Canterbury, halving the capacity of backpacker accommodation and destroying more than half of hotel capacity (figure 20). Much of this lost capacity has yet to be rebuilt. Business contacts suggest that any such rebuild is unlikely to occur ahead of relevant ‘anchor’ projects such as the convention centre.The lack of available tourist accommodation, the destruction of tourist sites within Christchurch City, and risks associated with aftershocks led to a sharp decline in guest nights in the immediate aftermath of the earthquakes (figure 21). International guest nights in Canterbury have yet to recover to pre-quake levels. Domestic guest nights were also negatively affected. Discussions through our business liaison programme suggest that tourism in the greater South Island was also affected by the earthquakes, largely because Christchurch acts as an international hub into the South Island.

          Similar with international students,where they vanished into the ether.

          https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/-/media/ReserveBank/Files/Publications/Bulletins/2016/2016feb79-3.pdf?revision=98c011a5-c4aa-4d71-b6dd-a3e436620734

          • Barfly 6.2.1.1.1

            "much of the Canterbury economy, two sectors have notably suffered in the period following the earthquakes – tourism and tertiary education" (my bold)

            You will note that damage to those sectors was in Canterbury 

            You are comparing apples with oranges

            • Pat 6.2.1.1.1.1

              A regional impact (rather than global)  and 10 years later hasnt recovered to pre quake levels….that should be ringing alarm bells

            • Poission 6.2.1.1.1.2

              And yet (thechch eq) added 1.5% to NZ gdp

            • Graeme 6.2.1.1.1.3

              The earthquakes buggered tourism all around the South Island for 3 or 4 years until Wellington took over from Christchurch as our second tourism city after Auckland.  The South Island industry was just starting to recover from 2008 GFC when they struck and we were right back to below the bottom of that in 2011, and didn't recover until really 2015 / 16.

      • Tricledrown 6.2.2

        Indiana you don't know much about economics

        Infrastructure is not just about concrete and steel.

        This is a massive hit to the economy  10 times larger than the Canterbury earthquakes.

        Insurance cover 70% of the rebuild which came into the country no cost to the taxpayer which the govt got 15% GST back plus a massive tax take on all wages and profit.

        This is totally different no hand out from insurance companies

         

        • Adrian 6.2.2.1

          Yes there was a cost TD, by some estimates I saw at the time, sorry cant remember where , lucky to remember where I was yesterday, but the arsehole insurance companies had recovered in higher premiums within a few years all the money they needed to pay out before they paid a cent and they still haven't settled on quite a few claims I suspect. I bet the fuckers made money on the quake.

  6. Tricledrown 7

    The Key Govt hid core crown debt by showing balanced books.

    Remember Joyce's $18 billion hole.

    The Cullen Fund more than doubled in value ,same with ACC's Capital Fund adding $30 billion plus to the positive ledger.Govt savings offset against debt making National look like good economic managers when in fact borrowing for tax cuts for the well off.While increasing taxes for everyone else with a 2 1/2 % GST increase.

  7. Cinny 8

    Parliament ondemand is unavailable 🙁 gutted.

    Does anyone have a stream of parliament please?  TVNZ and 3 are just interviewing commentators, I want to watch the speeches live 🙁

    Edit.. found a stream, thanks Jacinda <3 for streaming it live.

  8. adam 9

    So not a socialist budget, but more of dumb liberalism. 

    Yeah, yeah, stop your whinging it's a nice face on liberalism – but still liberalism and definitely not a socialist budget. 

    Oh and a little green washing, the liberal greens must be happy the got so little. 

     

    • millsy 9.1

      A damp squib.

      • adam 9.1.1

        Indeed, not much for the future of people. 

         

         

        • Peter 9.1.1.1

          I'm watching Simon Bridges right now. So inspirational, such a leader, he can take us into a bright future!  

          Those of us who don't die of laughter at the sight and sound of something so tragic.

          • adam 9.1.1.1.1

            So the Tories are as useless as tits on a bull – sheesh I would have thought that was a given on a left wing page like the standard. 

            Just to help you peter – I'm not attacking the government from the right, but the left.  

             

            • Peter 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I was genuinely surprised by Bridges' presentation. Before you get out of the trenches and go over the top you need to rouse the troops. Inspire them. That's what I was addressing.

              I wouldn't go over to Kiwiblog and make a similar comment, they'll be too busy lauding his Churchillian response, if they haven't died of embarrassment.

              What bold things and indications did you want to see announced?

               

    • weka 9.2

      I'm grateful that the Greens are in govt and got what they did.

      I still find it odd that the anti-liberals have such a poor analysis of power and politics when it comes to the make up of the current NZ government.

       

      • adam 9.2.1

        I knew you'd be grateful for scraps off the table. The whole move to the right economically by the green party in the last 5 or so years has been quite depressing. 

        Do you mean anti-liberalism?  Or somthing else? 

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          no I meant the people that are anti the liberals. The ones too ideologically blind to understand that without the Greens we wouldn't have had the examples below.

          You can denigrate that mahi and the good it will do by calling it scraps, but you'll never get around the fact that the reason the Greens have become more mainstream is because the left didn't vote for them when they were more radical (presumably including you). It's not rocket science, more Green MPs in govt this week would have meant a pull to the left.


           

          • Ad 9.2.1.1.1

            The Greens did fine out of this budget.

            Now it's up to them to sell their gains hard.

            The next election is a great test to see if they can persuade some of the 94%  they didn't get last time.

             

          • adam 9.2.1.1.2

            As I said, it's more liberalism, it is not a move to the left. Can you understand basic economic distinctions or not?  Socialist economics this is not, and scraps are just that scraps. 

             

            Am I correct in thinking you mixing up liberal and liberalism again? 

             

            • weka 9.2.1.1.2.1

              No, I just think that lots of NZ liberals don't fit neatly into your political analysis of liberalism and that it’s ok to talk about them as a distinct grouping.

              "Can you understand basic economic distinctions or not?"

              I can, but I'm more interested in pragmatic strategy than abstract theory. Despite all our back and forth on this over the years I've yet to see any kind of plan or analysis from you or other anti-liberals that suggests a way out of the predicament. Just lots of knocking down, very little in the way of solutions. Not that that doesn't have its place, but we're running out of time, and now is the hour to bring the ideas on what to do to the table.

              By what to do, I don't mean 'hey let's have socialism or anarchism', I mean how we can in reality effect useful change, right now, with the conditions as they are. I think the GP is a useful stepping stone and potentially a great force (there are still radicals in the party), and that the left knocking them down just hands even more power to the neoliberals. But if you have another way to do things, I'm all ears. I'm not sure if you understand the distinction though.

              • adam

                You mean apart from Post-Scarcity models I've promoted. 

                https://www.akpress.org/postscarcityanarchism.html

                Or the call to organise 

                Or forgetting the need to stop over consumption. 

                Or just stop participating

                Or pointing out people of faith are those best positioned to stop the madness. 

                Yeah I've never offered any solutions, that are any good for people who want to hold onto this opulent self indulgent lifestyle the west is addicted to. 

                 

                 

                • weka

                  Haven't seen you talking about that for ages tbh.

                  I mean that list looks interesting to me, I'd much rather be talking about that than arguing over Labour. I want to hash out what it means to stop participating and how that might work for many people not just a few. Or how people can shift out of an over-consumption life (or society can shift). The nitty gritty of those things.

                  I don't have the spoons to read a whole book of Bookchin, but I can turn up on some days online and have conversations with people.

                  "Yeah I've never offered any solutions, that are any good for people who want to hold onto this opulent self indulgent lifestyle the west is addicted to."

                  Sure, but that's not me. I'm the one that put the post up about the Powerdown, which is one pragmatic, plan-based approach to what (I think) you are talking about.

                • Ad

                  Bookchin would tell you to join a party and get involved in elections.

                  Following guys like that just leaves you lonely and paranoid. 

            • Ad 9.2.1.1.2.2

              None of your labels mean anything.

              • adam

                Your world is perfect, I forgot Ad, with your retal property and good paying job.

                Fuck yeah I'm getting lonely when the kid down the road put a gun in his mouth, the old guy up the road drowns himself  becasue they see no future. 

                There use to be a time when the left actually gave a damn about real people in that they knew the terms and how oppression fucking works. Now its full of cunts like you and your partisan scum fuckery. And you have the gall to accuse me of just operating in labels. 

                How about you man up and sell you house and give it charity. Rather than being a managerial cunt all your life. 

                [Please tone down on the personal insults, thanks – Incognito]

                • Incognito

                  See my Moderation note @ 10:11 PM.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Adam, for a variety of reasons many people are unhappy much of the time. Do you consider spewing foul personal abuse to be an effective means of increasing happiness?

                  • McFlock

                    Nice song. Quite sweet.

                    Some days I just can't be bothered engaging with the terminally-glum. The mere thought of it gets me down.

                  • adam

                    No, but the reality is that middle class managerial types have no clue about their reality of the weakest in our society. 

                     

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      That's one possibility – maybe some managers do have a clue, but don't care (enough) to modify/resist the status quo.  Either way, it is dire for the 'weakest' – a growing demographic in many societies.

  9. millsy 10

    Is that it? 

    There is nothing in there that National wouldn't have done.

    Bridges is just going to swoop in and promise to cut taxes and build roads, and all the voters will swing in behind him.

    • Kay 10.1

      Well there is an election in 4 months. And any hint of kindness towards the less well off in this country isn't exactly a vote winner in NZ, is it? 

      • adam 10.1.1

        Yeah lets make sure we don't upset the hard right nut bags by being civil and humane.

        • Kay 10.1.1.1

          I'm always terrified in the months leading up to an election anyway. The outcome can mean life or death for beneficiaries and I wish that weren't an exaggeration. After weeks of "be kind", "we're all in this together" I wonder how the brand new cohort of jobseekers applicants are going to appreciate the funding to retrain them, but not before they starve?

          • weka 10.1.1.1.1

            My guess is that Labour will focus on work, as they always do, and that the pool of the underclass will increase but not so far that they can't manage it and there will be a good excuse for the PR, the pandemic. I don't see anything that's different from before covid, they remain committed to dragging up those they can, and leaving the others behind.

            The best that can happen now is that we have an election that gives us a L/G govt without NZ first. Then we can see what is actually possible at this stage of neoliberalism.

            • Kay 10.1.1.1.1.1

              It would be fascinating to know the voting history of these new inductees to the welfare system. And if their new-found enlightenment alters their opinions. or, more worringly, if the stress of their situation throws voting down their list of priorities.

              • weka

                yeah, hard to now which way that will go (bit of both no doubt). There might be some hope from the progressive MSM in changing the narratives, like what happened around and after Turei's speech.

            • Barfly 10.1.1.1.1.2

              "remain committed to dragging up those they can, and leaving the others behind."

              I don't know your circumstances but the benefit increase and winter warmth payment has been worth $65 a week to me.

              The main thing I got from the National were months long panic attacks from their demonisation and promises of crackdowns on beneficiaries.

              • weka

                It's the idea that all beneficiaries got a $25 increase. They didn't*. The budget was an opportunity to remedy that, Labour chose not to take it. The budget looks consistent with their longterm, kind neoliberal position as I described.

                It's not that Labour are as bad as Nat, and it's not that they don't do anything, it's that their fundamental position is one of bringing up who they can and leaving the rest behind.

                *and I'm guessing that the ones that didn't are those in most hardship, on a maxed out TAS and in a high rent area.

                • Peter

                  I don't know where the line is which the Government can/could afford to cross.  It might have been the right thing to do. If they gave all beneficiaries an extra $50 they might get support from some of those people.

                  Could giving all beneficiaries an extra $50 might be what it takes to get enough jealousy and angry animal focus going from the farrarlogues to see Bridges' lot in after September. Then they could have much of that $50 taken off them by fair means or foul.

                  The analogy to the Turei situation is apt. How many MSM driven narratives would it take to mobilise enough people for there to be a significant impact? 

                  David Clark might have been dumb, stupid and naive but towards September any such indiscretion or even question approaching that level will be turned in the crime of the century by a pack of rabid ravenous media dogs.  

        • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1.1.2

          "hard right nut bags" – 'ratbags', or 'nut jobs' in my book – quite like cashews smiley

    • Barfly 10.2

      "There is nothing in there that National wouldn't have done."

      But there is a hell of a lot that National may have done that the coalition government hasn't – thank you serendipity.

    • Patricia 2 10.3

      Jack Tame asked Simon B if he realised the world was in the grip of a pandemic.  Simon had been spouting bile and boasting about the great budgets that Bill English brought in.

      The man seems to be badly advised ; I would hate to think we are actually witnessing his natural unique ability. 

  10. Ad 11

    That's a Finance Minister having a really good time. 

    He dared to put himself in the same league as Peter Fraser, which given the scale of the economic horror in the world isn't unfair. 

    I also like keeping $20b up his sleeve. 

    We used to think a rainy day was a a mere gesture of conservative resistance to really spend. But we can all see this is the first wave in a series of global hits to come, and he's preparing us for it. 

    These next two months with the subsidy still going is the chance for many to clear the decks: pay off the Visa, call in your debts, prepare to sell down the flat to eradicate the mortgage, apply for any and every welfare entitlement you can find, have a drink with 10 friends, upgrade your home internet to cable if you don't have it, buy a printer for him so we can draft our CV's to perfection …

    … because the US economic collapse is about to occur and send a far larger wave around the world…

    … just like it did last time.

     

  11. All I can say is you ungrateful lot.  They have put people and jobs front and centre because that is what most New Zealanders will want first.

    They have extended the wage subsidy 8 wks to businesses who have lost 50% of their revenue.

    They have put 1.1 billion into green initiatives

    Trade Training

    Night school

    Health and Pharmac

    Disability pay and services….just to name a few 

    Early childhood Education pay  Lunches from term 4 for 200 000 childr

    Many of those things were removed or cut back under National.

    Many jobs will be local in schools conservation and trades.

    People will be helped to match their skills to new opportunities

    Quite a lot of nothing!!  Personally I have donated to Labour and the Greens today.

    • Ad 12.1

      Agree with you. 

      There are some total saddos here that just whine endlessly and put futile labels on things to make themselves feel better. 

      This is the most stupendous budget for New Zealand that we have had in a century – which will collectively tilt New Zealand at least as much as that of Savage and Fraser, and more positively than anything Muldoon or Douglas ever did. 

      It's not heroic. It doesn't have the pet silliness of UBIs or helicopter cash. It has no tax cuts, or increases, or shifts. It's not supercoherent – because it's leaving deliberately spaces for industry to lead itself.

      That's the signal that Robertson trusts the maturity of our commercial networks to reorgainise themselves. 

      It will stave off the worst crisis we have had in a century, and he still has $20b more to come. 

      For the first time in a decade I am really looking forward to what the Labour manfesto will propose just to see how they will better this effort today. 

    • Ffloyd 12.2

      +100

    • Macro 12.3

      Totally agree Patricia – a very fulsome budget and one that gives a good deal of hope that in the months ahead we will weather the impending global storm.

      As Ad notes as well, the USA is in for a very bad time of it under the rudderless captaincy of their current administration, and as the saying goes when the US sneezes the world catches the flu.

    • I Feel Love 12.4

      hear hear patricia !

  12. dv 13

    Bridges tsunami of debt!!!

    Jeez how does HE fund  the recovery. Did he give ANY indication?

    Its not as if debt cost 20%!!!!

     

  13. Adrian 14

    I wouldn't be surprised if the unemployment rate doesn't go as high as the doomsayers are predicting. For starters all those loggers are flat out cutting trees and need more workers, all the parked up trucks are on the  road. My sister manages a transport depot and they are the busiest they have been for a long time…Why?, people are buying online from NZ businesses not from offshore. Those timber workers were supposed to be working for DOC, not anymore.

    The tourism loss is probably actually a bonus, because Kiwis can't travel we will save the balance which I understand is somewhere between 1.5 to 2 billion. If Aussie gets its shit together and comes skiing combined with domestic tourists that is north of 70% apparently of previous bed nights.

    We get bugger all from East Asian tourism, most of those tourists pay for everything in their country of origin and stay in hotels and travel on buses owned by Chinese or Japanese companies.

    This could be the reset we need.

    • Ad 14.1

      Great to be optimistic Adrian. 

      The pressure will be on Australia to sustain its own virus level, if we are to achieve a trans-Tasman bubble. Also, I suspect we're going to need either a vaccine or a massive downgrade in our information privacy to achieve it.

      It makes a whole lot of sense for us to be drawn closer to Australia. 

      • I Feel Love 14.1.1

        Why is there not more focus on us going to the Pacific Islands for holidays? Always bemused me the notion of us being "cousins" with Aus, when really we're a pacific nation.

        • Ad 14.1.1.1

          Because we have  more relatives there, as do the Pacific Islands. 

          And that's because they follow the money.

      • Craig H 14.1.2

        NZ also has one of the world's highest workforce participation rates, and a lot of people will be examining their lives as we leave the lockdown, and wondering if they would actually rather work less or not at all e.g. parents, 65+ who haven't retired yet.

  14. Ffloyd 15

    I would like to see money put into R&D eventually. NZ has some of the finest scientific minds in the world or should I say had. Most were driven out by Nats continuous restructuring and withdrawal of money for funding.

    Given the resources they are just as capable as any Scientist in the world to discover vaccines . We need to re establish their place in the word of Science. 

  15. ianmac 16

    Some misery gutz representing the Tourism industry was on with Lisa tonight and was strongly condemning the Government and Davis Min of Tourism. The guy was setting up a petition to get rid of Davis. 

    My guess was that they thought that Taxpayer should pay all their expenses for years because Domestic Tourism was no help and otherwise they might go bust. But isn't closure what happens when, for whatever reason a business collapses? If everyone bought electric cars would car sales expect the Government to buy up the left over cars and pay their overheads for years?
    Pan Pacific Travel’s Managing Director Matt Brady talks to Lisa Owen.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018746498

    • ScottGN 16.1

      He was a fucking wanker, sneering at domestic tourists cos apparently they’re too cheap and wanting the government to keep paying the wage subsidy for however long it took for the fabled foreigners to come back. 

    • dv 16.2

      What countries does he expect the tourists to come from?

      USA 80k deaths

      Europe 120k deaths.

      Are the incoming tourists going to isolate for 2 weeks?

      Perhaps all he wanted was the tax payer to support him.

       

  16.  Thanks Ad.   Really appreciate what you have written here. 

    I am hugely anxious for people who have had their lives upended,  and if they have been ill for a long time the vision of a country wide struggle would not help  their life view.

    However,  we should do as Barfly did,  count our blessings about serendipity  Jacinda and her team and the whole country doing our positive best to adapt. 

    It will be harder than anything we have weathered before with shocks and surprises,  but if we help each other we will manage 

    I am thankful to live here. Let's do this.

     

  17. Craig H 18

    There's a lot of spending for now, some excellent initiatives, and an election coming up to debate the longer term changes. I'd like to see a better welfare system and tax changes to fund it, but think it's better to take that to the ballot box for a specific mandate.

  18. Observer Tokoroa 19

    The Budget – a good outcome ! … why ?

    Because, if managed properly the Common Man will receive an honest, Quality Living.

    The wealthy will receive nothing. For they have ratted the incomes of the population of New Zealand for too many callous decades.

    We can celebrate the Ardern / Robertson Budget for decades to come. We are freed from the endless Bastardry of Dickensian National .

  19. Observer Tokoroa 20

    Where have all the Golden Coins gone ? Seriously.

    I seem to remember late last Year 1919, the success of our magnificent Monies swelling into our Biggest Asset – Tourism.  The amounts for the Year were measured in Billions$. I was told.

    But two months later, Year 2020, the sniffles and hankies were out in the South Island complaining that they were stoney broke. And that it was the North Island's fault.

    All I wish to know is – Who snatched all the Golden Coin from the Tourism Pocket ! earned in 1919. Cough it up.

    Point two:  I am fond of the South Island. But the scuffling Southerners will get a pleasant surprise when they see how splendid is the Northern Island.

    There are fewer Scots up in the great North of New Zealand. A sincere blessing is that. I had a grandad with a sort of Carona Disposition. But he has taken it off to heaven without leaving a sc-ottish pinny.

     

     

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