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Budget nasties

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, May 25th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: budget2012, schools - Tags: ,

This afternoon a couple of ‘hidden treasures’ have come out of the budget.  Not announced previously they have just been stumbled upon by either careful poring over the Budget papers, or because it came up in the bill in parliament today.

1122 teachers could be losing their jobs as National have stopped funding technology training at intermediate level.  Schools will still be required to do technology training – they just won’t be funded for it.

And the asset testing for people spending their last years in residential care will now only increase by the rate of inflation, instead of $10,000/year.  Apparently this doesn’t need discussion, and the lack of it is the media’s fault for not finding it on page 341, section 23, paragraph 4 footnote b.  As such it should be rammed through under urgency, and denied any select committee scrutiny.

Some might argue it is a sensible thing to do, but it certainly isn’t a sensible way of doing it.  And it wasn’t a sensible way of making the urgent retrospective law passed yesterday to tax young people doing paper rounds (often at less than minimum wage/hour) and working in dairies or supermarkets.

John Key was defending that poor bit of law today because it will clean up the tax code.  The empathy oozed as he mentioned a long forgotten paper route from his own youth.  I’m sure today’s young people will be similarly empathetic about how much tidier the IRD’s spreadsheets are now that they are being taxed on every cent of their meagre earnings.

They will remember this when they turn 18 – which for some of them will be before November 2014, John.

37 comments on “Budget nasties ”

  1. Thanks Bunji.

    There really is an avalanche of crap happening to the NZ people.  Instead of being open and honest the nats are piling it all on at one time and hope that people do not notice.

    It is also a substitute for leadership and intellectually is such a bankrupt approach.  Deciding to cut when there is a problem is confirmation that our leadership does not have a clue what to do … 

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Our “leadership” know exactly what they’re doing – they’re screwing over NZ so that we can be sold to their rich mates overseas.

  2. Georgecom 2

    Minister of Education Parata crowed that teacher-student ratios in years 7 & 8 had been dropped from 1:29 to 1:27.5 in the budget.

    What she didn’t say was that the 1:120 technology staffing had been cut.

    If a school wants to offer technology, as they do now, they will have to find that staffing out of the 1:27.5.

    However Minister Parata is clear that class sizes are not going up, they are in fact going down.

    She will set up a working party to investigate what happens to technology teaching.

    Surely this beggars belief.

    Why bother wasting time with a working party? Simply reinstate the staffing.

  3. HJN 3

    There are more nasties yet to come. Whats the deal with spending $2.3M on hosting rights for the Square Kilometre Array? NZ Herald Article

    Check the documents here on page 72 under Square Kilometre Array. See the 3.15M to be spent this year, up from 864K last year?

    I wonder what 2.3M could do for NZ – not for scientists.

    Having the dishes here would be great for science, but where would we put them? We don’t have the land, the infrastructure, nor the emotional ability to scar our landscapes with these huge dishes.

    2.3M could do a lot more to rebuild homes for the southron kin than a failed bid at something that will never get built here.

    • NickS 3.1


      Do some research next time, because then you’d understand that there will only be a few stations set up in NZ, with the bulk being spread across the Tasman and size wise, they’re pretty small compared to the set ups over in the USA. And amusingly the Times Of India article you linked to points out exactly why we’d like to have it and why it could be a boon to NZ.

      Having the dishes here would be great for science, but where would we put them? We don’t have the land, the infrastructure, nor the emotional ability to scar our landscapes with these huge dishes.

      The stupid, it burns.

      You know what? I rather go play dwarf fortress than plump the depths of your above stupidity…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Personally, I think the government should the entire bloody thing in NZ by itself (well, a duplicate one anyway). That would NZ far more good than getting a small bit of the one Europe wants to build.

      Having the dishes here would be great for science, but where would we put them? We don’t have the land, the infrastructure, nor the emotional ability to scar our landscapes with these huge dishes.

      It’s the equivalent of 3000 homes across the country – plenty of space. The infrastructure could be built (that’s generally what development means) and I’m pretty sure that NZers would actually back as we’re getting pissed off by idiots (such as yourself) treating us as if we’re stupid and then selling us down the road.

      As for the cost? Well, that’s what taxes are for – just need to put them back up a bit on higher incomes, say to 40% for $70k, 50% for $150k, 60% for $300k, 80% for $600k and 90% for $1m, so that this country can start doing something rather than being poverty stricken because we don’t tax them enough.

      • Colonial Viper 3.2.1

        Need a general wealth tax. 0.25% pa for every dollar of assets over $1M.

      • HJN 3.2.2

        You miss the point

        2.3M extra for the hosting of a few dishes. If, as I’m assuming is the case, each dish while being 15M wide needs to have 1sq km between each dish and we have 30 dishes, where will they be situated?

        Crown land? Farmland? DOC land?

        Never mind that we need 42,000+ homes right now. We have 1 dish in Whangarei so far afaik, wouldn’t having 1 more dish in Te Wai Pounamu suffice?

        • Colonial Viper

          Plenty of hard to farm, low productivity land they can be situated on. What’s the problem? Lets move on this is small fry.

          And anyways I like NZ scientific involvement in a project like this.

          • HJN

            I’m not saying I dislike it, I just believe that there are other priorities where 3.15M can be spent.

            Things like Youth Development, Housing, Trades Training, Kiwisaver, Paperboy tax rebates, teachers, cheaper prescriptions and doctors fees, and biosecurity just to name a few.

            3.15M could go a long way to some of the above.

          • muzza

            Small fry Viper…

            Um, no its not really is it! Rather a large programme of work will underpin this, and frankly thats something which NZ is now a very much going to be directly part of..

            The stories about contacting ET etc are simply garbage, you will understand that!

            I do agree that given current local and global goings on, that this topic is not high priority, however I also agree that the money put into this is not well spent given those same problems.
            Cost fundings will of course grow, and I bet are more than what we have been told, as usual and NZ will be required to continue to put funds into this project.
            Until we hear more about this programme, what it is, what its going to cost, who is actually funding it, what will be the non functional requirements/cost impacts and so on, which will filter out over time, I call the info so far BS from here!

            Edit: Draco, “high rise, high density, inner city”, give me a break , I know what it could be, but given NZ’s planning and housing design and development failures, no thanks!
            Agree, the govt should be funding housing, but Im not in favour of the HR, HD, IC option.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If, as I’m assuming is the case, each dish while being 15M wide needs to have 1sq km between each dish and we have 30 dishes, where will they be situated?

          Yep, you’re an idiot.

          Last time I looked we have more than 30 square kilometres of land and the land between can be used for something else.

          Never mind that we need 42,000+ homes right now.

          Yep, and the government should be building them (preferably high rise, high density, inner city). The thing that you don’t seem to get is that we could (and should) do both.

          • HJN

            Low rise, medium density would suit NZ far better rather than ending up like a Canyon City as NYC is.

            You build too many high rises in close proximity you end up with slums.

            And DTB – I get we can do both. You don’t seem to get that we should refocus our spending priorities onto people – not scientists so they can have a new plaything.

            What are the additional costs that NZ now faces as a result of building the dishes? NZPoliticians are by and large pretty useless at entering into contractual arrangements that benefit NZ. The added infrastructure costs of hosting 30 dishes will no doubt be borne by taxpayers.

            • Draco T Bastard

              You build too many high rises in close proximity you end up with slums.

              Only if you’re stupid enough, and this government is, to cut services and jobs to people living there.

              You don’t seem to get that we should refocus our spending priorities onto people – not scientists so they can have a new plaything.

              Yes, science has a cost but it results in society knowing stuff that it didn’t before that can be put to good use benefiting people. Yes, that even applies to building and maintaining 30 radio-telescopes. That’s why we need to do both.

              The added infrastructure costs of hosting 30 dishes will no doubt be borne by taxpayers.

              No matter what happens the costs are always carried by the people. We sold Telecom 20 years ago, we have competition in the “market” and yet we’re still having to pay to build up an adequate network despite the huge profits (also paid for by the people) that have been pulled out of the telecommunications sector.

      • Murray Olsen 3.2.3

        Having it only in New Zealand wouldn’t give it a long enough baseline to be an advance over radio astronomy facilities that already exist. From a scientific point of view, it only makes sense to go into as part of an international collaboration.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well, yeah, my point was that we should be building this sort of stuff anyway whether in collaboration with others or not and then connecting in when they’re built.

          • Murray Olsen

            The old Ministry of Works would have managed to build it. I agree that we should build the kiwi component of it, or at least as much as we’re technologically capable of. Maybe we should build the Aussie component as well, since most of their skilled construction workers seem to be tied up in the mines.

      • muzza 3.3.1

        Quite an amazing scope change to the project isnt it!

        “There is already infrastructure in South Africa and Australia, including radio telescope dishes that were built as precursors to the new array. They will now be incorporated into the SKA”

        —- Nothing pre planned about the scope change then there….

        “Global tech companies are already earmarking development funds linked to the project, which will rely on computing technology that does not even exist yet to process the flood of data it will collect.”

        —More BS here, of course the technology exists already, the road maps of tech firms, while closely guarded are many years into the future, along with what the public are told currently exists.

        “International Business Machines, IBM and Astron, the Netherlands institute for radio astronomy, announced in April a 33 million euro, five-year deal to develop extremely fast computer systems with low power requirements for the SKA project”

        — IBM, there as always….

        “Other companies that have signed partnership agreements with the project include Nokia-Siemens , BAE Systems PLC, Cisco Systems and Selex Galileo, a UK unit of Italian group Finmeccanica SpA.”

        — Oh look, its some of the worlds most intrusive tech firms, and one of the worlds largest war engineering companies BAE….

        “It is overcoming those challenges that the leaders of the project argue could lead to untold spin-offs for industry. They point to Wi-Fi technology as one of the best known commercial applications to come from radio astronomy, for instance”

        –Spin offs for industry, not for humanity…nice choice of words there…But using wi fi as something the plebs can feel has really added value to life on earth!

        “Bernie Fanaroff, South African project director for the SKA, said the telescope could have a real impact on social and economic development for the country and its neighbours.”

        — What UTTER crap this is, there is nothing but resource rape happening in Africa, and that will continue. Nice attempt at make believe though Bernie!

        “A project like this is iconic; it’s inspirational, and it raises the profile of science and technology in Africa dramatically, both in the eyes of the rest of the world and in the eyes of Africans.”

        —-Yes you get to leave your legacy behind Bernie, BRAVO

        “He added: “Africa was perceived as not too high tech. People talked about Africa as the next big business destination, the next great economic growth story, but you’ve got to underpin that with something, you don’t want to just dig things out of the ground and ship them off to Asia or Europe.”

        —Bernie SA and Africa in general is not going to be the next big anything other than the continued shame of the west and east at the deliberate denigration of the people, and those nations in the continent. How can growth happen naturally when you have huge marorities of indigenous people living in slums, with no intention of the white man altering that….Oh SA will have growth alright, but it will be 100% manufactured for the benefit of the “elite”,

        South Africa’s Science Minister welcomed the compromise. “It was an unexpected decision,” said Naledi Pandor. “We accept the comprise in the interests of progress.”

        — Yes very unexpected that a project this size, would have simply changed its scope without any pre planning, variance and governance around that scope change….Argh, progress, that never ending lie to keep stupid, and even some very smart people enthraulled with gadgetary distractions, and “higher learnings” so they can believe in their own largess!

        Nah, this will not be a boon in anyway at all for humanity of that time, now or then!

  4. Scintilla 4

    Up until the last year or so, there has been a shortage of technology teachers and you could get a studentship (fees paid) in return for bonded employment. There is still a shortage of ICT teachers in secondary schools, which falls under “technology”. My bet is the government are trying to “scare out” who they consider to be “dead wood” in the profession, you know, people who go into battle for their students, for a decent education system, for better conditions for teachers and therefore for their students. They want to privatise some state schools and turn them into academies as has happened in the UK. Break the union, privatise education.

    Teachers deal with the results, the consequences of government policies that have pulverised our society – we ARE the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Every one of those consequences is a child or teenager trying to find a secure platform in a world that usually offers them sweet Fanny Adams. Is there any other generation that has had to deal with so much spin, so much pressure and hopelessness? These kids need more individual time, not less. It would break your heart if you could walk around a school and have so many kids need you to acknowledge them, to remember their name, to clock that they exist and that they matter. They are the future.

  5. Why does any of this surprise anyone? The Budget is a lie in an orchestrated litany of lies.
    The NACTs do it because cutting wages and taxes increases their profits.
    The NACTs CAN do it because we let them.
    Where is Labour, where are the Greens, even Mana is only saying we need to reverse all these austerity policies.
    But the problem is much deeper. They system is fucked and we will all be fucked with it unless we change it.
    Why doesnt The Standard hold a competition for the best conception of a society that can replace fucked over capitalism that will meet all our fundamental needs to survive, create, cooperate, plan, and respect one another and the planet?

  6. Dr Terry 6

    Big, wealthy businessmen (name often preceded with a “Sir”) moan about young persons not being suited to the miserable jobs they have on offer. What does their Government do but cut back on the teachers in trades. With all the setbacks for the young, how ever can they present the “right image” to a prospective employer (not that too many employers actually exist!) Employers demand qualified people, Government ensures that those qualifications are harder than ever before to attain.
    The Tories have struck at almost everything now except the rich. But they had overlooked one possibility, which is older people. Well, they are quickly putting that right with legislation under urgency. I have been waiting for it. (Politicians, of course, in their own old age will enjoy most rosy conditions)..
    I guess the Government thinks (hopes?) the old will be dead and gone by Nov. 2014. Young school children will still not have the vote. How nicely calculated!
    I wonder if it has become too late already for anything ever to return to the kinder way they were?
    Kindness is almost a forgotten commodity in clean and green (and greedy) New Zealand.
    As Greece well knows, austerity measures are plainly cruel toward the most helpless victims of society and political sway. Who pays for austerity so called “recoveries? The young, education, trainees, beneficiaries, workers, unions, solo-parents, (need I continue?) and now, finally, the elders who served so well, for so long.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Employers demand qualified people, Government ensures that those qualifications are harder than ever before to attain.

      You know, that actually makes sense but not in a good way.

      In a world that’s more and more mechanised, that requires fewer and fewer people to actually work and where any jobs that are going require higher and higher education keeping more and more people uneducated by making education harder to reach gives the Tories another reason to continue to blame the poor for being poor while taking all the gains of that increased productivity for themselves.

      • muzza 6.1.1

        Gidday B,

        You seem to be conscious of the agenda that is the continued rolling up of the layers. How this works is by being capable of directing/forcing the technological/scientific direction, via controlling the laws, education and industries, while fooling people into believing they’re smarter than the rest because of the education required to fill the ever decreasing number of “jobs” with the “high tech” jobs….this is simply the genocidal policy of eugenics in action!

        What has happened to the universal human rights to life!

        Food, water, air,shelter….(energy)….The only things humans need to live, and they are almost entirely controlled presently, as a result of “money”

  7. Hami Shearlie 7

    I love the bit about John Key OOZING empathy for the paper boys and girls. Well, an abscess or a boil ooze, and they’re not welcome either!! BTW I heard Blinglish saying that the unemployed should move to Christchurch to get work.What work would that be? And pray tell, where are they and their families(or don’t the unemployed deserve families?) supposed to live while searching for and doing these jobs? There are not enough houses for the people of Christchurch to live in now? Most unemployed cannot afford to leave their family behind, even if they were working in Christchurch, they couldn’t afford two lots of rent for a start! And you can’t disrupt childrens’ education willy-nilly -or should that be “silly-billy!”

  8. Despite the fact that education is one of our highest performing sectors it continues to be attacked by this National Government. They must really hate teachers!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      They can’t stand an educated populace as that shows their beliefs up as the delusional rantings that they are.

      • Dave Kennedy 8.1.1

        You’re right Draco, which is why they are dismantling our education system under the pretense of improving it. The more ignorant people they can create the more potential National voters.

  9. Mel 9

    Yes, the devil was hidden in the detail.
    By cutting technology staffing (I heard Hekia calling technology staffing an anomaly), intermediate schools have to either increase their class sizes by a significant amount for homeroom teachers or they lose technology staff.
    This means a whole generation of New Zealanders who will not have the opportunity to learn basic skills in design, cooking, woodwork and plastics etc.
    We are losing a valuable part of our educational landscape. The curriculum will narrow, and student achievement will of course go down. 🙁

  10. Carol 10

    On Key not getting a tax rebate on his paper run: When did these jobs start getting taxed? When at school I had a weekly job, collecting the payment for paper deliveries from the homes of the customers. The pay was small, but I don’t remember any tax being deducted or any requirement for it to be declared.

    Also, in my younger working days, I don’t remember my bank savings being taxed. When did taxation on savings begin?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      When did taxation on savings begin?

      Either in the late 1980s under Roger Douglass’s burst of neo-liberalism and broadening of the tax base (necessary because he’d just cut the top tax rates from 66% to 30 something) or in the early 1990s under National (Once the balls-up of the 4th Labour government became obvious but which National deepened).

    • HJN 10.2

      Paperboys have always been taxed.

      The difference is that for schoolchildren employers had to fill out screeds of red tape just so they didn’t have to worry about paying the PAYE for their delivery people /sarc

      If income was under a certain level – I think around $40 pw from memory, PAYE wasnt deducted. Anything over that PAYE was deducted on the entire amount. Come July/August of the following year, those paperboys could get a refund back from IRD if their total annual income was under $2350 or thereabouts.

      Otherwise the $9800 rebate was there, but now that’s gone as well.

  11. HJN 11

    Most of the current parties have missed the point on CGT. It hasn’t really worked anywhere in the world in “dampening house prices” as seems to be the rallying cry for introducing CGT here.

    I’d rather see GST applied to the sale of every house – family home included. A simple flat rate, less ability to abuse the system like a CGT would, and it would be, now that income splitting is a reality.

    No one would be any worse off by having to pay GST on the sale of their house as everyone would be buying and selling “in the same market” so no real detriment is suffered.

    A $2M house sale in Remuera would net an easy $300,000 for the government coffers. Clever accountants would definitely reduce that liability under CGT for high income earners.

    While we’re at it, remove the ability for businesses to claim GST on their expenditure and let PAYE earners claim back GST on the costs of their work related expenditure. At least the GST refunds would be going back to the people that need it the most.

    Businesses pass on the cost of their expenditure, to the consumer, and make no recourse to the fact they can claim back nearly all of their GST costs. It’s one of the reasons why I refuse to claim back my GST on expenditure – it’s a matter of principle.

    Perhaps then we might see a marked improvement in government revenue. National are going after pennies by attacking the very backbone of this country – the workers.

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