Does this Government have the money to deliver?

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, April 30th, 2018 - 76 comments
Categories: labour, Politics, treasury - Tags:

I’m sure all revealed at Budget 2018, but the financial management of this government is not surefooted.

On December 14 2017 Minister Robertson announced a mini-budget. This included confirmation of electoral promises including:

  • Working For Families increase
  • Winter Energy Payment
  • Increased carers benefits
  • Increased Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks
  • Increased Accommodation Supplement

 

The Minister of Finance also announced at that time that annual $1 billion+ contributions to the NZ Superfund would recommence.

Since that time we have been regularly reassured that all the money was fine.

On January 25th he reassured us that the money was just flowing in no problem.

On January 30th he reassured us that our international credit rating and our economy was excellent.

On March 7th he further reassured us that the money the government had to spend was hosing in.

 

On April 4th, just a month out from the budget, apparently the money was coming done like Fanta out of the sky, and our debt position was just awesome.

 

Let’s not forget the stumbles over the transport tax that left Twyford to swing.

On April 17th, just four weeks out from the Budget, another spectacularly rosy assessment that the Minister could not hope but agree with.

 

And yet here we are, three weeks out from budget, the Minister of Health has to start walking back previously costed election promises.

 

Within the extraordinarily disciplined processes that Treasury has to go through to get a budget stable through December and January in any one year, Ministries have to deliver stable facts. They have had plenty of time to get through the “hand grenades in the bottom drawer”, as Twyford described them over the weekend. There are no excuses for this kind of ineptitude.

The Minister of Finance should have had this locked down with Treasury many months ago. It is weak management built on a record of false assurances, and excuses.

He has three weeks to prove that he is the Minister of Finance that this government needs him to be.

76 comments on “Does this Government have the money to deliver?”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I think there is a lot of political play going on.

    Jacinda has also told us not expect much more than what has already been announced. They are bringing expectations down as much as possible.

    There will be a few zingers in there. don’t worry yet

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Is Ardern following a previous recipe slavishly?

      From Bowalley Road – link in my comment below.

      For Clark, the trick was to keep public expectations subdued by “under-promising and over-delivering”. For her strategy to succeed, however, it was necessary for Cullen to present the government’s books as being healthy – but not too healthy.

  2. Sacha 2

    This govt are making it very easy for the Nats to oppose spending priorities like free tertiary education ahead of cheaper doctors’ visits.

    If they do not deliver tangible results in the next couple of years, good luck getting re-elected. Time for boldness, not pissing around.

  3. greywarshark 3

    I have been reading Chris Trotter in Bowalley Road and it is interesting to get different viewpoints as he bends to view the Labour coalition to try for a 360 degree understanding of it. He has been concerned about Robertson and the conservatives quick endorsement of austerity budgeting that is behind the ‘Budget Responsibility Rules’.

    https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/clarkism-still-driving-labour-party.html

    It would be a sad blow to left supporters to be forced to concede that National is correct in its gloating jibes that ‘Labour has over-promised and cannot now deliver’. Has Labour handcuffed itself, an inept response to bullying RWs, with its promises to not raise taxes etc. They now should unlock, tear off the chains, and simply say things are worse than we thought and we need to do this like National did, and then keep rolling out the times that National put up indirect taxes, cut needed, not wasted, government support and funding. Gnashional did this because they don’t play fair and want to run the country as a sort of quasi-business to bend and shape as they please for their own supporters and funders’ benefit. Their self-entitled supporters have twin objects; they want the best of the handouts, and also to hold up a surplus with pride so that all the simple-minded citizens can be impressed because they have absorbed all the confusing propaganda about household and the country’s economic management being the same.

    And this will have happened because the financial-leading group in Labour don’t have the courage to make some amending changes to the peculiarly destructive policies that they introduced in 1984. Is it going to be a couple of high profile improvements but seen to be BAU (bullshit as usual) at the end of the day? And our last chance to catch onto the disappearing hope of a decent society before it slithers over the cliff when Gnasional get back in. We will then have a virtual one-party fascist state, to which other countries have declined into.

    • cleangreen 3.1

      100% greywarshark;

      Yes labour has handcuffed itself to the ‘next Election loosing post,’

      Simply by choosing to using “fiscal restraint” instead of over ‘good social policy funding.’

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        cleangreen
        We can only hope that the words ‘appeared to have handcuffed’
        will be the correct description. It may be that Robertson is still using his training wheels, and will overcome his speed wobbles if not now, then very definitely SOON (even if we have to wait till after this Budget.

        It must be between this and the next or he will find that his hair turns grey and his face gets as lined as that of good old handsome-harry Bill, the fresh-faced, wide-open-minded down-on-the-farm, Gnash boy from the South. Robertson and his wimpy, well-dressed cohorts will be running for cover if they don’t turn up for the punters who are still connected to the trickle drainage, and want better liquidity.

      • OnceWasTim 3.1.2

        “Simply by choosing to using “fiscal restraint” instead of over ‘good social policy funding.’”

        Well that’s not the only reason @ CG. In fact we should probably take a step back and consider the policy advice given them and where and WHY it came from.
        It’d be interesting to know @Advantage’s ‘take’ on the ussyou (going forward)

        • cleangreen 3.1.2.1

          Good points OnceWasTim, subject; – Labour chose “Fiscal restraint”

          OWT said: = “consider the policy advice given them (Labour) and where and WHY it came from”

          My take they got that advice from treasury who are riddled with National party “stool pigeons”

  4. Rosemary McDonald 4

    Am I aiming too high in thinking that a true left wing progressive government, with a long term goal to ease inequality and raise the many up from a just-nearly-making-ends-meet existence, would aspire to ending WFF, Accommodation Allowance, Winter Energy Payments and carer benefits?

    Instead, bold and assertive economic policies would be devised and implemented to re-create the environment where wages were enough to live on and a family could do ok on one income. Where rents were affordable and the power bill not result in a heart attack. Where family carers were paid a respectful wage not a stigmatising benefit.

    Dreams are free.

    • McFlock 4.1

      Might be a bit high with NZ1 as the coalition decider.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Instead, bold and assertive economic policies would be devised and implemented to re-create the environment where wages were enough to live on and a family could do ok on one income.

      Wages are set by the market – the ones in China and other low wage states.

      Where rents were affordable and the power bill not result in a heart attack.

      Those are set by the owners so that they can bludge effectively.

      Where family carers were paid a respectful wage not a stigmatising benefit.

      That’s decided by rich people who don’t pay taxes if they can possibly help it and can thus afford to lobby government to not raise taxes or change legislation so that tax structures that minimise taxes for them alone aren’t removed.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.1

        “….the market-”

        an appropriately seriously disturbing rendition of the free market anthem…

  5. McFlock 5

    Dunno about locking it down.

    And it’s not just Treasury/finance. It could be that the MoH has delivered updated cost projections on the policy, so it actually costs a bit more than was initially projected. I.e. Robertson put aside the cash, but doctors’ fees are now looking to go up more than expected as contract negotiations progress.

    I guess we’ll have to see how bad the “phasing in” really is.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    And yet here we are, three weeks out from budget, the Minister of Health has to start walking back previously costed election promises.

    That’s really not surprising considering the mess that National left the health sector in.

    They have had plenty of time to get through the “hand grenades in the bottom drawer”

    I’m not sure if they have actually. All these ‘hand grenades’ seem to have been well hidden by the previous government and it’s probably going to take some serious trawling through the books to find them all.

    It seems to me that we need all public books to be open in near real time so that these things can’t be hidden. It’s part of being an open government.

    • Babayaga 6.1

      Hand grenades? There are no hand grenades. The last National government inherited and had to navigate an economy going into recession, a GFC, earthquakes, rebuilding a major city, and they still managed to leave the economy in great shape.

    • cleangreen 6.2

      100% correct Draco,

      These National Party operators were professional at firstly shedding costs in every department they controlled, and then hiding anything including unpaid bills from all these cuts.

      Most are still overlooking the fact that they sold off all the assets they could also at this time so they flogged off our assets and weakened our economy and Government earning potential so they only relied on tax take to get through their time.

      So we need to be aware of constant ‘hand-grenades’ turning up here for some time now.

  7. ianmac 7

    A good view on the dilemma facing this Government.
    Squaring the Budget Circle
    by Brian Easton
    “Should the government borrow more, spend more, tax more?”

    The government could borrow more but the proceeds should, broadly, be spent only upon projects which are of benefit to those servicing the debt in the future. (Some may give a commercial return either directly – e.g. housing and state-owned enterprises – or indirectly – infrastructure – but some may improve future wellbeing without a commercial return – such as environmental enhancement.)

    The government could spend more on needed public services (and social transfers) but, broadly, such spending should be funded by additional taxation.

    So those who want extra current public spending are, underneath, demanding higher taxes. I do not quarrel with them, providing the additional taxes are raised fairly.

    Not that simple then?
    https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/squaring-the-budget-circle

    • Observer Tokoroa 7.1

      All the Fuss

      The money is missing because Auckland has never bothered to play its part as an organised and sharing community. Money in AKL It is a shambles.

      It simply does not give a stuff about anything – except the individual. The wealthy at that.

      They expect the rest of Aotearoa will prop them up, in spite of their slothful behaviour. They expect the rest of NZ to pay for their Prisons; their illiteracy; their illhealth; their Drugs Culture; their Violence. Plus their inability to design and build.

      They expect their housing will be gifted to them. And their infra structure.

      So, I find that when you have a couple of million loose cannons flopping around Auckland, it is pretty ridiculous to blame Treasuries and Finance Planners to reckon expenditure to last cent.

      Add to that, The National Party has been spewing Human shit into the walls of Middlemore Hospital. And they are are white washing themselves. C’mon Advantage. Write something that makes sense. Eh ?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        The money is missing because Auckland has never bothered to play its part as an organised and sharing community.

        They expect the rest of Aotearoa will prop them up, in spite of their slothful behaviour.

        They expect their housing will be gifted to them. And their infra structure.

        Ah, that lie again.

        Auckland has been subsidising the rest of the country for decades. It is the rest of the country that are bludging off of Auckland.

        It simply does not give a stuff about anything – except the individual. The wealthy at that.

        I’m pretty sure that all the poor people in Auckland don’t give a fuck about the wealthy. And they do care about community.

        It seems more you that doesn’t care about community and are slothful as you demand ever more from Auckland to prop up your lifestyle blocks.

      • KJT 7.1.2

        Aucklanders pay the bulk of all taxes.

        Just saying.

        • cleangreen 7.1.2.1

          KJT

          What you forgot to mention was that it is the regions produce most of the exports that fuel our economy.

          So those regions should also get some of the cake to but do not under national. the amount of regional funds decreased by 50% the new Transport minister Phil Tywford said, as far as the transport funding goes under NZ Land Transport Funding.
          Twyford said over Easter eight people had died, the worst road toll in several years.

          He said early work by officials suggested $800 million worth of safety improvements that could make a significant difference.

          “This shifts policy priorities away from costly white elephants.”

          He said transport spending in many regions had decreased under the previous government.

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12025268

          “Half of vehicle journeys are on local roads, yet less than 5 per cent of the funding has been spent on improving them.”
          “The fact is we don’t need new motorways, we need to fix up the roads we already have. It is rural roads where people are dying and it is rural roads where the money needs to be spent so this is plain common sense,” he said.

        • Adrian 7.1.2.2

          Ah, no, to the both of you Draco and KJT, Take the wine industry for instance, 2 billion in foreign earnings, the vast amount of the money earned is banked in Auckland but earned in the provinces because Auckland is where the head offices are and they even claim the provincial workers as ” Aucklanders” because that’s where they are paid from.
          The “Auckland wine industry ” has 16 very small vineyards but almost 4000 ” workers “.
          WTF

      • greywarshark 7.1.3

        Observer T
        You give yourself away with ‘slothful behaviour’. You are politically illiterate and verging on religious cult talk.

        You have the same problem that all we ordinary people have. We don’t understand how we are being financed, how the country is being run. Auckland makes most of the money, so there is a lot there.

        At the same time Auckland has been used as a drawcard to get foreigners to come to NZ and bring their money with them. It’s part of NZs trading system. We are trading residence here for their money so we can put it into our capacious money vats. Trouble is the vats keep running out. We actually suffer from a money drought and just as householders only have about three days of food at any one time, the same is true of the state of our nation’s finances.

        Aucklanders hate the way their city is being bloated. All routes in to Auckland are bloated with people being enticed to come and visit, to stay, bring your money, bring in really cheap labour so we can all make big profits as we sell at the price that is appropriate for our standard of living. Except our workers and the imported labourers don’t get paid that standard of living.

        And down on the farm it all looks good and wealthy in the city because you choose to look at the best bits. And up in the city where the poor people live, it all looks good on the farms, because we hear about Fonterra and all the resources you are grabbing and using to make big money. But all of the farmers aren’t getting big money. And their pathetic money-mad lobby group doesn’t lobby so that resources like hospitals and education for all farming families are available and accessable.

        Observer I have never noticed you being very thoughtful. This is probably too much for you to read. But if you did and you started pushing for a better economy and standard of living and becoming knowledgable and really caring about your people inn the country, and our people in the city, and making sure that we do things far more wisely to provide reasonable conditions for all, all that would be good. Really good.

      • Baba Yaga 7.1.4

        “The National Party has been spewing Human shit into the walls of Middlemore Hospital. ”

        It’s a shame people are still repeating those lies.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12036681

        • Louis 7.1.4.1

          What lies Baba?

          From your link, the statement “around sewage issues at Middlemore Hospital, they were so small” doesn’t deny sewage issues.

          “Health Minister David Clark said all the stories about sewage had originated from the DHB”

          “I’m aware that there is a contingency in the money for the Scott Building repair that allows for the possibility of further sewage or other issues to be found in the walls.

          “I’ve been made aware previously that there was stuff found in the walls and that that’s a possibility again in the future, albeit merely a possibility not a certainty.”

          “A multitude of building issues at Middlemore Hospital and the extent of them have been revealed recently: Rot and toxic mould caused by leaking, asbestos, seismic and power supply issues, and the sewage leaks.”

          • Baba Yaga 7.1.4.1.1

            “What lies Baba?”

            This lie “The National Party has been spewing Human shit into the walls of Middlemore Hospital.”

            The ‘sewage’ issue was a oopsie in the corridor.

  8. dukeofurl 8

    You have rather a benign view of Treasurys aptitude

    “The Minister of Finance should have had this locked down with Treasury many months ago”

    Unless you have a skill set based in Treasury and can vouch for the clowns Id rather believe based on previous results that in fact all the ‘estimates’ are rough, some worse than that with grievous errors.

    After all any budget is always followed by supplementary spending as they discover the ‘unders, overs and the ‘OMG who fogot that’ items.

    https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/budgets/supplementary-estimates-appropriations-government-new-zealand-year-ending-30-june-2017
    For those not looking it up Health Supplementary Spending 2017 was $2.8 bill by my reckoning – not claiming to be expert or anything

    Locked down indeed !

    • Ad 8.1

      😊 always true with the updates.

      I could add “… locked down to print, present on behalf of government to parliament, and enact.”

      … to be fulsome

  9. greywarshark 9

    This got more thoughtful and detailed as I went along. If someone has time there it could be a thinkpiece post. I have to go and do something practical for the present now so can’t take it further sorry.

    I was just thinking about how fury will grow if Labour coalition does not find a way to start tackling the quagmire that National has let us in for, which Labour gave them licence to do.

    But then other possibilities occurred to me. I have been thinking about parallels with pre WW2 and the views that David Low took of it and the criticism and threats he received for not being conciliatory to Hitler.

    There is the Low cartoon where Hitler and Stalin find common interests greeting each other over the body of Poland.
    David Low responded to the invasion of Poland with one of his most important cartoons. Entitled, Rendezvous, the drawing shows “the two unlikely allies congratulate each other over the body of Poland”. (62) Low wrote: “Eight days after the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, while the world was still thunderstruck at the accord of two regimes which had been so inimical to each other, the German Blitzkrieg tore through Poland from the West to meet Russian troops oncoming from the East. The pact had arranged for a partition of Poland. Officially, past recriminations between the new associates were forgotten in present admiration of mutual interests”. (63)

    Could it be that Labour has managed to find a mutual interest in the same world that National envisages? That NZ is to be divided up between the two parties in an Entente Cordiale (behind the scenes, while the peeps are confused with fake news)?

    There is the cartoon where Hitler marches up a red carpet covering steps formed by the kneeling politicians of countries he is seizing
    who are labelled ‘The Spineless Leaders of Democracy’.

    There is a letter from Mrs Asquith praising the attempts of Chamberlain to appease and prevent war. We now know that these talks were giving valuable time to make some real preparations but people like Mrs A and unready politicians and leaders, weren’t thinking strategically and of important values that were being swept under the carpet.

    Then there was a humble letter to Low from Sigmund Freud.
    However, others welcomed his criticisms of Adolf Hitler. This included Sigmund Freud who wrote: “A Jewish refugee from Vienna, a very old man personally unknown to you, cannot resist the impulse to tell you how much he admires your glorious art and your inexorable, unfailing criticism.”

    David Low thought that the British had problems with cartoons as propaganda. “I had been told often enough that the British never had taken propaganda seriously, because they believed in themselves so much as to regard the rightness of their causes to be self-evident. Certainly, although they were fighting what was ostensibly a war of ideas, in striking contrast to the Nazis, the Russians, the French and the Americans they placed little value upon the presentation of their case to the enemy in cartoons.” (50)
    http://spartacus-educational.com/Jlow.htm

    Note that Low refers to the inability of the British to absorb ideas, to think their way through, or view from an objective side, the dangerous miasma surrounding and clouding their minds and view.

    We have had a battle of ideas and falsehoods since 1984. It only appears coherent to those who don’t spend time unpicking the apparent certainties, the brash statements of scientific and moral reliability. I think Labour will have to deliver and move over not just squat content on the pot, like any rich royalist or republican. Representatives of the working people they appear not to be, but instead hell-bent on leaving that stuff behind, with the same attitude to the working class carrying on in the industrial tradition, as was taken to the noble Maori.

    The superior methods produced by technology will sweep much and many away; it will be keep up or be swept away into irrelevance and probably death. It is viewed with a fatalistic Darwinism that we will have a cashless society, that there will be no paper, that no-one needs to bother about history, which has nothing to match the unbounded delights of vast and arcane knowledge available to us (if we can access it).

    A ‘dying race’. The Māori population continued its downward spiral in the wake of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, reaching a low of about 42,000 in 1896. Population decline and racist ideologies combined to fuel forewarnings about Māori extinction. In 1856 physician and politician Dr Isaac Featherston ….
    https://teara.govt.nz/en/taupori-maori-maori-population-change/page-2

    Then it was just Maori the upper classes were willing to dismiss with a tear-soaked handkerchief, or not. Now the toll grows akin to short people in a rising flood. I would think that we need to follow what Maori are doing. They have never been effectively soaked in British cant about the Empah and the wonders of belonging to it, and having opportunities around the world after being grabbed to serve in the Royal Navy or being shipped off to colonies at the drop of a handkerchief or something. Or being sent away from home at some tender age from the estate or India and sent to boarding school or some distant relave to have a lonely life where human warmth and some affection might come to a young person in perverse ways that skew the personality for life.

  10. patricia bremner 10

    Where has this new Government failed so far?

    Why are expectations “up there?”

    Who said it would happen first budget?

    Why are we so unsupportive?

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Jesus if the noise on my twitter feed is any guide the car addicted entitled middle class has just been subjected to morning raids and summary executions by a communist dictatorship, rather than just having to pay a petrol levy.

  12. SPC 12

    It was Labour and Greens who decided on limiting government spending to 30% of GDP – not Labour alone.

    But NZF, (fearing another global recession may be looming) like National, made no such promise, so maybe “acting PM Winston Peters” will save the coalition from its folly.

    • Pat 12.1

      thats a reasonable point to make but as Shane Jones has discovered the time between having the funds and the capacity to make use of them can be problematic….until the projects are designed and the capacity aligned there is little point in prematurely committing to debt that is unlikely to be drawn down this side of the next election

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        This is what Chris Trotter has said about Jones feeling fenced in by bureaucrats when some positive forward moving policy and action is required.
        https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/shane-jones-critique-of-bureaucratic.html

        • Pat 12.1.1.1

          yep…have read that, and while not quite the point im attempting to make it would be in mind of the Cabinet i’d expect

          • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1

            Are you thinking Pat that, if this government is approaching the mass of problems with no willingness to invest in the country but just cope on limited commons, then only a small doable number of projects should be planned and implemented?

            Unless it can be finished in the three years available before next election it is only rational to cut down on hopes of substantial progress you think?

            I think we need Popeye and his muscles as a figurehead for the left’s banner. But wait, I think he smoked a pipe. The present worrying little perfectionists would reject him because of that. We can’t think practically and bravely, but timidly have to dot our i’s and cross our t’s before sallying forth to tackle the disasters we are facing. And the grinning masks of the National Party and their gross attitudes hover like infectious mosquitoes.

            • Pat 12.1.1.1.1.1

              not at all greywarshark…what i think will happen (not necessarily what i would advocate) is the coalition will proceed with their agenda which has been pretty much outlined to date and stay within their self imposed fiscal restriction and use the resources of government and the next 18 months to 2 years to develop a substantial programme that will require considerable tax changes and significant funding that will then be put to the electorate at the next election…that is when the hoped for ‘progressive’ agenda will be unveiled.

              I think the radical change that many desire but have written off as window dressing is simply delayed, not abandoned and mainly because they hadn’t designed it prior…which is a failing of sorts, in itself.

              • greywarshark

                Pat
                I like your vision. Hope that is what comes to pass, could very well trundle along those rails in a reliable way. Not to be derailed by any hooligan!

              • Anne

                Interestingly Jacinda sort of alluded to such a scenario in her press conference yesterday Pat. I don’t recall her actual words, but in answer to a question about whether the government would borrow any money to fund their policies, she intimated they would stay within their fiscal limits as promised at this present time but further down the track it might become necessary in order to overcome the current dire state of our public services such as health and housing etc.

                [My words note but that was the essence of her reply]

                • Pat

                  Its worth remembering Jacinda Ardern only came to the leadership weeks before the election and it is largely the leader that drives the policy direction…..a problem previously with the leadership revolving door disrupting policy formulation.

  13. Baba Yaga 13

    Unfortunately, like many ministers in this government, Robertson is hopelessly out of his depth, and he is dealing with a PM who has no experience of running anything, let alone a country. Increasingly Joyce’s fiscal hole projection is looking far too conservative.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      The coalition is doing a much better job than their predecessors, who, despite their constant braying about economic competence, consistently failed to deliver. It takes a prodigy of self-deception to entertain Joyce’s lies – effort better spent on cleaning up the squalor left by National’s rorting.

      Robertson is nothing special economically speaking. But he’s straighter than the entire previous government (a fucking low standard truth be told). He cannot help but do a better job because the crooks weren’t even trying. One need only drive around Christchurch to understand – it’s a visual metaphor of National’s economic acumen – NZ’s second largest city, still in ruins and the EQC funds all gone down the rabbit hole.

      • Baba Yaga 13.1.1

        Good spin, Stuart, but as usual you don’t allow facts to get in the way of a good story.

        The overwhelming international opinion is that Labour inherited a strong economy, with low inflation, high employment, low debt and low interest rates. In other words, very strong fundamentals. If the economy was not so strong, Labour could not achieve it’s spending spree without a massive increase in debt. Suck it up, Stuart, the Nats did well.

        • Exkiwiforces 13.1.1.1

          Come on mate, Why don’t you take Stuart advice and have a wee drive around CHCH to see what your No Mates National Party did to my old home town!!!

          Don’t even get me started on ECAN or the complete lack or no allocation of funds to the DWP 2016. Just like the last time the No Mates Party was in the 90’s that stave the Defence of funds and ran it down because they didn’t would to plan for the long term in re-capitalised in new equipment until it fell apart. Your No Mates Party carry on where they if off by running every public service department into the ground.

          • Baba Yaga 13.1.1.1.1

            I visit Christchurch occasionally, and the various parties involved have done a very good job at rebuilding what was a devastation.

            • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s a perspective, but hardly the consensus. A great many rorts are coming out that go a long way to explaining why the rebuild is far from complete, and the cost of these alone is looking likely to dwarf Joyce’s alleged fiscal hole.

            • KJT 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Stayed at the airport the whole time. Did you?

        • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.2

          “The overwhelming international opinion” (citation required)

          …is neither here nor there. The treacherous incompetent lying thieving scumbags of the previous government are accountable, not to the talking heads of international finance, but to us, the citizens they have neglected and abused.

          The Gnats were and are a garbage fire and none of your lies improve them.

          • Baba Yaga 13.1.1.2.1

            Stuart there is already a mounting list of lies told by this government, and they’ve only been in power a matter of months.

            • Stuart Munro 13.1.1.2.1.1

              (citation required)

              • Baba Yaga

                For what? This governments lies? How many would you like me to quote?

                “Andrew Kirton, the Labour Party’s general secretary, said he stood by the way the party had handled the situation, which he said was done with a “victim-led” focus on the back of advice from a Wellington sexual violence charity.”
                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/102201208/prime-minister-unaware-of-sexual-misconduct-allegations-at-labour-camp-last-month

                “He said he wasn’t aware of any of the victims taking their complaint to the police, although both he and Labour Party president Nigel Haworth had offered their support to the victims if they chose to do so.”
                (Same source)

                “We have also offered further, professional support to those involved.”
                (Same source. The offer was not made until hours before the media broke the story).

          • greywarshark 13.1.1.2.2

            Bab-Y
            Where does your authority come from to criticise the left so roundly and so surely? What value or help is your opinion in giving understanding? Have you got any professional qualifications in anything relevant, or just a Major in Throwing Opinions Around That Are Critical of the parties that you don’t belong to.

            Unfortunately like many of the RW parties that drop their effluvium on these columns I think you are hopelessly out of your depth, and have little ability to review your thinking to fact check.

        • dukeofurl 13.1.1.3

          Low Debt ?

          The ‘nett’ debt to GDP ration in 2008 was 5%, now its just under 25%

          So it increased 5X ?

          That also hides the fact the Cullen Fund at over $30 bill now as is an ‘asset’ as it was $9 bill in 2008.

          Total gross debt now is around $90 bill, or more like 50% of GDP the figures only made better by counting Cullen Funds $30 bill + and ACC reserves of $37 bill as general government assets
          EQC reserves have been spent, and those other funds are ring fenced for other spending.

    • Barfly 13.2

      I think you may need a prescription for a new monocle – your one eye is seeing poorly.

  14. Nic the NZer 14

    As should be highlighted, all that is needed is for the government to pass its budget for the spending plans in it to be ratified. This works regardless of tax collection, though often more tax is collected off the back of more spending.

    The establishment of these facts has been discussed in recent posts on MMT on the standard.

    If the government starts walking back its spending promises that is because them and treasury want to do so. There is no force majure requiring them to do so however.

  15. Wilfrid Whattam 16

    It’s time to understand Modern Monetary Theory, in particular that a sovereign currency issuing country is not fiscally constrained; it can never run out of money, taxes do not fund government spending, deficits should be judged not by size but by outcome, and a lot more. The Budget Responsibility commitment is sheer nonsense. Please read William Mitchell or L Randall Wray (and other progressive economists) to get a grip of macroeconomic reality. Pity Labour is so ignorant, or perhaps just too timid, on this. It appears that Jacinda has not outgrown obeisance to neoliberal myths.

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