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Budget Protest at Parliament today

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, May 19th, 2011 - 54 comments
Categories: budget 2011, democratic participation, Unions - Tags:

Unions and community groups don’t need to wait till after the Budget is read to know they’ve been screwed.  They’re gathering today at Parliament at 12pm for a protest rally – come along if you’re in town.

I was talking to a union organiser today who said that one of her main worksites – politically apathetic most times (with all the love in the world) is up in arms over National’s cuts to KiwiSaver and Working for Families.  They’re feeling pissed and betrayed and who can blame them.  With any luck they’ll still feel like that in November.


54 comments on “Budget Protest at Parliament today”

  1. PeteG 1

    Odd timing, presuming they don’t know the details of the budget.

    The union protest will feature speakers including Labour leader Phil Goff, the Greens’ Metiria Turei, CTU president Helen Kelly and Alan Johnson from the Salvation Army.

    They aim to speak out about cuts to social and public services and send the message that all it will do is increase hardship, poverty and unemployment.

    If they prove to have guessed wrong will they have a retraction protest tomorrow?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      They didn’t “guess” wrong.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.2

      Jesus peteg Did you not even read the first line of the article???? Hang on I’ll save you the bother of using the page up key.
      here is the first line.
      “Unions and community groups don’t need to wait till after the Budget is read to know they’ve been screwed”

      Now unless you think they are psychic, then they are just people using that what god gave them but you seem to have been overlooked, the ability to reason and work things out. train of thought prob goes like this Last budget Crap, Services cut, wages static or dropping, prices soaring, comodities soaring, Earthquake, bail out for rich old bastards who played in the dodgy markets , making sure they don’t lose anything, may need a donation later, So when looking at all this and more they came to the thundering conclusion.


  2. chris 2

    The usual suspects. ‘The lets protest any way march’. ‘Gimee gimme – as its all about me’. The ‘yes lets make cuts as long as I’am not effected mentality’. Is this the way to equality ? me thinks not.

    • Ari 2.1

      Well, at least the last three words seem true.

      A recession is the time you’re supposed to be really careful about making sure you’re spending money on high-multiplier programs, like the ones the government is so fond of cutting, and perhaps think about cutting some of the spending that’s less useful, such as contracting out work that the government itself could do more cheaply and just as well.

  3. Tammy Gordon 3

    I would give anything in the world to be able to announce a retraction tomorrow saying we got it all wrong and there will be no cuts to KiwiSaver, WFF, Student loans or public services. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen though. But do you want to make it interesting, Pete G?

    • PeteG 3.1

      What about if there were acceptable adjustments to them considering the circumstances?

      Or do you think that government benefits, credits and services should only every remain the same or increase, and they should never decrease no matter what the economic conditions are like?

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        When economic conditions are tough and private sector spending is falling, the Goverment must raise new revenue from the wealthy and spend more into the economy.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.2

        Here’s the first headline from Stuff for you: “Working for families cuts bigger than expected”.

        • joe bloggs

          Under today’s changes the total cost of the WFF scheme will be trimmed by 4%, dropping from $2.8 billion now to $2.6 billion by 2015. That’s $200m in cuts by 2015, targeting families with working age children – neither earthshattering nor “bigger than expected”.

          New operating spending of around $4 billion which is tightly focused on frontline health and education services – a positive move.

          Compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver to rise to 3% – that’s a 50% increase over the current level – makes up for the reduction in Govt support.

          The “repayment holiday” for borrowers based overseas will be cut from three years to one year – at long bloody last! These pricks who hive off overseas after racking up huge debts take twice as long to repay their loans as those of us who have chosen to stay in NZ. About time they were brought back to play on the same level playing field as the rest of us.

          Student loan defaulters will have no more access to loans – the previous Labour government allowed student loan defaulters to borrow yet more under the loan scheme. Good to see that rort addressed.

          All kudos to the Nats for a fiscally responsible approach to a very difficult economic climate.

          • mickysavage

            JB the figures are premised on considerable growth.  They expect 4% this year.  There is not the slightest chance that this will occur and when it does not occur we are suddenly in a big financial hole.  This really is smokes and mirrors stuff.

            • PeteG

              Do you think they should be cutting expenditure more just in case?

              • No I think that they should tax the wealthy so that the deficit is addressed.
                Audrey Young in the Herald says this:

                Bill English’s plan to return the country to surplus sounds good but feels flimsy.
                It is based on heroic assumptions of a strong economic economy, high wage growth and and nothing going wrong.


                • PeteG

                  Labour would be backing the ponzi treadmill growth strategy too wouldn’t they?

                  John Pagani on Stuff says “there is nothing here to create faster growth”.

                  Maybe we need to consider alternatives to continued growth to try and pay for yesterday.

                  • Judging by their past performance they will pay debt off and create jobs.
                    I see the CT attack lines are being fed to the trolls …

                • joe bloggs

                  If tax, tax and more tax is Labour’s answer to the current economic climate then you’re welcome to the opposition benches.

                  Better to control spending than more death by a thousand taxes.

                  You might not appreciate the colour of this budget but Standard and Poors certainly does.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Ah yes, Standard & Poors, one of the ratings agencies that gave sub-prime home loans Triple A ratings. Going from their past performance I don’t think that listening to them is a credible way to make decisions for our future.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    You might not appreciate the colour of this budget but Standard and Poors certainly does.

                    Which would be why they took us off negative outlook yeah?


                    So according to S&P this budget changes nothing.

            • Peter

              The billion dollar question, where will growth come from? They don’t say do they.

              • PeteG

                We must grow our exports – maybe they should consider double bunking cows.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’re already doing that – it’s where all the pollution in our rivers and lakes is coming from.

          • lprent

            Compulsory employer contributions to Kiwisaver to rise to 3% – that’s a 50% increase over the current level – makes up for the reduction in Govt support.

            You mean after they dropped the level from 4% down to 2% in 2008? Don’t be more of a fool than usual.

            You forgot that the arseholes are planning to sell off many remaining assets to overseas ownership. Did you notice that there is no limitation of sales to foreign owners?

            • RobC

              Not to mention the employer contribution will now be taxed. FFS joe bloggs read and understand before you open your mouth

  4. ZeeBop 4

    Debt was Labours problem, inherited from them, that’s why John Key found
    the money to drop the top rate of tax and send us into massive borrowing.

    Looking backwards, English promises to repeat the tried and trued solutions
    that worked so well because oil was in real terms getting cheaper. This
    is now no longer the case. Its like a car owner saying he can drive
    as far on the same amount of money he did a decade ago, sure if you
    ignore the current price of oil, and the future of peak oil scarcity.

    Its a shameful waste of a taxpayers money to fund a bunch of lying
    blind morons who run our country.

  5. Bernard Hickey is picking up on the heroic assumption theme:

    The government has bet the economy will come right and it doesn’t need to significantly cut government spending to get its borrowing under control.
    That all makes sense if you believe in GDP growth rates of 1.8 per cent, 4.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent over the next three years.
    The trouble is the Treasury has overestimated GDP growth rates since 2008 by around 2-3 percentage points of GDP as households and businesses elected to repay debt.
    The government is essentially betting that households and businesses will start borrowing again and stop repaying so much debt.
    That’s an heroic assumption given household debt to disposable income ratios are still well above anything normal and the sort of growth implied by Treasury’s forecasts will be accompanied by floating mortgage rates of close to 8 per cent.
    The government has not understood that this time it is different, as Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart wrote in their analysis of economic growth and debt levels after the financial crises of the last century. Economic growth is significantly slower for up to a decade after a crisis, particularly when a nation is labouring under heavy debt, as New Zealand is.

    The National Party, making shit up so that it can be reelected and sell all our stuff …

  6. And Brian Fallow has seen the same thing:

    This may well have been a good Budget – if it was delivered this time next year.
    Right now it is risky to freeze government spending.
    It is based on a strong pick-up in the economy.
    But that recovery at this point only exists in economists’ forecasts.
    It is not there yet, plain for all to see, in the data coming out of Statistics NZ.
    There are huge uncertainties around the forecasts and the risks, as economists like to say, are “to the downside”.

  7. David Cunliffe also has a comment:

    National is also pinning its hopes on growth that it has failed to deliver in the past three years. With no sign of an economic plan from this government there is no reason to think that these growth projections will materialise.
    This is more of the same from National. Every budget it has promised that growth is just around the corner. Every time that growth hasn’t occurred and the government has had to borrow more instead.
    The lack of an economic development plan is breath-taking. There is no credible strategy for jobs and growth. National is completely out of ideas.
    There is no plan to grow savings and capital sufficiency or improve investment incentives for a modern high-value economy.

    The thing that really attracts attention is that Blinglish has used Treasury’s more rosy predictions of tax income and ignored a more conservative IRD prediction that was $4 billion lower.
    New Zealand, you have been conned.

  8. burt 8

    I saw the idiots. How can you possibly explain to people who think they know in advance what is in the budget that tax payer funded KiwiSaver is like playing the pokies. The govt extracts more money from you than it can ever return to you because it had administration costs – the we call it free money. So they protest wanting the govt to take probably close to $2,000 off them so it can give them $1,040 back ! Yeah – churn rocks !

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I seriously doubt there are $960 in admin fees for every member of kiwisaver who gets the government tax matching. Assuming we have 1 million people that qualify for at least some of it, that would be $960m just in administration costs.

      Try again, burt.

      • felix 8.1.1

        Sorry Lanth, burt thought it up more than a week ago.

        I tells ya it’s locked in now and no amount of logic or simple maths is ever gonna shift it.

        • burt


          Tax payer funded (dollar for dollar matching up to $1,040) for KiwiSaver is not redistribution, it is not taking from anyone to give to someone else – it is only paid to people who pay enough tax to have enough spare to contribute to KiwiSaver – Why do you defend it like it is redistribution from the wealthy to the needy – it is not.

          • Lanthanide

            pssst, burt, you get the “tax credit” if you put in $1040 to kiwisaver. It doesn’t matter how much tax you actually paid. This means beneficiaries can also get $1040 worth of “tax credits” every year if they deposit $1040 in their kiwisaver.

            • burt

              OK sure, beneficiaries earning over $26,000 might choose to contribute 4% to KiwiSaver.

              The key point here is that if we had a zero rated tax threshold I would agree more with the idea that taxing people to give it back to them is good social policy. Because it would provide most benefit to low earners and non tax payers. However the tax paid by a person earning $26,000 would be $3,570. I wonder if we polled these people what they would choose, $1,040 less tax taken or $1,040 added to KiwiSaver. I guess nanny knows best what’s good for low earners and it’s not her fault if they can’t afford 4% of their earnings to access it.

              Meanwhile higher earners don’t thank them enough for funding their tax credits and I get called a fool for pointing it out.

              • Lanthanide

                burt, you still don’t get it.
                Someone who earns $10,000 a year, can choose to take some of their after-tax pay and deposit it, voluntarily, into kiwisaver, and get the $1040 “tax credit”.
                Btw, I’m just highlighting the fact that you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re welcome.

      • burt 8.1.2

        Would you feel better if I said $1,400 needs to be extracted to deliver $1,040. You only have to pay $360/year to get your own money back…..

        Felix – perhaps you could direct credit your pay to me and I’ll give some of it back to you and you can think I’m fabulous for giving you free money ????

        • felix

          No burt I don’t think I’ll do that as we have a system already in place which works far more efficiently than your fantasy one.

          Thanks anyway.

      • burt 8.1.3

        You might also want to look at this;


        IRD costs us $1,445.71 each every year….

        But hey, if you like paying people to give your own money back to you then sure – keep your head in the sand and pretend it is free money.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Oh noes, we have to pay to have necessary work done, Woe is meeeee!

          Fuck you’re an idiot burt, clinging to oversimplified slogans that totally misrepresent the complexities of the issue you’re trying to address.

          • burt

            What are you on about Draco ? Sure there is a cost to managing the scheme and that is necessary. But are you really saying it’s essential to collect money from us to give much of it directly back to us ?

            Hell if you think that is necessary then please let me manage your income for you – I’ll only take a small cut for being the middle man who gives it directly back to you – a function you seem to think is necessary.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No you fucken moron, I’m saying that it’s necessary to have the IRD and at $1500 per year each is pretty damn cheap. Hell, some accountants charge more than that for simple book keeping on one persons accounts.

              • burt

                Yes, and if they choose to add it too their own superannuation scheme (KiwiSaver or not) then they pay nobody for that financial exchange.Why take it off low earners in the first place?

                I know nanny needs to live, but really, how many minimum wage level workers contribute 4% to KiwiSaver to get the same benefit higher earners are getting for doing something they have probably always done?

                Now if the first $1,040 in income tax paid each year was credited to your KiwiSaver scheme rather than having to put hard cold cash in there then sure recycling (churn) makes sense.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That, as expected, fails to make any sense.

                  How much of the $1500 per year each that we’re paying goes into administering Kiwisaver? Or, to put it in terms that you might be able to understand, The $1500 covers more than just the administration of Kiwisaver.

                  Why take it off them in the first place? Because it caters to human nature and so becomes a more reliable way of getting people saving for their retirement. And it’s not given straight back to them but put in an account that they can’t touch until they retire.

                  As I said, clinging on to simplistic slogans that fail to engage the complexities of the issues that you’re trying to address.

                  • burt

                    Hey Dracko, I like getting paid others peoples tax to do what I have always done as well, but that’s not making it good social policy.

              • Colonial Viper

                The best efficiency is when the IRD collects money from tax payers, and uses it to pay the Chinese Government the interest that we owe them on our loans.

                Instead of using that tax money to, you know, provide public services and core infrastructure for New Zealanders.

                • burt

                  Yes CV, the empty kitty and the stalled domestic economy has forced borrowing. Think back though CV, remember Cullen talking about saving for a rainy day. Well he paid of debt but didn’t save much and over bid for a rusty old train set just before he left office. He seemed to think the sun would shine forever.

                  Do you honestly think Labour would have continued their surpluses had they stayed in power?

                  Just like 1990-1993 all over again and forelock tugging apologists blame National ! Unbelievable.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    real simple reasons to hold National responsible:

                    they have held the reins of power for 2.5 years
                    they gave tax cuts to advantage the already rich ahead of all others
                    they bailed out rich investors involved in high risk speculative activity
                    they have no plan or way out other than to sell the family silver

                    Cullen 9 straight years of surpluses, English 3 years straight as a loser.

                    • Mac1

                      And they told lies to get into power in 2008. No change to GST, Kiwisave, Working for Families. Told lies, had no plan apart from enrich more the already rich, total failure as a budget and as a government.

                      Labout had 9 years of low unemployment, surpluses and responsible fiscal management. No comparison, really, CV.

                    • burt

                      9 Years of surplus eh…


                      The deteriorating state of the Government books show that New Zealanders are hurting from the combination of the economic…

                      The government’s bank balance has moved further into the red. New Zealand’s fiscal position worsened in March…

                      All the growth in the Treasury’s December economic and fiscal update is in the wrong things – such as unemployment, fiscal deficits and Crown debt…..

                      Investment losses unveiled in today’s crown accounts are higher than expected but the overall plunge into the red is in line with predictions, National’s finance spokesman Bill English says.

                      The government’s financial statements show the crown operating balance was $757m in deficit at September 30, against a forecast surplus of $943m…

                      You shouldn’t repeat people who just say shit because it fits the way they wish it were CV. .

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That’s a bullshit link burt, it doesn’t go anywhere where that quote is supposedly from.

                      English – 3 deficit strikes and he’s out 🙂

                      And I just found this from Cullen from the same article you little shit

                      Once assets were taken into account the Crown’s net financial position was positive, standing at about 5.7 per cent of GDP.

                      “This strong balance sheet position vindicates the Government’s decision not to blow the surplus in good times.

                      Cullen saved for a rainy day and English has blown it all and then some in less than 3 years.

                  • felix

                    burt, I’ve forgotten what your main issue with all this was.

                    Can you remind me please?

  9. Jum 9

    It was most interesting to hear Amy Adams at 5.18pm today telling us that Union Members do not work hard.

    Unions might like to pass that comment on to their members and families.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    New Zealand – you have been warned. You vote John and Don in this year, and you can expect things to keep sliding backwards in an increasingly ugly way.

    • chris73 10.1

      Exactly, Johns told us what hes expecting to do so if (when) hes re-elected it’ll be because we want it to happen

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    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago