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budget 2009

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Education cuts don’t heal

Written By: - Date published: 7:23 am, October 3rd, 2009 - 26 comments

Remember “Education cuts don’t heal”?  That was the rallying cry during the last National government.  Looks like we might be needing it again this time round.  National’s 2009 budget was a very mixed bag for education, but it turns out that it only narrowly avoided being worse – much worse.  Seeking to save $50m in […]

John and Bill cost us $7 million in two months

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, September 23rd, 2009 - 47 comments

You’ll remember that in the Budget National decided to suspend payments to the Cullen Fund, which is designed to help fund the future cost of superannuation. At the time, John Key and Bill English said we were losing money on the Fund and we couldn’t afford to borrow to put money into it. They compared […]

OIA confirms: No reason to cut Cullen Fund contributions

Written By: - Date published: 12:02 pm, July 6th, 2009 - 72 comments

Well, we told you so. The Nats lied for weeks that a credit rating downgrade would be imposed on us if we didn’t cut contributions to the SuperFund. We didn’t fall for that for a minute. Even before the Budget, we pointed out that, except for the extraordinary conditions of the last two years, managed […]

Nats ignored Treasury’s warnings on cancelling Cullen Fund payments

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

In the newly released Budget papers Treasury acknowledges that cancelling the Cullen Fund contributions would only reduce debt by 5% (more than offset by increase in assets) and it will put our ability to pay for superannuation at risk in the long-term: While the contributions holiday component of the package helps to reduce gross debt, […]

Tax cuts, one-off payment, or something better?

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, June 27th, 2009 - 46 comments

Budget papers just released reveal that Treasury recommended a package of measures to reduce debt including an 8-year suspension of the Cullen fund contributions, new operating allowances of $1 billion, rather than $1.75 billion and cancelling the tax cuts and giving New Zealanders $1billion worth of one-off payments instead. This either would have taken the form […]

Priorities

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, June 17th, 2009 - 27 comments

Noticed this comment in the Dom this morning [offline] about National’s decision to slash funding for night classes in the Budget: Finance Minister Bill English said the Government would continue to fund some adult and community education programmes, but had higher priorities in the current recession. Um, would that be giving $35 million to private […]

Crying wolf?

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, June 5th, 2009 - 12 comments

From The Independent: No lasting harm from airport credit downgrade. Analysts and management of Auckland International Airport are unconcerned at Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the airport’s corporate credit and debt rating from A to A-minus. The downgrade will add less than $1 million to the airport’s overall interest bill of around $80 million. If […]

Future shock

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, May 30th, 2009 - 18 comments

Yesterday, my comrade Zetetic wrote that despite all the bad stuff in the Budget there was still a “meta-victory” for the Left because the ‘social wage’ hadn’t been attacked. That is, health, education, and social welfare aren’t cut in this year’s Budget. Well, I’ve been doing something Zetetic has probably been wise enough to avoid. […]

Caption Competition

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, May 30th, 2009 - 18 comments

Quote competition

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, May 29th, 2009 - 19 comments

So, in the light of yesterday’s budget, I propose a quote competition. Post your favourite Nat quotes! We could start with two categories. First, foolish tax cut promises. Here’s some starters: Key, quoted here: “Under National, personal tax cuts are a priority. New Zealanders will be able to believe in our tax cuts, they will […]

The battle and the war

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 29th, 2009 - 28 comments

It’s a bleak budget alright. No jobs package. That’s scandalous dereliction of duty. The 70,000-100,000 people who will loss their jobs this year and their families will remember that the Tories sat on its hands when it mattered. Boy, they know how to manage the journos though. People whose major mathematical skill is having the right change […]

The Dishonest Budget

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 29th, 2009 - 9 comments

Thanks to a reader, here’s Phil Goff’s speech in reply to the Budget. Looks like they’ve ripped the Herald’s version, so for the sake of credit here’s the link to the original. If anyone has the Greens’ response send it in and we’ll put it up.

No great expectations, but what a bleak house

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 am, May 29th, 2009 - 5 comments

Listening to Bill English’s budget speech, I was reminded of Dickens’ description of Scrooge: “The cold within him froze his features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice …” There was nothing shrewd about this bit though: “The current projections show debt […]

No super contributions = worse net debt

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 114 comments

I’ve had a dig into Treasury’s numbers and worked out that they expect the Superannuation Fund will make a 13% return next year, falling to 11% a year by 2012. Those figures seem pretty good, not too optimistic. It’s what the Fund made in ordinary years before the crunch and bear in mind the Fund […]

Mission accomplished

Written By: - Date published: 6:03 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 20 comments

John Key famously said “we would love to see wages drop“. It sure didn’t take him long in government to see his ambition achieved. Here are the wage hourly wages rates, adjusted for inflation, over the last decade and Treasury’s projections from today’s budget. After peaking this year (wages lag unemployment), wages will drop then stall. […]

Bleak and bleaker

Written By: - Date published: 3:47 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 12 comments

Treasury’s main forecasts for the economy have worsened significantly since December: Nothing for jobs in the Budget. Tens of thousands more on the dole. We need better than this. – Marty G

The black budget report

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, May 28th, 2009 - 48 comments

This post will be updated by the Standardistas as the details of the Budget come out. If you have special knowledge of a field and spot something that we (and the mainstream media) are likely to miss, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll put it up. — [2:17] Contributions to the Superannuation Fund […]

The Debt Bogey Returns

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 28th, 2009 - 32 comments

Seems this op-ed was off-message for one of our larger media outlets, we’re happy to run it: _______________________________________ Alan Blinder, Professor of Public Affairs at Princeton recently warned Americans: ‘ Prematurely changing fiscal and monetary policies – from stepping hard on the accelerator to slamming on the brake – can be hazardous to the economy’s […]

Broken promises

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, May 28th, 2009 - 27 comments

National have already broken lots of pre-election promises and policies. Their policy to consult on local government and Auckland has been contemptuously ignored. Their pre-election welfare policy promise on benefit abatement thresholds, broken. They broke their promise to include Playcentre in ECE 20 Hours Free. They broke their promise to protect jobs, and particularly to […]

If everything goes well..

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 am, May 28th, 2009 - 23 comments

Good politics is meeting or exceeding expectations. Good spin is setting expectations. Key and English have put a lot of effort into setting expectations for the budget. (2000 Kiwis a week a probably wishing they would put effort into protecting jobs). The fruits of which will be this, if everything goes well for them: English […]

English and Key uncertain of Budget’s focus

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 35 comments

If there was ever a phrase that this Government keeps reminding me of, it’s “couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery”. Today, on the eve of what will be a particularly important Budget for our country, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance aren’t entirely sure just what it is they’re trying to achieve. […]

Budget previews: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Written By: - Date published: 2:47 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 27 comments

As well as the usual pre-Budget announcements there have been a number of leaks. A quick review: Good Home insulation package: this is the Greens’ baby and could well be a highlight of the Budget in a sea of negatives. It would have been better if they had put in something about forcing landlords to […]

What we need in the Budget

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 81 comments

We need to keep paying into the Superannuation Fund. Never heard anything so dumb as the idea of stopping making payments right now. Invest now and make a tidy sum to pay for super in the future. If we don’t we’ll have to put up taxes in the future or cut super. I’m looking forward […]

Minima

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 27th, 2009 - 24 comments

One of the oldest tricks in the book for a government that’s cutting public services is to say ‘we’re not cutting, we’re spending more in our budget than ever before’ while not mentioning that their spending ‘increase’ doesn’t match inflation and population growth. We need to know what constitutes minimum increases to preserve current services: […]

The credit rating bogeyman

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 26th, 2009 - 25 comments

It’s pretty clear how Key and English plan to spin their budget. They will use the bogeyman of a credit rating downgrade to justify doing what they want to do cutting contributions to the Superannuation fund and spending on core services like health and education. They’ll attempt to overshadow the cuts by making some spending […]

Up the Government’s sleeve

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, May 23rd, 2009 - 8 comments

National may be talking down the budget, but there have been hints coming out of Wellington that suggest the government will announce a significant initiative on budget day to help save jobs. If true, it shouldn’t be unexpected. – The cycleway has been a miserable failure, with no jobs having been created midway into the […]

Less firing, more hiring

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, May 22nd, 2009 - 8 comments

The Herald reports today that TVNZ fired 90 employees following a letter from Broadcasting Minister Johnathan Coleman demanding that it raise its profitability. This follows similar cuts at the Ministry of Social development, Ministry for the Environment, Tertiary Education Commission. There look likely to be hundreds or thousands of job losses as a result of […]

When more is less

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, May 8th, 2009 - 2 comments

Colin Espiner writes: “Another thing that’s being clearly signalled is that Labour’s previous spending promises in health and education won’t be honoured in the Budget. That $3.4 billion of spending Labour planned for 2009/2010… At the same time, Key and English are at pains to say that health and education spending will increase – and […]

Another one bites the dust

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, April 28th, 2009 - 52 comments

And so another of John Key’s “big ideas” is shown to have been costed by monkeys. Treasury study suggests fibre plan will fall short: A study commissioned by the Treasury has warned it would cost between $5.3 billion and $10.4b to connect three-quarters of New Zealand homes with fibre-optic cable using the Government’s preferred active […]

Budget 2009: Why not tax the rich?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, April 27th, 2009 - 56 comments

With the Government openly preparing the public for spending cuts in the upcoming Budget, No Right Turn reminds us that there are alternatives – rather than cutting services and harming the poor, we could always raise taxes on those who can most afford it. The state of New York is doing this, hiking state income […]

Don’t fear the reaper

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, April 27th, 2009 - 20 comments

The Government’s response to the recession so far has been to curl up in a ball and hope it will go away. Incredibly, while the economy is shrinking, the Government is destimulating it further by cutting public services. The excuse they give is that if the Government doesn’t reduce its borrowing, the credit ratings agencies […]

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