budget 2011

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One more promise I couldn’t keep

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, May 21st, 2012 - 14 comments

Last Budget, National promised 36,000 jobs in the year to March 2012. We got 20,000. They promised 1.8% growth. We got 1.1%. They promised a $9.8 billion deficit. Now, it’s heading for over $12  billion. Ready for a repeat on Thursday?. English will say last year’s failures were all someone else’s fault. Key will grin and make some weak jokes, the beakbenches will hoot and holler. But will anyone outside National be smiling this time round?

Nice work

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, May 4th, 2012 - 15 comments

Number of additional jobs per year needed to match population growth: 25,000 * Jobs promised by National last Budget to be added in March 2012 year: 36,000 * Actual number of jobs added: 20,000 * Additional unemployed: 5,000 * Change in number of fulltime jobs: -6,000 * Change in number of parttime jobs: 25,000 * Growth in underemployment: 4,000 * Broken promises: 1 really big one

Polls and people

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, June 21st, 2011 - 27 comments

The Roy Morgan Polls are all over the place, at the moment, and the latest one has the Left at the bottom of the roller coaster.  In other news, the Readers Digest survey of most trusted individuals, which this year is dominated by scientists!

Encouraging savings the National way

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, June 12th, 2011 - 15 comments

Amongst the many vacuous claims made in relation to the last budget, the claim that cuts to KiwiSaver would encourage savings always struck me as the dumbest.  Now the facts are in, and guess what…

NZ deserves better than budget lies

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, June 10th, 2011 - 80 comments

The Budget is unravelling at a startling rate of knots. Bill English is floundering to explain his dodgy asset sales numbers that count the benefits but not the costs. Now, a senior minister has admitted that John Key’s claim that “there are 170,000 new jobs being created as a result of this Budget” is a lie. We actually really do deserve better than this.

Drifting

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, June 10th, 2011 - 27 comments

The Nats haven’t got a clue how to run a successful country, and most of the things they do try just make matters worse.  We’re drifting…

So, borrowing to save makes sense afterall…

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 8th, 2011 - 29 comments

Do you remember back in the day when Bill English didn’t want to put any money into the Cullen Fund? Remember how we were smugly told that borrowing to save was foolish? Well, since then the Cullen Fund has made a fortune and, we know learn, the government has been borrowing to build up savings for the Christchurch rebuild.

No future in English & Brash’s neoliberal plans

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, June 7th, 2011 - 14 comments

Don Brash has attacked Bill English’s budget which he says fails to lay out a plan for New Zealand. The reality, I think, is that both have plan however there is little or no future in either plan. Neither Brash nor English have laid out a plan which deals with the present and quite near problems we will face.

Drug reform: makes a hell of a lot of cents

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, June 7th, 2011 - 48 comments

I’ve been thinking about the budget. Its economic vacuousness: borrowing and crossing fingers for strong growth, while keeping tax cuts for the rich. The bare-faced cheek of counting the asset sales in its projections and passing Kiwisaver cuts without getting a mandate. But also, the cuts to vital public services without a more imaginative and sensible solution: drug reform.

A simple tertiary education budget

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, June 3rd, 2011 - 11 comments

TEU President Sandra Grey writes: When all the unders and overs are calculated, the maths for tertiary education is a lot simpler than all the commentary from the government would have us believe. For the next four years, the minister, Steven Joyce, will be putting less money into tertiary education. That is a political choice.

Treasury says own forecasts too rosy

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, June 3rd, 2011 - 28 comments

Oh dear. Only two weeks after its Budget 2011 economic forecasts were released, Treasury is already warning they are too optimistic. In their defence, they say the forecasts were settled in April and growth prospects have got worse since then. Well, you’re not much of a forecaster if you can’t see that happening in the middle of an oil shock.

Locally Left: Budget Special

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 27th, 2011 - No comments

Night of politics at the pub on May 31 7pm-9pm at the Wine Cellar, St Kevin’s Arcade, K Rd, with panel: Jesse Mulligan (Comedian and commentator at-large), Rhema Vaithianathan (Economist) and Jacinda Ardern (MP).

More budget backhanders

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 27th, 2011 - 5 comments

PEDA last year. Parents Inc this year. Ministers giving backhanders to their mates is a growing trend. $1.5m is being cut from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme that funds things like Rape Crisis. Instead of this democratic, accountable process, the money will go to four groups hand-picked by Turia. Dodgy as hell.

March against the budget cuts

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, May 27th, 2011 - 66 comments

A new organisation, the Coalition for Social Justice, is calling for a march in Auckland tomorrow.

So much for seeking a mandate

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, May 26th, 2011 - 15 comments

Remember when John Key was promising that he would seek a mandate from the people at the election before starting to sell public assets and cutting Kiwisaver. It was only a week ago. And he’s breaking his promises already: the Kiwisaver cuts actually kick in on July 1, and the privatisation process is underway.

Parents Inc: it’s PEDA redux

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, May 26th, 2011 - 85 comments

In last year’s budget, the Nats awarded a $4.8m contract to an unknown organisation called PEDA without tender and against official advice. The people behind PEDA were apparently tied to Bill English via his wife. The full truth still hasn’t come out. Now, the Nats are up to the same trick with Parents Inc.

Who has the ideas?

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, May 26th, 2011 - 61 comments

Last week we had National’s budget and Labour’s conference.  A chance for both parties to set out their ideas for the future.  National’s do-nothing budget went down like a lead balloon, while Labour started setting out promising new policy.  Looks like the 2011 election campaign will  be a contest between ideas and schoolboy mockery.

Disgraceful

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, May 24th, 2011 - 53 comments

“The worst display from a Prime Minister since the schnapps election” – that’s what a journo said about Key the other day. No, it wasn’t about him being a multi-millionaire who gave himself tens of thousands of tax cuts opposing a fair wage increase for the lowest paid workers. It was this disgraceful behaviour on Budget Day. Watch.

Lunatic prophecies

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, May 23rd, 2011 - 10 comments

Cartoonist Guy Body in The Herald, with one of those pictures that is worth a thousand words…

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, May 22nd, 2011 - 43 comments

Armstrong on the budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, May 22nd, 2011 - 13 comments

John Armstrong is highly critical of the sub-zero budget: “The Budget has displayed a degree of cynicism one would expect from a Government in its third term, not its first”…

Stop me if you’ve already heard this one

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, May 21st, 2011 - 12 comments

As I think you can tell from the budget speech, that Bill English is quite a funny guy…

Froth on the rich man’s hem

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 pm, May 20th, 2011 - 47 comments

John Key thinks National will lose some support because of the budget saying: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we ease back a bit. I mean that’s logical. Some of that sort of froth in there will come away”. Hear that, tens of thousands of swing voters who believed in the ‘brighter future that Key promised you and didn’t deliver? You’re just ‘froth’ to him.

I know it is picky – but it is Friday..

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, May 20th, 2011 - 26 comments

I was listening to John Key on Parliament TV last night on the budget and he is bloody lazy when speaking. I had to watch his lips before I could figure out what he was saying. This morning there is a video of his remedial vocal work that illustrates this problem..

So where’s the plan?

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, May 20th, 2011 - 108 comments

Not in John Key and Bill English’s third budget. The ‘good times’ they are promising would have looked pitiful under Labour. 4% wage growth will be below inflation once the Kiwisaver clawbacks get you. National have pinned their hopes on Christchurch rebuilding itself, and claiming the credit for themselves. Oh, and their projections assume asset sales.

Chief Treasury analyst interviewed

Written By: - Date published: 5:57 pm, May 19th, 2011 - 7 comments

In which we hear from the Treasury analyst behind the budget’s more than rosy growth predictions…

Budget Protest at Parliament today

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, May 19th, 2011 - 54 comments

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 […]

The borrow and hope budget

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 19th, 2011 - 108 comments

It’s only taken two and a half years of mismanagement and reckless tax cuts from to run the country  into a mountain of debt. How bad have they let things get, who will they make pay for their mistakes, and how rosy will the forecasts their plans hang on be? Rolling coverage through the day.

Updates: Plans for privatisation are set out.  Families hit harder than expected.

Pre-budget roundup

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, May 19th, 2011 - 25 comments

So, today is Budget day.  The big stuff has all been pretty well signposted, tinkering with KiwiSaver, Working for Families, and student loan eligibility.  The devil will be in the details of all the cuts that get made to try and limit the damage in health and education.

The treading water budget

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, May 18th, 2011 - 24 comments

Bryan Gould writes: “The fact that this week’s Budget will do no more than mark time should come as no surprise. We now have getting on for three years’ experience of a government whose idea of managing the economy is simply to wait and see what turns up.” True that.

Green budget ideas

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, May 18th, 2011 - 15 comments

It has been great to see Labour’s statements on how they would approach Budget 2011.  But, as is often the case at this stage of the electoral cycle, it is the Greens who are laying out their alternative budget ideas in the most detail.

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