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budget 2010

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The courage of his convictions

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, May 20th, 2010 - 56 comments

Hone Harawira does not want to vote for the ‘don’t be jealous’ budget and he doesn’t think the Maori Party will be standing true to its principles or supporters if it does. Harawira sought permission to vote against the Budget. Tariana Turia, who is awfully comfortable in the back of her Crown limo, refused. Let’s hope Harawira has the courage cross the floor anyway.

Close the loophole by knocking down the wall

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, May 20th, 2010 - 23 comments

Giving the rich a bucket of your money, is about keeping valuable people (who must be rich, by definition) in this country, or closing loopholes (by make the cheat automatic), or was it about boosting growth through trickle down (which is like helping a dehydrated man by giving water to someone with an already full bladder and hoping they piss on him)? Whatever, just don’t be jealous, OK?

What to watch for

Written By: - Date published: 2:44 pm, May 19th, 2010 - 4 comments

We already know that National’s big economic plan this budget is a tax swap from working Kiwis to the rich that will not affect growth but will increase inequality. There’s some money for science and Kiwirail, which is good but only partially reverses the cuts that National imposed last year. The two big items in the budget that the Nats have control over (assuming no cuts to benefits or super) are education and health. The increases in these two sectors are the things to watch.

Inequality Aspiration Envy

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, May 19th, 2010 - 71 comments

Inequality is terribly damaging to society. National want to increase inequality by transferring wealth from the poor to the rich. They argue that this provides “incentives” for the vast majority of the rest of us to “get ahead”. But this aspirational argument is both incoherent and absurd.

Eat the Rich

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, May 19th, 2010 - 22 comments

Some how it just seems right for John Key’s “Don’t Be Jealous” Budget. Or if you want something a bit more high brow but still with the big hair, there’s Brian Edwards on $50 Million PM Counsels Poor Not To Envy Rich. Me… I say Eat Them!

Excusing the ‘Don’t Be Jealous’ Budget

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 19th, 2010 - 15 comments

Tomorrow, National will give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest New Zealanders. $12,000 a year for a typical CEO or a Prime Minister on $350,000 a year. $290,000 a year for Paul Reynolds, the CEO of Telecom. The Right are trying a bunch of excuses for this unneeded gift to the richest people in the country, paid for by working Kiwis. Let’s debunk ’em.

Green alternative budget

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, May 18th, 2010 - 53 comments

The Greens have released their alternative budget, “Mind the Gap”. It focuses on the inequality between rich and poor in NZ (rightly called “the scourge of modern societies”). It’s great to see the Greens tackling this issue head on.

Nats partially undo their cuts to R&D

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, May 12th, 2010 - 7 comments

The Herald editorial is rightly damning of the government’s lacklustre approach to science funding. The ‘new’ money is a trickle, barely replacing last year’s cuts. A crucial difference between Labour and National has always been that Labour invests in the long-term success of the country while National makes short-term wealth grabs for the ruling elite.

Weeding out low quality

Written By: - Date published: 8:02 am, April 24th, 2010 - 58 comments

The Nats are looking to cut $1.8 billion in spending over four years. Where from? What and who will be deemed to be “low quality” in need of “weeding out”? The answers are going to tell us a lot about the National Party’s values…

Fabians seminars on the budget.

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, March 20th, 2010 - 1 comment

There are a second set of seminars in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch over the next week on Choices and Consequences of the 2010 budget. Based on the Bold Choices seminar that I attended last weekend in Auckland (there are later ones in Wellington and Christchurch), they will be well worth attending. There are some materials on-line from that seminar.

Oh and David Farrar was shocked to find that Kiwiblog had been advertising the seminars :twisted:

The cruelest cuts

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, March 12th, 2010 - 8 comments

Cuts to prisoner rehabilitation, night classes, and the Super Gold Card aren’t about saving money. The government is only too happy to sign blank cheques for stupid projects like Transmission Gully and the Holiday Highway on the vaguest cost estimates. No, these successful policies are having the financial life bled out of them because they contradict National’s ideology.

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