English and Key uncertain of Budget’s focus

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, May 27th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2009, john key, national - Tags: , , , ,

key-versus-englishIf 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.

According to the Minister of Finance Bill “the primary focus of the budget is making the right decisions for New Zealand to manage our way through a recession”

And yet our financial whizz Mr Key has decided “our primary focus out of this budget is to avoid a ratings downgrade”.

How pathetic is that? They still aren’t quite sure what the focus is about! When quizzed on this faux pas later, Mr Key said “well it depends on what you’re looking at”. Ah yes John, that’s because what you look at determines where your focus is! The point, great leader, is that you and your finance minister are supposed to be looking at the SAME stuff! It’s the sort of thing people and markets require to believe you might know what you’re doing.

Hopeless. So hopeless in fact that even the usually forgiving Guyon Espiner is beginning to join the growing ranks of once tame but now frustrated and pissed-off Press Gallery journalists that have already had enough of these amateurs. Heaven help us if these wide boys are meant to be our saviours.

35 comments on “English and Key uncertain of Budget’s focus”

  1. J 1

    If NZ doesn’t keep a decent credit rating then we’re going to pay millions more in interest on our borrowing which could be better spent elsewhere. So tell us again why its a good idea to ignore it?

    • what do you think having a PM and a Finance Minister who can’t decide what the main focus of the Budget is will do to our credit ratings J?

    • burt 1.2


      If we ignore it and we get down graded we can claim it was National’s fault. You know how it would be spun. Just like the mother of all budgets under Ruth Richardson the Labour govt that stuffed the economy leading to that situation would be blameless.

      When people support a dim-bulb like Cullen gloating that he had left the cupboard bare for National it would be no surprise to see them happy that our credit rating had been downgraded. They care not for the state of the economy – only for what colour covers the budget is printed with.

      • Chris G 1.2.1

        Labour govt that stuffed the economy leading to that situation would be blameless. wait… you know what that ‘labour’ government actually was dont you? You are familiar with some people and founding members of the ACT party I assume?

        • burt

          Chris G

          You are half way there, the ACT party and the dopey ones that pulled the handbrake on and went back to cuddly warm monopoly state provision. The model that had failed so miserably in the early 80’s just needed one more try didn’t it. Will anyone have learnt anything this time around?

          Yes I’m familiar with who they are.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The things we’ve learned economically since 1900:

            1.) Unregulated capitalist markets crash big time (Laissez Fair, Monetarism)
            2.) Highly regulated and government subsidised capitalist markets crash big time (Keynesianism)

            Definition of insanity: Doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.

            We really do need to look for something other than the failed capitalist system.

  2. gingercrush 2

    sprout: look you’re just getting boring and obsessive now gc. learn how to spell ‘biased’ and i might start taking you a bit more seriously. til then, and like Maia, you might benefit from getting a bit of rest.

  3. mike 3

    I find it refreshing that the government is not “on message” to the extent that the labour sisterhood instilled in their terrified servants.

    We have two individuals here with contrasting styles answering two questions on the same day slightly differently – big deal.

    Also who gives a flying fuck if the press gallery get ‘frustrated’?

  4. felix 4

    How long does ginger get to do this before his css privileges are rescinded? Even you-know-who was never this obnoxious with it.

    It’s just like shouting, ginger. It doesn’t make your comments seem more important, it makes them look like the ravings of a madman on a Queen St corner or the horrible drunk at the party.

    • Macro 4.1

      Fact is neither Key nor English have any vision for this country. They have only able to utter slogans and cliches – meaningless sound-bites that the media are only too happy to snap up because that is all they are conditioned to thinking and “reporting”. This is called journalism. But now the media are slowly waking up to the fact that they have been conned – and with them the unthinking “punters”. Of course it is all too late and the damage that Key and English will wreck on the country before they are turfed out will take years to repair.

      • burt 4.1.1


        So why is it that National govt polices have instant effects and immediate damage yet Labour can’t manage to do any substantial repair after 9 years in power?

        Are only National govt’s able to make changes and are they always bad ?

      • Micro 4.1.2

        Fact is neither Clark nor Cullen had any vision for this country. They were only able to utter slogans and cliches – meaningless sound-bites that the media were only too happy to snap up because that is all they were conditioned to thinking and “reporting’. This was called journalism. But the media woke up to the fact that they had been conned – and with them the unthinking “punters’. Of course it is all too late and the damage that Clark and Cullen imposed on the country before they were turfed out will take years to repair.

        • Chris G

          That was weird. By doing that I’m unsure what you proved? That we agree to disagree? how clever….

        • Macro

          That’s hardly original Micro! but then what could one expect from someone who is only intent on contradiction and of micro brain. The vision of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen far exceeded the nonsense we now see being performed by Key and English. The only “vision” they are able to provide in an otherwise bleak budget is a fund for insulation – a Green initiative already signaled by Labour for this Budget round!

      • burt 4.1.3


        Excellent. You just know that when somebody starts a post with “Fact is” followed by a whole pile of partisan opinion that they are pissing into the wind.

        Macro reminds me of my senile grandfather who use to tell me it was a fact that the planet hasn’t got a molten core and volcanoes are caused by water seeping into seams in the rock causing a chemical reaction with lime deposits. Guess somebody told him it was a fact and he didn’t have the smarts to research it.

        • Macro

          “pissing into the wind.”
          And you have more wind than most burt!
          At least I’m not senile – and I respect my grandparents.

    • gingercrush 4.2

      You aren’t one to talk Felix. Considering how many people you attack on this blog, one would think you’d look in the mirror. Clearly, that isn’t happening.

      I’m not entirely sure why you edited my post completely considering there wasn’t one insult.

  5. Johnty Rhodes 5

    So what if they are not on the same sentence. What JK said was a sub set of what BE said anyway. A real non issue here as the budget is a done deal now.

    As Mark Burton once said, the PM (Clark’s) opinion was always right.
    How do you confuse the media, real easy, put them in a circle & get them to choose their corner.

    Like Mike, who cares what the media think, they are reporters only.

    The left are clutching at straws nowdays, even the Greens get something in the budget. Labour are irrevalent, they fucked the country as well as they could in the last bubget, time for National to turn this around. I hope they freeze benefits as I know hardly anyone employed getting a payrise this year.

    • marco12 5.1

      The left are clutching at straws? What a joke mate!
      National have a budget to deliver, probably a very difficult budget, with credit ratings at stake when they are more important than ever, and the left hand doesn’t even know what the right hand is doing. That is incredibly inept management. You know it and I know it. Anyone who can spell cat knows it.
      Instead of manning up and admitting they have screwed up for the umpteenth time already in 6 months you talk about subsets and Mark Burton!
      If anyone is clutching anything it is you Jonty Rhodes and I can’t say I blame you. Hold on to them very tightly because you will need them in the next few days. Especially with monkeys like that in charge.

  6. serpico 6

    Rather dodgy if you ask me. Who is the real superhero Batman or Robin?

  7. OhPlease 7

    For Godsake – IF we get a credit downgrade, and IF mortgage rate go up, all the Reserve Bank has to do is lower its OCR next round. Indeed, it could even do it tomorrow with an out-of round lowering. All this talk of our interest going up cos of some S&P revision so completely misses the point of fiscal vs. monetary policy. The fact is that interest rates are actually under the control of the RBNZ. Many things impact on interest rates including fiscal policy, exchange rates, trade balances and the RBNZ respond to these pressures by lowering and raising OCR in order to keep interest rates and therefore inflation in its target range.

    The point is that using fiscal policy to manage interest rates is like using your head to hammer a nail – not what its designed to do.

    It’s also getting completely boring- once Key found that the debt bogey didn’t work, he had to put on the interest rate skeleton suite from last election. And like that suite it’s only making us laugh.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Have you not noticed that Alan Bollard has been complaining that the banks haven’t been passing on the full reductions in the OCR to mortgage payers in NZ? And that long-term mortgage rates have recently risen a few dozen points, rather than dropping as one would expect?

      Do you know why? The majority of NZ’s funding for it’s debts comes from offshore. A credit downgrade is very likely (if not certain) to raise the interest rate that foreigners charge us to borrow there money, which would DEFINITELY be passed on by the banks, unless the government were to step in and say “oi, you lot have made billions $ in profits, time to cough up some dosh” and prevent them from raising their rates, but that seems rather unlikely and something John Key would much rather prefer didn’t happen if it didn’t have to.

  8. Wow someone please tell me when Guyon Espiner was a dedicated lefty. He certainly ripped into National on the news tonight.


    • I agree, Espiner was quite savage. Unfortunately TNVZ are only posting the raw interview footage and not Espiner’s piece to camera. Wish they had, it had some pretty vicious quotes in it. Guess they thought they’d better not post it in the lead up to tomorrow. shame really.

  9. toad 9

    The one thing I do know jarbury, is that the Nats won’t introduce a capital gains tax to offset income tax relief.

    Seems there are some vested interests at play.

  10. Bill 10

    A few years ago there was a bit of a cafuffle when it became apparent that India’s budget had been largely penned by international financial institutions. (sorry. haven’t found the link).

    From memory it was the use of language that was the give away. Harder to discern with NZ English. But hey. It’s happened before.

    Might explain the confusion if the budget isn’t entirely the governments creation?

  11. Below Standard 11

    This sites writers are pretty immature. Surely you should know that you look at things in there context.

    [lprent: perhaps you should check your spelling? Makes you look either immature, unable to use technology, or just plain sloppy]

    • the sprout 11.1

      Which context exactly excuses the two principle drivers of the Budget not knowing what the other thinks it’s supposed to focus on and achieve?

      The seriousness of Key and English’s screw-up is noted by Espiner and Young in the post’s links, if you bothered to read them. It is not an observation limited to this blog.

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        Which context exactly excuses the two principle drivers of the Budget not knowing what the other thinks it’s supposed to focus on and achieve?

        That they’re a couple o’ muppets?

      • jtuckey 11.1.2

        “The primary focus of the budget is making the right decisions for New Zealand to manage our way through a recession’

        “Our primary focus out of this budget is to avoid a ratings downgrade’.

        From your article and some of the comments in MSM some believe these two foci are mutually exclusive – we all know the MSM beat things up for a story but why do you think these two comments are at loggerheads with each other ?

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