Fail Budget

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, May 24th, 2012 - 106 comments
Categories: budget2012, class war, national - Tags: ,

Zero = Fail. Four years of economic stagnation. Four years of failed promises, we’ve heard them all before. While waiting for budget details, try this background reading:

A series of excellent posts on GDP by Rob Salmond at Pundit:

David Cunliffe weighs in with economic heavyweights at Red Alert:

Bryan Gould turns a critical eye on the government’s record:

Check out Labour’s site for reaction:

And The Greens:

We’ll add updates during the day…

Update: Seems the Nats’ preferred budget tag line is ‘Investing in the future’. Should have called it ‘Waiting for Godot’.

Update: Business reaction:

Budget 2012 – the fourth budget of the current National Government – is unlikely to be remembered for long, containing few surprises and little for opponents to sink their teeth into.

“Little” except for four years of stagnation and failed promises of course.

Update: Another kick in the teeth for poor families:

Removing the childcare, housekeeper and income-under-$9,880 tax credits will save the Government a further $117m …

Oh and the best part:

Children will now have to pay income tax on their after-school jobs but will have a limited exemption for cash-in-hand earnings such as babysitting.

Tax cuts for the rich, but we’re coming after school kids – how pathetic is that?

Update: Remember Labour budget headlines? They created Working for Families, KiwiBank, KiwiSaver and the like. Obvious headline items in the Fail Budget so far, canning auto-enrollment for KiwiSaver and big hikes for tobacco. How times change.

Update: Keith Ng has created a useful infographic showing where the money comes from and goes to.

106 comments on “Fail Budget”

  1. I believe that kiwis are finally coming around to see that National is all spin and no substance.  Improvements are always just around the corner.  Problems are always because of external factors.  Their failed economic theories are promised to bring us nirvana as long as we stick with them long enough.
    This budget is more of the same.  The difference is that people no longer believe the nats.

    • tc 1.1

      The ones that are still left that is MS.

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        The tag line for the budget is reading like a Tui ad !

      • Jan Hutchinson 1.1.2

        I am disturbed to see that (as of 7pm on 24 May) 30% of people polled in the Herald on line think the zero hope, zero growth budget announced by Bill English is great and only 31% think it is a terrible let down.

        Yeah I know, who cares it’s the Herald – but as a marketing exercise, let’s nail them with their own propaganda machines! Please click the link below and offer your vote.

        • Carol

          And the choices on that poll are limited
          a) think it’s great (or words to that effect)
          b) a disappointment
          c) a let down
          d) was it budget day?

          Really, what if the pre-announcements meant you weren’t expecting anything good from it?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Thing is that it’s not a terrible let down – it’s pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. Grasping at straws, rewarding the rich for being rich and steering the rest of NZ into abject poverty.

    • Monty 1.2

      Maybe if Labour had not left the Government with structural deficits for at least the next decade (from 2008) then there could have been more money. The GFC has been massive and while the left don’t like to acknowledge it, the answer to recovery is not more debt, more social spending, and less control.

      National do have their priorities right – get the deficit well under control and get the country back into surplus as soon as possible so we don’t pass debt burdons to out children.

      It is of course tragic that so many continue to head off overseas, but it also demonstrates that the Labour Market is very mobile.

      But of course Labourt have no idea about how to do things better do they? Labour have no solution to grow the economy, and as John Key noted Labour in fact oppose every measure promoted by National to stimulate growth. How about some constructive ideas from Labour then eh ? what exactly would Labour do and get the country back into surplus by 2014?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        And Monty pulls out the usual BS about structural deficits left by the last government – the ones that were never there and then ignores the fact that NACT have boosted deficits since then into the stratosphere.

      • AAMC 1.2.2

        “Modern fiscal policy is upside down “Ethical economy: For growth, focus first on jobs”

        Contractionary fiscal expansion has gotta take the prise for modern double speak!

        Is there a point at which you acknowledge the incompetence Monty? Or is it blind faith, like that which has driven this budget despite stats out of Europe today further pro ing this line of economic thinking doesn’t work.

      • Murray Olsen 1.2.3

        Jeez Monty, all you need to do now is learn to abuse gays, call Labour Liarbore, support the death sentence without trial and fantasise about man on man rape in prisons and WhaleSpew might let you write a guest post. If that’s not enough, try extreme misogyny and racism as well.

    • Dr Terry 1.3

      Decent and intelligent Kiwis have little choice other than depart these shores, though with heavy reluctance. There are some who will bear Key’s sneering jibes no longer. The only amazing thing, is that so many of us STILL maintain that this country is “going in the right direction”.
      It is very hard to say this, but, you know, I almost believe that National is thanking God for the Christchurch earthquake – first, the perpetual excuse for their lamentable “policies”, now the “saviour” from their lamentable debt!

  2. infused 2

    Bet this posted was saved in drafts for along time.

    • r0b 2.1

      You lose. (Then again, we all lose today…)

    • Rob 2.2

      haha exactly infused, in fact all standard posts could be pre written.  Then que in the pre prepared replies from CV, Carol, Felix , Draco etc.

      • felix 2.2.1

        felixbot reporting for duty.

        Just heard Winston Peters absolutely killing it in the house, followed by Pita Sharples desperately struggling for relevance.

        Very sad, I had such high hopes for the maori Party back at the start. Look at what they’ve reduced themselves to now.

        Why would anyone ever vote for them again? If you’re happy with the govt you’ll vote National. If you’re unhappy with the govt you have plenty of options, but the maori party – as part of the government – is not one of them.

        “National have come in behind us” says Pita. That’s right Dr Sharples, they sure have.

        • higherstandard

          oh er !

          Cue the benny hill music.

          • Hami Shearlie

            “There’s Klingons on the starboard bow” (catchy tune that one)- no wait, Winston’s told us it’s the Maori Party. Winston has been good today – Loved all the huge photos, especially Banksie’s, looking particularly mugshot -like, and the one of Goldsmith, bending down to remove the Vote Goldsmith signs in Epsom! LOL

          • joe90

            Cue the benny hill music.

            Boots RandolphYakety Sax (1963)

        • Carol

          Agreed on Sharples – a pitiful hesitant, uninspired speech..

          Loved Winston’s bit about the “klingons” at the side of the government benches that didn’t stand up to applaud the Bill & John’s budget speeches, and the bit about “Mr Spray and Walk Away”, the PM.

          • Hami Shearlie

            Spray and walk away – makes Jonkey sound like a tom-cat with wanderlust! LOL

          • Fortran

            Hope Winston not needed as kingmaker in 2014 !
            He gets all the MSM PR spin.
            But not as much as the Greens, who are top in MSM eyes for PR.
            Perhaps Labour needs a Co Leader to get twice the publicity.

        • Dr Terry

          To whom did Pita sell his soul? That is one asset he can never hope to buy back.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.2

        Hey Rob. Acting on behalf of the people making your country poorer. Good on you mate.

  3. Carol 3

    Oh and the best part:

    Children will now have to pay income tax on their after-school jobs but will have a limited exemption for cash-in-hand earnings such as babysitting.

    Tax cuts for the rich, but we’re coming after school kids – how pathetic is that?

    Ah, but isn’t that a recognition that children’s earnings are needed for low income families to survive? A necessary part of those families’ budgets!

    I bet Blinglish, Jonkey & co. are sorry there aren’t enough chimney’s left to send the kiddies up!

    Time for a Dickens redux – “to the workhouse with you!”

    • Tigger 3.1

      No wonder they want to mine our national parks, so they can send the ruffians down for coal. Easier for their small bodies to crawl through the tunnels.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      Time for a Dickens redux – “to the workhouse with you!”

      Oh yes, but they’ll call it something different – probably something with ‘education’ in the name…

      • Carol 3.2.1

        Indeed. It’d have a name that says exactly the opposite to what it means – like “Opportunities and Brighter Future for all”.

    • North 3.3

      Nanny State.

      Christ, they talked about Helen.

  4. Matthew 4

    Anyone who is not eligible to vote should not be paying ANY tax…. no taxation without representation. How rude it is to hit the most vulnerable…. This is the most pathetic govt ever.

    • Carol 4.1

      Maybe they SHOULD be able to vote?

      • Matthew 4.1.1

        Maybe they should… voting age to 16? Seriously, i cant believe they are taxing kids pay packets, but a Capital Gains tax ‘isnt fair and wont solve anything’…. makes me sick

        • indiana

          Kids do pay tax if they have a bank account usually at the highest tax rate, so why not the actual wages they may earn?

          A CGT would be fair, but not the loop hole riddled one Labour presented.

          • BLiP

            Kids do pay tax if they have a bank account usually at the highest tax rate, so why not the actual wages they may earn?

            Because they are children.

            • Jim in Tokyo

              As I remember it, back around ’85 I used to put 50c a week into my post-bank account every week on ‘school banking day’. We got interest of 10%, no fees, no tax. Although there was one kid from up the road in the big house who put in a hundred a week, but he never got to spend a penny as his parents were just exploiting the tax-free status of their kids’ accounts. Turned out his parents were not the only ones running the scam and soon they had to drop tax free savings accounts for kids.

              Then they flogged off PostBank to ANZ and now we all live in a state of perpetual banking bliss.

          • Carol

            Their tax credits are going to be axed.

          • Colonial Viper

            A CGT would be fair, but not the loop hole riddled one Labour presented.

            What about the non-existant one that National presented?

            • indiana

              I think most would rather have no CGT than one that is an accountant’s wet dream like LAQC’s were under Labour.

              • Colonial Viper

                Funny how you know all the details of Labour’s CGT was yet to be fleshed out.

                As opposed to National who couldn’t stomach a CGT as it hurts the wealthiest the most. So they left it out. Again.

                • indiana

                  Well when Labour are capable of releasing a policy that has been fleshed out and doesn’t leak like a sieve the voters will pick them for a government. Until then you can bitch all you like about National not putting up a CGT. National are not doing any of their so called rich mates any favours by removing all the accounting processes to hide income and giving the IRD resouces to go after the ones who do.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    so the rich have to pay back pennies mate while National gave them dollars.

                    Key gets $1000 pw in self given tax cuts and Blinglish’s household gets roughly $400 pw.

                    • indiana

                      So that’s your response to Labour’s inability to provide credible and beliveable policy, a gripe about something that was delivered 3 years ago.

                    • felix

                      “a gripe about something that was delivered 3 years ago.”

                      No, a gripe about something that was first delivered 3 years ago and delivered again every week since.

                    • Hami Shearlie

                      They do indeed CV, but Blinglish still wanted more taxpayer money for his cleaner! The greed of the rich takes your breath away sometimes.!

            • mike e

              agreed CV have it on all property and use some of the gain to lower personal tax on honest taxpayers who are subsidizing would be an easy sell.
              the capital gaingsters!
              Gst on imports under $400
              Increase excise tax on alcohol so we don’t subsidize alcoholics to the tune of $6 billion
              Increase tax on gambling another $6 billion dollars of damage theirour country would boom

          • North

            Yes, and let’s chase those irresponsible little 9 year old fathers for their child support too !

            Indiana Wants You Baby – why don’t you take your idiocy and piss off there.

            Unless your post was all a joke in which case I apologise and smile wanly.

          • mikesh

            Children who are beneficiaries under a trust also pay tax on their trust income.

    • Hami Shearlie 4.2

      Maybe they used Ruth Richardson as a consultant to dream up that one!

  5. Ant 5

    The bach tax will be pretty funny, my call is that it will raise less than a quarter of their projected revenue…. if that.

  6. Jim Nald 6

    “Aspiration” is no longer a meaningful or hopeful word after John Key and Double Dipton masturbated with it the past four years.

    The best they can do with it is as set out in the Urban Dictionary:

    “The wet spot left in the seat of the chair after a long meeting.”
    – “When the meeting adjourned and everyone arose from their chairs, their aspiration was clearly visible on the plastic seats.”

    • Pete 6.1

      I think Charlie Brooker had it right when he discussed aspirational programming/advertisements:

      It’s their job to dazzle you with images that make you feel inadequate. Then offer a magic solution. Their selling you a membership card, buy this car or use this shampoo or drink this booze [or vote for this party] and maybe just maybe you’ll be part of the glamor gang too. For about 30 second until they try and flog you something else, the monsters!

      If you’ve got a spare 4 minutes, it’s worth a watch (some NSFW language)

    • Dr Terry 6.2

      The word Key and his foolish followers have been using constantly is not “aspiration” but “aspirational” which is in no dictionary. Just as well, or someone might ask him (them) to define it!

      • fatty 6.2.1

        charlie brooker gives the best definition of aspirational…

      • mike e 6.2.2

        That every body grow up in a state house looked after by a solo mum and have a millionaire mentor help every child in that situation to become a millionaire.
        Yeah right!

  7. Carol 7

    Ha! great shot of Bill and John with their heads down while Shearer is letting rip with Bill and John’s failed record.

    • insider 7.1

      good opening line from shearer but he get struggled after that – first time nerves maybe? very hesitant in places meaning the flow and impact of his points seemed to get a bit lost. Classic mistake calling Lockwood Mr Australia. They’ll have fun over that.

      that said, even shearer was better than English’s monotone.

      • Carol 7.1.1

        Well, I think Shearer’s delivery has improved, even if he still has his hesitant spots. And he had more fire in his belly than in the worthy but uninspiring speech from Russel Norman – though he made quite a few good points.

        • insider

          That s why I think it might be nerves and polish due to inexperience – compare to key who folowed who was relaxed and polished. Shearer’s Content seemed fine.

  8. Carol 8

    And John Key jumps up and has a go at Shearer for not presenting one policy ideas….

    hey, John! It’s you who are in government and are meant to be coming up with the new/workable ideas!?

  9. Carol 9

    Twitter reports of 700 students blocking Symonds Street in anti-budget protest:!/search/%23blockadethebudget?q=%23blockadethebudget

  10. BLiP 10


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  11. indiana 11

    Exhibit D lyrics

    All you white people out there that think you’re down with America(New Zealand) can
    forget it. Cause they TAX all of us. All of us, one by one. Just
    take a look at Leona Helm-Helmsley (
    Taxed her, she’s white I believe.
    *laughter* Yeah threw her butt right in jail. She ain’t nothin but
    another hoe, according to this system. *laughter* You ain’t pay your
    taxes hoe, get back in jail. *uproarious laughter*

  12. Carol 12

    Winston – the showman! LOL. Holding up all big pictures of all the Nat backbenchers who will be gone. Even the speaker (not Smith) is smiling.

    And earlier he said something about the “klingons” to the side of the government benches (the support party MPs), didn’t get up to clap Nat’s budget speech.

    • joe90 12.1

      He’s on fire Carol and the braying oiks performance reinforced his prime clownship.

    • joe90 12.2

      Hone was great too.

      • R 12.2.1

        I agree Joe, Hone really shone.

        I can’t say the same for Winston: all the way through his speech all I could think was that he *went into coalition* with the guys he was criticising, *after* the era he was criticising. Complete and utter hypocrisy, so disappointing. Showboat, theatre, self-indulgence.

        Hone was elected by his people, spoke for his people and spoke to the people. Winston was for Winston and behaved as just as much as a clown for his fan-base as Key did. Zero integrity.

        Hone did brilliantly.

        My 2c

  13. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 13

    David Shearer seems like a very nice man but he is just so out of his depth.

    • DJL 13.1

      Think steam locomotive Gormy. Starts by lighting a fire, water begins to boil, after a time you get slow motion… you get the rest.

    • Dr Terry 13.2

      God spare us from “a very nice man” – what is he doing? Trying to take a leaf out of Key’s book? Many an idiot is “very nice” I am sure! This is almost as bad as describing Shearer as “sincere”! When the hell will we get an intelligent politician, like Cunliffe of course.

      • Carol 13.2.1

        Well, I’m giving Shearer some kudos for the delivery of his speech. I’ve always been more pro-Cunliffe than Shearer…. but credit where it’s due. Shearer’s speeches have improved.

  14. KATY 14

    Uni Students are protesting against the budget in Auckland.

    • Carol 14.1

      Thanks – go the students!

      hmmm…. fire alarms are now apparently going off in the quad. Really? And who woulda done that?

  15. seeker 15

    “Waiting for Godot”- inspired title for this budget Eddie.
    Can rest my brain from trying to find words to describe yet another non budget from this astoundingly incompetent, uncreative National government who has no idea how to run a country and thus tragically runs it into the ground.
    “Eat dirt says Key, you’ll love it!”. and the dutiful people of New Zealand believed him and did just as he said. “Mmmm, delicious said Paula Bennett, must feed it via t’other Paula to our underlings.” And so it came to pass, yet again, that throughout the kingdom of No Zealleftland the people ate……..

  16. Vicky32 16

    Hearing Garner on the subject… as I predicted, smokers get hit with a huge increase, but alkies are fine!
    I remain convinced that it’s not a health issue but a class one. Middle class and upper class people don’t smoke. Working class and beneficiaries do smoke. What we don’t do, is drink heavily – I’d much rather not drink, given the dangers of alcoholism in my family!
    That poison dwarf Tariana is on screen whingeing about the ‘fact’ that 13 smokers die every day (given that a guy working for Stats told me that any cardiac or respiratory death is coded as smoking related, even if it’s actually the death of a baby from a middle class family who would never smoke because it’s a nasty lower class habit, and said baby never left the NICU – that’s an example he confirmed by the way) – I don’t believe Tariana gives a stuff about people dying. She’s just on a power trip!
    I will stop smoking when I want to and not before, and I’ll stop eating if I have to, as will many other beneficiaries who smoke. 
    Before all the middle class kiddies start screeching about ‘health issues’, I’d like to point out that I get that sh*te from my son the cardiac nurse every day, and further – I’d ask (a) do you drink alcohol? (b) Do you drive a motor? Saw a smug looking woman leave the ADHB grounds in her car festooned with anti-smoking stickers, and I reeled as she belched the exhaust of her badly tuned car all over me.

    • Carol 16.1

      I don’t smoke or drink. My middleclass father did both and died riddled with cancer.

      I drive a car sparingly, and walk and use public transport quite a lot.

    • Dr Terry 16.2

      They would not dare hit the “booze barons”! Where else would all that government income come from?

    • prism 16.3

      Yes I believe this too – that because tobacco is used by the hospitality trade, young people and others… then it is Ok to sock it to ’em. But not our fine alohollies.

      • Vicky32 16.3.1

        hospitality trade, young people and others… then it is Ok to sock it to ‘em.

        Also by people with mental health issues and their carers! (I used to work with people with intellectual disabilities and 99% of disability support workers were smokers, that was in 2001-3.
        My son worked at CADS on a placement in 2007, when he was studying nursing, and learned somewhat to his surprise, that when someone is in for drug and/or alcohol rehab, they are not forced to stop smoking! It’s one stressor at a time…

    • Augustus 16.4

      I don’t smoke, but others in my family do. Fortunately for them, they’ve worked out that tobacco is ridiculously easy to grow and process, thus no tax increase is changing anything. You might want to try it, Vicky32.

    • higherstandard 16.5

      ‘……a guy working for Stats told me that any cardiac or respiratory death is coded as smoking related”

      In that case he was lying.

      “I remain convinced that it’s not a health issue but a class one. Middle class and upper class people don’t smoke. Working class and beneficiaries do smoke. What we don’t do, is drink heavily – I’d much rather not drink, given the dangers of alcoholism in my family!”

      To suggest that alcohol is not a serious problem throughout society is unlikely to be supportable.

      Your son is correct smoking is one of the most significant preventable causes morbidity and mortality we know of – anything to decrease its use and availability is to be applauded, similarly anything that decreases the amount of alcohol related morbidity and mortality should be similarly applauded.

      • Vicky32 16.5.1

        To suggest that alcohol is not a serious problem throughout society is unlikely to be supportable.

        Lolwut? I am not the one who suggested alcohol is not a serious problem! I was married to an alcoholic, who also had an alcoholic father, my father was also an alcoholic. AFAIK, alcohol is a far more serious problem than smoking. As many people have pointed out, no one ever went berserk and killed his family under the influence of a packet of cigarettes.
        I used to have some poncy upper class friends who were all ASH members. In between bouts of adultery, they’d hold what my sister called ‘couth’ dinner parties, talk up Green issues, and drink eye-watering amounts of expensive plonk. (At one party I spent almost the whole evening out on the back porch with the only other smoker, a really nice German guy, who was the cuckolded husband of the girlfriend of my supposed boyfriend, a self-pitying heavy-drinking American Jew. Klaus informed me sadly that his wife and my b/f were to be found making the two backed beast, when Klaus, the husband was working,  as he’d discovered when he got home early from work.. so he cried on my shoulder and smoked… I noticed then that he and I were the only smokers, the only non-drinkers and to cap it, the only people who actually gave a tuppeny stuff about anyone else’s feelings.) Go the Greens – yeah right!
        My son is not right, and neither were  the GP and the neurologist who falsely diagnosed me as having had a TIA back in January solely because I smoke, as the neurologist’s letter to my GP said. 
        I have an appointment at another out-patient clinic, nearly 6 months later, in search of the correct diagnosis, as CT scans and other tests have shown that there was never a TIA. That’s not the only smoking-related misdiagnosis I have heard of – and some of the others have actually had serious consequences.

        • higherstandard

          Vicky your comment was …

          “I remain convinced that it’s not a health issue but a class one. Middle class and upper class people don’t smoke. Working class and beneficiaries do smoke. What we don’t do, is drink heavily – I’d much rather not drink, given the dangers of alcoholism in my family!”

          I replied that I didn’t think there would be any evidence to show that alcohol didn’t cause problems irrespective of ‘class’.

          Sorry to hear about your health problems.

      • Vicky32 16.5.2

        In that case he was lying.

        You know that how? Did you interview your keyboard, or ask your ASH co-ordinator? 😀
        (You won’t see this for a few days, as I am on moderation again and have never been told why that’s so, any of the times I have asked, but what the hey? I suppose I have annoyed someone, but as I don’t know who, I can’t do anything about it… )

        [lprent: I usually respond to the e-mails (as I have this time as well). And you certainly do get a higher frequency than most commentators here. After this group I suspect it is your dialup server (I seem to remember you’re on dialup) being targeted by the automatics. I may have to put in a whitelist exemption.

        Update: I take that back. It was my systems. You hit a auto-moderation suppression for something else. I have made it more specific so you won’t get affected. ]

        • higherstandard

          Because I work in the health system and am very familiar with the way the coding works in relation to stats collected for the NZHIS.

          • Vicky32

            Because I work in the health system and am very familiar with the way the coding works in relation to stats collected for the NZHIS.

            Fairy nuff, however, please don’t ever accuse someone of lying because you disagree with him. It should not need to be said, but there’s a big difference between lying and mistaken. If it’s your reflex to accuse someone of lying, then you come across as either hostile, arrogant or one-eyed on your particular subject/obsession.

        • Vicky32

          Whew, thanks very much for the explanation! When I wrote that, I hadn’t got your email…  🙂 Now I understand, all is well…

  17. prism 17

    Waiting for an Act of God oh! NACT are praying that they can keep the plebs amused with their song and dance act for a little longer.
    Perhaps they could have another Christchurch, or tragedy where they can go round patting heads and saying comforting things about help that they will deny later. But that sort of thing takes the critical sharp edge off most people’s thinking, almost as rallying as having the Falklands War for UK.

  18. Dr Terry 18

    Do we remember that Key even had the nerve to offer prayer following the earthquake! I guess God is his deputy. Pity the point scoring prayer is so slow in being answered!

  19. Blue 19

    “Children will now have to pay income tax on their after-school jobs but will have a limited exemption for cash-in-hand earnings such as babysitting.”

    What absolute fucking wankers National are. Putting tax on kids who are working to get a bit of independence, save for uni or help out their families.

    This is National’s vision for the future of NZ.

    Top tax rate of 33% for billionaires, no CGT and kids earning pocket money get stung.

    I can’t even begin to contemplate the thought process that led to that stunner. How does someone go through the books and decide that the best way to ‘broaden the tax base’ is to hit kids with after school jobs?

    “Damn, it’s those little bludgers with paper rounds who’re wrecking the country! They must be stopped!”

    • mike e 19.1

      Blue Double Dipping Dipstick of Dipton the beaned brained bean counter.
      All the major investment banks and brokerage banks are screwing this world over and all of them are corrupt just about every day we hear anther story about one scams they are up to.
      CONMANKEY was right at the heart of one of the biggest the merril lynch MOB head of currency tading.He knew full and well what they were up to, now he and Goldman Sachs[who took over Merrill Lynch] subsidiary are doing it to New Zealand .
      Not surprising.
      To many people have been conned by the emperor with no cloths.

      • Majella 19.1.1

        Correction – Merril Lynch was subsumed by the equally corrupt & rapacious Bank of America, not the foul & evil Goldman Sachs!. Check Matt Taibbi’s blog at Rolling Stone mag.

    • Well said, Blue.

      Actually, that’s the one bitI forgot to include on my commentary on the Budget;

      Which is ironic, as that was the bit that most stuck in my mind. Talk about Scrooge-like penny-pinching!!!

    • Majella 19.3

      Yes! Another reason to go to Australia? Not only are kids delivering papers & brochures less likely to be exploited, there is a $6,000 p.a. income tax threshold!

  20. hellonearthis 20

    A Mostly Zero budget.

  21. Chris 21


  22. ropata 22

    Budget summarized in cartoon form [Chris Slane]:
    Dr Billdare ‪#NZListener‬

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