It’s Budget day. The privatisation of Meridian Energy will be announced. There will be a focus on poverty and housing – but will it be anything more than token? One News has a roundup of what we can expect. According to Labour it’s a “budget for the boardroom”.
Post budget Stuff is running a live chat with Bill English at 4:30pm.
Updates (from anyone who’s about!) will be added below…
Bill English still complaining about 2008.
Despite the advance publicity there is nothing significant here for families in poverty – it’s mostly about “encouraging” beneficiaries into the jobs that don’t exist.
The heart of this budget is a deficit of ideas.
* Urgent legislation to cut through red tape and speed house-building in areas where homes are least affordable – and not just in Auckland.
* A memorandum of understanding with Reserve Bank for measures to curb accelerating house prices and avoid fuelling boom-bust cycles in wider economy.
* Big reductions in ACC levies – but businesses and households will have to wait for one or two years before they take effect.
* Meridian Energy confirmed as next state company to undergo partial privatisation.
* $100 million package to help businesses to operate internationally.
* Tenancy reviews to be extended to all occupants of state houses.
* Government to use bulk purchasing power to buy cheaper whiteware for beneficiaries.
* Start-up companies making losses able to claim refunds tax losses on research and development.
Budget documents online here: http://www.budget.govt.nz/
Government debt still increasing by $130 Million a week – justification for ongoing austerity.
Still delaying contributions to NZ Super Fund – until 2021.
Keith Ng’s interactive budget visualiser.
“New” funding for science – not clear how much is really new, and how much is reallocation (mentioned earlier).
Scoop’s summary – all you need to know is there – will wait now for the speeches in reply…
Shearer calls it a “Blackjack” budget – a government for vested interests – ordinary Kiwis get the scraps falling off the table. This government puts vested interests ahead of hard working Kiwis. A “gameshow government” – everything up for sale. Why is there no food for schools in this budget (cf $40 Million for private schools). Woken up to the housing crisis – after KiwiBuild – but nothing in this budget about affordable homes. “A government for the well heeled and the well connected” – right from their 2008 tax cuts for the rich. Last week the 200,000th Kiwi left under Key’s government. The government is arrogant – mired in broken promises.
Shearer setting out Labour’s alternatives – good.
The heart of this budget is a deficit of ideas. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
Good speech from Shearer.
From comments on Key’s speech:
National vs “The Devil-Beast”. Jesus fucking Christ, Key has totally lost it.
Russel Norman – An angry and bitter speech from the PM. A government of the 2% for the 2%. Another triple deficit budget. Economic, environmental and social. This budget makes them worse. National’s record borrowing spree – $70 Billion by 2020 – one of the worst in OECD. Using Bill English’s favourite measure – the tradable sector – the “rebalancing” has failed. This dark budget falls heaviest on our children. Budget 2013 is crumbs for kids. The budget is about irrigation before water standards. National is toxic to our wild spaces. “Rebalancing” has failed – that’s why it wan’t mentioned. We need a smart Green economy. The Greens care not about 2% but about 100% – and future generations.
A calm and rational speech from Norman – what a welcome contrast to the shrieking of the PM.
Winston wants to call the SFO on the budget…