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Don’t cut our future – Budget cut protest

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, April 30th, 2011 - 41 comments
Categories: budget 2011 - Tags:

The signs are clear that the Goverment is ploughing ahead with spending cuts and that Budget 2011 will contain yet more cuts to public services and still maintain tax cuts for the wealthy.

Unlike Britain where they’ve taken an axe to public spending and preannounced massive cuts and layoffs, Key and English are more of the death by a thousand cuts persuasion.

But unions, community groups and concerned individuals are getting together to tell the government that more and deeper cuts to social services are the worst approach to be taking and will only make tough times tougher. There actually is an alternative.

If you’re in Wellington come and join in

12.15 – 1pm Parliament Grounds, Thursday 19 May


41 comments on “Don’t cut our future – Budget cut protest”

  1. Afewknowthetruth 1

    What makes you think we have a future?

    We are on track for economic meltdown courtesy of collapse the industrial economy, and environmental meltdown courtesy of futile attempts to prop up the industrial economy.

    Anyway, people are not suffering enough yet. They’ll keep watching the distractions provided by the elites who are running the show -weddings, football matches, motor sports, cooking programmes, talent quests etc. until the screens go blank.

  2. David 2

    Strange question but why dont Labour advocate a higher retirement age, be better than all these cuts (although there is a fair amount of waste and rubbish spending) and make super more sustainable for the benefit of us hard working kiwis who aint millionaires.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Higher retirement ages work OK for some, but for others they are a death sentence, e.g. those who have held manual labouring jobs all their lives and their bodies are breaking down by the time they are 55 or 60.

      Also not sure why workers have to work harder for longer when capital is not being asked to contribute more and sacrifice more.

      • Herodotus 2.1.1

        Somewhere along the line something has to give. Be it the underhanded way of cutting e.g. Lab and their cutting of support for post breast cancer surgery or the culling of those on waiting lists of be it by cutting their budgets (as is being indictaed this year) up front by spending less. Both result in less govt, taxing more and then expecting those who suffer to pay for themselves.
        Just noticed my power bill, Vector increased power from 13.56c/kWh to 16.21c/kWh, funny how then they made contact to fix this for 3 years a week after the increase. The 1st month was a short one so did not notice, I hope that there is some global warming to keep the power bills down and sthen i can feed the family- All we need now is for interest rates to commence increasing 🙁

    • KJT 2.2

      Super will be unsustainable and there will be no jobs as well if the NZ economy is not changed from being a support system for a few dairy farmers and many financial thieves.

      Notice the collapse of UK soon after they were crowing that most of their economy consisted of financial services. Ponzi schemes.

      The mantra super is unaffordable is has been endlessly repeated like every other right wing mantra. We now have people on the left who should know better repeating it.

      It is no more unaffordable than any other tax payer funded social wages. The originators of this idea are the same people who are against any form of welfare, state funded education and infrastructure so they can screw the rest of us by overcharging for private monopoly control.

      It will all be affordable in a successful sustainable economy.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Labour tried. The Cullen Fund was to make retirement more affordable and may have been the last chance that New Zealand had to preserve the current system.

        Without it either we discuss an increase in the retirement age or a reduction in the benefit. Key is being disingenuous in refusing to debate either possibility.

        • Lanthanide

          If you have no other form of savings or income, the pension is already only liveable if you aren’t paying accommodation costs.

        • rosy

          Or discuss if it should be means tested. All other state benefits are – of course there is still the problem of hiding income.

          Problem: Older people vote. The young not so much.

        • Jenny

          “….either we discuss an increase in the retirement age or a reduction in the benefit. Key is being disingenuous in refusing to debate either possibility.”


          Way to go Micky, taking the Nats to task for not discussing the Labour Party’s two options for cutting social spending.

          Instead of arguing with National which way to cut social spending. How about a third option. A financial transaction tax to fully fund social spending?

          A bridge to far for Labour?

          Would Labour rather cut pensions than tax rich speculators?

          Are you trying to discourage working people approaching retirement age (the so called baby boomers) from voting for Labour?

          Tax Justice AKA Hone Heke tax

  3. Mac1 3

    David, Brash advocated 75 as the age of Super entitlement. What might working till we’re seventy-five mean to us hard-working Kiwis who ain’t millionaires?

    Most of us will have been worked to death by then. Much cheaper all round. Does that answer the question for you? Edit… oh, snap, CV!

    • Colonial Viper 3.1


      Yeah, if you’ve been an MP for years sauntering around in taxis and eating at Bellamys then working past 70 is not such a biggie. Otherwise…

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I don’t think being an MP is a particularly easy job, especially the ones that Brash has had of late – leader of the National party, and now leader of Act.

  4. David 4

    I am a painter and dont see why I should retire at 65 and then have 20 plus years of the state looking after me, I just dont think its affordable and would happily work for a couple more years in return for security of state super and not at the same time impoverishing my kids.
    There was a guy on National Radio this week who was 70 and walked from Mexico to Canada ! My folks who are in their 70s went up the Amazon last year in a little boat and slept in hammocks.
    I really think it is a platform Labour could get some good traction on, Key is in the corner on this one and most people know they wont / dont want to retire at 65. Make Labour look fiscally responsible for a change rather than gimmicky gst off veges.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Oh I see, you didnt have an honest question to start with.

      I know lots of people in trades and many of them are only in their late 40’s/early 50’s and they are fucked.

      Especially the ones who played contact sports in their youth.

      Make Labour look fiscally responsible for a change rather than gimmicky gst off veges.

      Of course its gimmicky to you, you are wealthy enough that it makes no difference.

      Other families though really need that extra $40-$50/month help.

      Not that you give a fuck because its a “gimmick” to you.

      My folks who are in their 70s went up the Amazon last year in a little boat and slept in hammocks.

      Oh nicely retired are they, in their 70’s

      Lucky them

      Trust you to want to deprive others of the same pleasures your parents have.

      By the way, why do you want workers to work longer and harder, instead of making capital contribute more and sacrifice more?

      • Herodotus 4.1.1

        I have always thoght that should I attain the retirement age there will not be a retirement age (I no that this statement makes no logical sense, but still conveys the message !!), this will also show the issue with Kiwisaver that there has to be an age of retirement-We were sold a pup there as well. I/you will retire when we are able to be that 25,35,65,85 or when we are either incapable of working or die. Problem then is that the sickness benefit will become a “pension” as many who do physical work/computer work will have burnt out their bodies and be in constant pain as the health budget will not allow for new hips, arthritis etc.

        • Colonial Viper

          I’m hearing you mate.

          Although “David” is such a trooper he wants to put his body on the line until he’s 70 or 75 for the good of the country! What a guy. Gotta admire that.

          Funny thing is, all the painters I know who have been in the game for longer than 20 years are truly stuffed and have either left the trade or looking at exiting soon.

          Maybe “David” is just an excellent example of manly health.

          • David

            I dont really want to get into a tit for tat but I have been a painter for 27 years, my offsider is 63 and fit as a fiddle and neither of us particularly feel past our used by date.
            With life expectancy at 86 and expected to rise further I think we need to look at not only the cost but chucking 65 year olds into retirement when they still have a few good years in them is dumb.

            • Colonial Viper

              Hey I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen. A lot of people start running their first marathons in their 50’s.

              Having said that, they are a very small minority, and you and your mates’ luck should not be taken as if everyone can or should still be climbing ladders or on top of roofs when they are 63 or 73.

              So answer me: why aren’t you asking capital to sacrifice and give more when you are asking workers to sacrifice and give more?

              • David

                As far as capital I quite like my pension fund and dont want it taxed at all as I have already paid tax on it from working hard.

            • Herodotus

              There are some occupations e.g. bricklayers (especially those in Chch who have to lay the heaviest blocks in NZ) roofers who do it hard. For a great builders trade Carpet layer is the one to go for ever 10-14years you go back and replace the carpet after 30 years in the ind you have 3 generations of house to lay or replace!!!! though on knees, but they wear pads !!
              40 years on the computer just wait for those with injuries to appear poor eyesight (and try to get ACC to recognise that one !!!!) and fingers/wrist long term injuries, and the tensio from being at a desk al hours of the day.
              The only bright spot is that extended families WILL be required to help the elderly. There will be no money from one generation to the next to be passed down. That is without including the death taxes that Hone wants. Another example of blindly firing bullets and not facing up to the real issues. How I would love to have John and Phil over for dinner … at different times of course !!!!

            • Puddleglum

              David, I’m not sure what your point is. It’s not compulsory to retire at 65.

              All super does is say that, at age 65, we collectively will contribute to your living expenses because you’ve been working hard for all those years – consider it a repayment of your years of income tax paying, if you like (a kind of compulsory super scheme).

              Also, why is it ‘unaffordable’ – especially when “most people know they wont / dont want to retire at 65” and so, presumably, will keep working and, fortuitously, pay income tax? (Not to mention what relatively modest tax increases could do.)

              And, not sure where you got the figure of 86 years of life expectancy from. Here it looks more like 78 for a male. Seems that it’s only if you’re a non-Maori female that you can expect to live until your 86.

              If you’re a Maori male your life expectancy is about 73. Making the age of eligibility for super 75 makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

              • Colonial Viper

                Dave knows that plenty of “non-maori females” aged 80 and over continue to be active painters.

      • David 4.1.2

        Easy Tiger. I guess if you break your body playing sport it dont matter if you are 40 or 70 but for the 99.9% of us who dont play NPC we value our bodies because they are what we use to earn a living.
        Vege prices jump all over the place especially in Winter we just change the ones we buy, Peppers go from 90 cents to 3.99 for example so we dont buy them we buy winter seasonal veges instead.
        Dad is 75 and being in England doesnt get a state pension as he has his own private one like most do over there and he retired when he could afford to.

    • DJ 4.2

      Nobody’s forcing you to retire at 65. But how old are you? It’s easy to put down the retirement age when you’re in your 30’s or even 40’s. Nobody has the same body. Just because there’s a 70 year old bloke who can walk from Mexico to Canada doesn’t mean every other old bloke can. Besides the state’s ot really looking after you, the state’s giving you back your tax money.

      I’d also like to ask what you think of painting practices 30 years ago compared to now. Because there’s a lot more knowledge now about the effects paint chemicals can have on the brain, effects that can make it harder to work into old age and do the things you’ve described.

      Anyway I agree with Winston and Cullen when it comes to the retirement age. We need to get our exports up if this economy’s going to move forward, that’s if we’re going to afford a retirement age and welfare state.

      • David 4.2.1

        I am 45 and fit as a fiddle (the odd ache and pain at the end of the week). The paints these days are brilliant especially NZ made Resene and nothing like the old rubbish, I use a neck brace for big ceiling jobs, a sprayer when I can and most roofs these days are permanent colours so we dont have to do too much of that but there is no shortage of young fellas we can use.
        Technology has made the trades so much easier these days, nail guns, pre made trusses, lifting gear etc etc and of course there is always the “enthusiastic” apprentice who sleeps in 3 days out of 6 and you have to carry for a few years before you get anything useful out of them.
        I think the brain is fine.

        • Colonial Viper

          so we dont have to do too much of that but there is no shortage of young fellas we can use.

          I love it, use the young fellas to do the hard jobs

          But what about the old fellas who aren’t employers but just ordinary workers who are still doing the hard jobs?

          Seriously, you may be benefitting from new technology now, what about the guys who are in their fifties and came through doing it the hard old fashioned way?

          Still amazed you are asking workers to sacrifice their bodies, but not willing to ask the same level of sacrifice from capital.

        • Mac1

          I’m glad you’re still fit as a fiddle, Dave, at forty five. My house painter mate at 60 plus has huge problems with his shoulders. His heart problems are probably not able to be laid at his painting door but are not assisted by heavy physical work.

          He is glad of socialised medicine, knowing that the state will back stop him there, and ACC did ante up with hearing aids for him for the damage caused by driving tractors and using noisy machinery as a maintenance man.

          He has always been a hard-working, cheerful and willing worker, but still his body has started to betray him at just over 60. He by the way does not like spray guns, being the old trade three coat brush man, and finds work harder to find since his trade ethic makes his work a bit more expensive than the younger competition. He’s one of the old school that Colonial Viper refers to above.

          A conservative voter, he has always tried to pay his own way and not rely on anyone. Now, he need the help which his taxes paid for. I don’t think he would want to be working as hard as he has up till now for another ten years.

    • terryg 4.3

      as a painter you probably wont live that long. people who spend their working lives working with nasty chemicals tend not to make it into their 80’s. ISTR the NZ army did a detailed study in the late 70s, looking for correlations between serving near radar installations and cancer. they didnt find one, but did find that armourers tended to die young (they deal with the NASTIEST chemicals), but that painters didnt do much better. YMMV

      and as far as your current level of physical ability, I think you are neglecting the effect of the exponential curve. dont expect a linear relationship (27yrs working = a few niggles therefore 54 yrs = 2x niggles) it DOES NOT work that way.

    • Jenny 4.4

      So Dave, I guess you plan to turn up for Budget Cut Protest at parliament with a sign saying raise the age of retirement.


  5. Chris 5

    ‘Cononial viper’ you do write some absolute delusional rubbish.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    Peak Oil occurred between 2005 and 2008.

    The global economic system is now in the early stages of implosion. As the global supply of oil declines, so will global economic activity.

    At the same time climate instability is increasing, bringing ever worse climate-related disasters more frequently.

    It’s time for some completely different paradigms. Actually, the time for completely different paradigms was around 1975. But the international money-lenders wanted to stick to the game they knew, as did the oil companies.

    Now we’re screwed and we’ve pretty well wrecked the planet. But the money lenders and oil companies will try to keep their particular games running for as long as they can ….. maybe till 2015.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Try telling that to Labour. They really do seem to have their head stuck in the sand as much as the RWNJs do.

      • terryg 6.1.1

        I think labour have 3 separate problems.

        Firstly, they too believe all this global economy bullshit. essentailly all empirical evidence diametrically opposes the fundamental tenets of economics, yet the economists NEVER CHANGE THEIR THEORIES to support the observations.

        (its not science, its BULLSHIT. Fucking homeopathy is closer to science than economics)

        Secondly, they have fallen for the whole poll-driven thing. the only poll that ever counts is the election itself. But oh no, polls all the time accompanied by labour re-positioning itself to suit said fickle winds.

        Thirdly, they appear to have a serious dearth of capable people. their sheer ineptitude is astonishing – I honestly dont know if they are any better than national is proving to be – OK not entirely fair, as each are demonstrating considerable ineptitude in entirely different areas, but applying elementary duck theory…..(looks, quacks, walks)

        #3 of course just makes #2 that much worse, as their changes not only dont help but seem to actively hinder them…..

    • terryg 6.2


      alas few people understand the concept of pumping a system (think lasers), but thats what we’ve been doing to the atmosphere. and shit oh dear is it starting to become apparent.

      these weather-related catastrophes (floods, tornadoes etc – I dont think there’s enough evidence to add in volcanoes and earthquakes – yet) are appallingly tragic at an individual level, BUT

      I cannot feel ANY sympathy for the countries involved. Like AFKTT says, these are the results of DELIBERATE economic policy. Hell, I think its poetic justice.

      George Carlin once wisely said something along the lines of “the planet is NOT in any danger – its fine. WE are in danger, and it serves us right”.

      the times are just going to keep get interestinger.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I cannot feel ANY sympathy for the countries involved.

        Yeah but the people who end up getting screwed over by these environmental changes first and worst are typically the poor and most vulnerable who had the least to do with the top level decision making and economic policies which were responsible in the first place.

        • terryg

          CV, I agree wholeheartedly – hence the “appallingly tragic” bit, although my prose is far from the clarity you express.

          I am so conflicted when I see these things – as you say, the tragedy is both overwhelming and falls almost entirely upon those without culpability. I simultaneously weep for the individuals, rage at the machine and laugh as reality trumps their bullshit talking points.

          And while some might argue “they voted for them” that just demonstrates ignorance of how the so-called democratic process really works, and outright nastiness.

          we little people have no real influence over the important decisions our governments make, and I cannot see that changing. I started to write something along the lines of “until we come to the realisation that our arabic brothers & sisters have reached” but I doubt thats going to happen – TPTB simply dont treat us badly enough for that to happen.

          • terryg

            Here’s a more understandable explanation for pumping than “think lasers” (which is in retrospect unbelievably stupid, as it doesnt explain anything, unless you already understand it. doh)
            Sit on a swing, and without help make it swing higher and higher. THAT is pumping – repeatedly giving a little push at just the right time, so after a while it adds up to one helluva big swing, EVEN THOUGH each individual push was small.

  7. Jenny 7

    Where does the Labour Party get it’s ideas?

    It seems that some Labour party supporters at least, look to the financiers.

    Sam Stubbs: Tackle pension age

    Sam Stubbs is the CEO of Tower Investments

    Micky Savage, David, how about instead of taking direction from a neo-liberal money changer.

    How about listening to the unions instead?

    The CTU published Alternative Economic Strategy, is diametrically opposed to the Neoliberal policies of cuts being promoted by the likes of Sam Stubbs.

    This from the preamble to the CTU document:

    Neoliberalism has failed internationally. The Global Financial Crisis which has damaged the lives of hundreds of millions of blameless workers, farmers, beneficiaries, and retired people around the world is but the latest example of the instability, recklessness, waste and enormous imbalances of power and wealth neoliberalism has cultivated.

    Part of the CTU’s Alternative Economic Strategy is a Financial Transactions Tax that targets the huge earnings from speculative trading that people like Sam Stubbs fear, like the devil fears holy water.

    Specifically to this debate, in relation to the issue of retirement, the CTU Alternative Economic Stragegy says:

    Maintain New Zealand Superannuation supported by a New Zealand Superannuation Fund to which contributions should be resumed as soon as practicable.

    This should be augmented by a Kiwisaver scheme which is enhanced both to increase saving and to include people unable to provide for their own retirement. Because the majority of Kiwisaver fund clients are workers, governance of funds should include union representation. Enhancements:
    • Compulsory employer contributions of 6 percent phased in over 4 years
    • Compulsory employee contribution 2 percent
    • Government top-up 2 percent
    • Address equity issues: Inquiry into addressing equity issues, such as those resulting from lower pay rates and lifetime incomes of women with view to beneficiaries and non-working parents receiving government contribution in lieu of employer

    CTU press release: Abandon KiwiSaver cuts

    Instead of the CTU’s measured and thoughtful response to the economic crisis as it affects the affordability of retirement, RWNJ Sam Stubbs wants to raise the retirement age to 70.

    I remain hopeful that Labour Party supporters like Micky Savage and David will ditch the extreme advice of Sam Stubbs, and that these right wing ideas never get traction inside the Labour Party proper.

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    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
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  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
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  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago