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budget 2010

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$2 billion borrowed for tax cuts, so far

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, May 14th, 2012 - 11 comments

Remember National’s ‘fiscally neutral’ tax cuts? Turns out they’ve cost $2 billion in their first 18 months. Now, the Right’s story changes, of course. Without those reckless tax cuts, we wouldn’t be facing zero budgets.  They were never meant to be fiscally neutral, they were stimulus spending – right, cause this economy is so stimulated.

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…

Choices, choices

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 am, April 1st, 2011 - 21 comments

In the last Budget, National cut the corporate tax rate to 28%, which costs $400 million a year and comes into effect today. It also cut $200 million a year from early childhood education and tertiary funding in the same Budget, while borrowing billions. When the government cuts public services it is because it chooses […]

English’s days numbered

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, January 6th, 2011 - 54 comments

What’s to stop a government minister taking taxpayer money and giving it to, say, a family friend or a political slush fund? In theory, lots. There’s a formal budget-formation process through the ministeries and Cabinet, the Budget then has to be approved by Parliament, and the PM would sack any minister who tried such blatant corruption. Wouldn’t he?

The other great tax lie

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 am, November 10th, 2010 - 11 comments

The Budget 2010 tax cuts for the rich were supposed to be paid for by magical extra growth.  But the growth isn’t happening and the government now has a $2.2 billion shortfall in income.  So the tax cuts aren’t “broadly neutral” at all.  We’re paying for them with borrowing.  Is that “Ambitious for New Zealand”?

Tax Swindle Graph

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, September 30th, 2010 - 30 comments

Danyl over at DimPost has produced an excellent graph of the gains from National’s Tax Swindle.  It uses the Government’s figures, it is generous in showing average rather than median incomes…

And it doesn’t look good for average kiwis.

English misleads on PEDA money

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 am, June 21st, 2010 - 31 comments

Georgina Te Heuheu and Bill English have been saying the money allocated in the Budget to PEDA might go to some other organisation. That would be a huge abuse of the Budget process, whereby the Government asks Parliament for permission to spend money on specific activities. Of course, really the Nats are just trying to muddy the water as questions on PEDA continue.

Questions mount on PEDA

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 am, June 16th, 2010 - 45 comments

Details on PEDA are still very thin but it is increasingly looking like public money has been hijacked to help the political prospects of National’s Pacific Islanders. The service delivery aspect of the Pacific Island Affairs Ministry seems set to be turned over to this private organisation. The lack of honest answers from the minister only deepens the suspicion that something very dodgy is afoot.

National: Irresponsible Economists and Liars

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 21 comments

National’s budget broke a number of economic promises. One that’s not been emphasised enough is their commitment to be fiscally neutral. Labour got New Zealand to $0 net government debt. Now we are headed back into the red again and National is making it worse, not to create jobs to help ordinary Kiwis through the recession, but to fund tax cuts for their rich mates.

Rush to judge turns embarrassing

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, June 2nd, 2010 - 18 comments

The Budget is turning into something of an embarrassment for the media. Even before it had been released, the journos in their lock-up had written pieces proclaiming it a hugely popular success. The evidence says they got it wrong. The people think they’ll be worse off. Journos need to stop deciding public opinion before it has had a chance to form, let alone be sampled.

The misleading Mr English

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, June 2nd, 2010 - 5 comments

Bill English in the House yesterday: “In the Budget the projected wage increases exceed projected inflation.”

From the Budget: change in real wages over March 2011 year, -1.4%. change in real years in year to March 2012, -0.6%

How the Left won Budget 2010

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, May 31st, 2010 - 60 comments

Immediately after the Budget, some of the political commentators said National had triumphed and caught the Left wrong-footed. Wrong. In reality, Kiwis are not buying National’s spin. The Left’s argument against tax cuts for the rich is gaining resonance. Workers see a tax swindle. The Nats have played their only trump and they’re finding it hasn’t worked.

$2.3 billion sting in the Budget’s tail

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, May 30th, 2010 - 19 comments

National’s second budget has induced a lot of inflation – 5.9% over the next year. Interest rates on term deposits are just 4.4%. Collectively, New Zealand’s savers will be $2.3 billion worse off in a year’s time than they are now, thanks to the Budget. The flipside is the real value of mortgages will fall. Borrowers win and savers lose. I thought English said he was encouraging savings.

The tax swindle, visualised

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 75 comments

Here’s a graph of tax week’s tax swindle. I can’t do the property tax/rent increase part but here’s the net weekly effect of the income tax changes and the GST hike. These numbers match up with those provided by Treasury. The first 1.2 million taxpayers get less than a dollar a week. The first 3 million (of 3.4 million) get an average of $4.24 a week. The top 100,000 average $105 a week.

The Anti-Education Government

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 25th, 2010 - 38 comments

Last year ACE, this year ECE. What has this government got against education? Once again it’s the big loser in a National budget. It’s enough to make you believe a conspiracy theory that they want to keep us ignorant so we’ll be more likely to vote them in… The massive cut in Early Childhood Education […]

Nats floundering on inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, May 25th, 2010 - 35 comments

Pointing out that a “rich get richer” budget is going to increase inequality in NZ seems to be making the Nats uncomfortable. Bill English tries to simply deny the facts. DPF tries to divert attention to “social mobility”. Lame efforts in both cases. The truth is that inequality isn’t on the Nats radar. They simply don’t care.

Tax cuts don’t cause growth

Written By: - Date published: 6:51 am, May 24th, 2010 - 30 comments

Tories claim that tax cuts “cause growth” in the economy – they “grow the pie”. But it’s rubbish. No honest review of the long term historical picture can sustain the claim. Tax cuts don’t cause growth.

Nasty attacks on workers hidden in Budget

Written By: - Date published: 11:25 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 30 comments

There’s some mean little barbs hidden in the Budget. National has abolished a tax rebate for redundant workers that helps you out if you are made redundant and your payout pushes you into a higher tax bracket. It’s a petty mean-hearted attack from an increasingly rightwing government. In fact, this insult to hard working Kiwis is an exact repetition of what they did in 1992.

Guyon vs English

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 52 comments

The frustration was palpable today as Guyon Espiner struggled in vain to get a single straight answer from Bill English, who was only prepared to twist, evade, and repeat lines: “GUYON Do you accept that for very high income earners, people on the sort of salary like your own of $276,000 a year,you gave those people money they simply did not need?

I can’t believe it’s not satire!

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, May 23rd, 2010 - 94 comments

The other day, we had a satire guest post about ‘thank the rich day’. Michael Laws appears determined to out do us: “On Thursday, this Key/English administration decided to abandon the pretence that we are an egalitarian society, or that we should ever attempt to be so. The wealthy are the wealthy because they merit that status, was the prime minister’s underlying message.”

A kick in the guts for savers

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, May 22nd, 2010 - 54 comments

My wife and I are retired. We worked hard, we lived frugally, and we have a nest egg to get us through. Now John’s mob have come along and taken part of that nest egg away from us. 5.9% inflation will eat up our savings. The same will happen to the nest eggs of retired people or young people saving to buy a house up and down this country. How does that reward saving?

The borrowed bunny

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, May 22nd, 2010 - 41 comments

It’s interesting to see how Irish’s ‘rabbit from a hat’ metaphor has taken off for describing this Budget. Some, like Tracey Watkins, are even using it positively. She needs to have a bit more of a think about what the rabbit from a hat is. The rabbit itself is nothing special. In fact, in this case it’s a borrowed bunny, despite the media’s tendency to portray tax cut as costless.

Domesticated

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 am, May 22nd, 2010 - 38 comments

Amongst all the budget reaction, there is a group of people that I don’t understand. They are the small group who are very well off, and who are nevertheless exulting about tax cuts that give them a few tens of dollars a week. Is your allegiance really purchased so cheaply?

Did the tax agenda deliver?

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, May 21st, 2010 - 11 comments

In what it seems to think is an act of benevolence and economic genius, National has decided to borrow a pile of money, cut key public services, put up GST, and give me an extra $1000 a year. Will it make me work harder? Hell no. My partner and I are already paid plenty. If anything it will make us look at ways to reduce the amount we work.

Government Propaganda: Corrected

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, May 21st, 2010 - 20 comments

There’s some useful scenarios to look at on the beehive’s tax site. They show how we all pay less tax, even after GST, and somehow the government also gets more tax. I love maths like that. But some of them seem to have something missing, so I thought I’d correct a couple of them…

Childcare costs ahead

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 21st, 2010 - 16 comments

Have you figured out what the Budget means for you? I’ve been looking at the media statements, reading the spin, deconstructing the commentators and trying to work out where it gets me as a parent with young children….

Treasury assesses Nats’ economic performance

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, May 21st, 2010 - 11 comments

What does Treasury make of National’s economic plan according to the Budget papers? Here’s the outlook for when National is kicked out of office at the end of 2011: Workers’ share of the economy will have fallen from an already miserable 43.6% to 41.5%. GDP per capita will be lower when National leaves office than when they entered it. Real wages will drop 2%.

On priorities

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 21st, 2010 - 45 comments

I think the saddest part of this budget is that the government will spend $70 million building more prisons while cutting $120 million from early childhood education. It kind of sums up this Key Government’s priorities don’t you think? They’re cutting taxes for the rich while they cut health and education spending. It’s our future they are cutting, so the rich can be richer in the short-term.

Budget punditry round-up spectacular!

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 pm, May 20th, 2010 - 62 comments

A round up of commentary from around the media on the Budget. Well, the media that’s in written form anyway. I’ll be damned if I’m doing any transcribing. Favourite lines, Vernon Small: “Bill English has written a one-dimensional tax-shuffle Budget”, John Armstrong: “Those looking for the bright ideas and initiatives to galvanise economic growth are going to be hugely disappointed”

A Budget for the rich, by the rich

Written By: - Date published: 2:24 pm, May 20th, 2010 - 141 comments

Telecom Paul Reynolds’ $290,000 ‘rich guy bonus’ alone is enough to hire six nurses or teachers. It’s enough to pay for 40,000 hours of early childhood education. It’s the added GST bill for some 400 typical Kiwi workers.

As expected this man, earning $7 million a year, has been given a tax break more than 200 times bigger than that of the average Kiwi worker.

Update: Key has spent up large in his irresponsible tax cuts for the rich. We’ll be paying for this for decades to come. What happened to the fiscal conservatives in the National Party?

Tax ‘swap’ needed to keep National MPs in NZ

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 pm, May 20th, 2010 - 18 comments

Finance Minister Bill English today announced tax cuts worth $340,000 for National MPs on their Parliamentary salaries alone. “I’m very pleased we could announce this gift, ah, fair alteration of the tax system. There was a real danger that New Zealand could have lost the services of such valuable, highly-skilled workers as Paula Bennett, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Paul Quinn, and Melissa Lee

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