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Great expectations

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, February 9th, 2010 - 19 comments
Categories: Economy, john key, Media, national/act government - Tags:

“This is his most important speech since he entered Parliament in 2002.”

That’s Duncan Garner on Key’s speech today.

Other political commentators have been emphasising its importance too:

John Armstrong: “What has so far been a comparatively easy ride for Key now starts to get much bumpier. The time has come to do the difficult stuff. The Key Government faces its Waterloo … the day should be labelled “Big Tuesday” … Key has also promised action to spur what he calls a “step-change” in the New Zealand economy.

That is going to require something truly special and innovative. The days when National promised to tweak the Resource Management Act as a fig-leaf to cover the poverty of its economic thinking are long gone … All of the above is making Tuesday look more and more like a defining moment for Key’s prime ministership”

Colin Espiner: “It’s probably the most important speech he’s yet made in his time in Parliament. With the economy swinging out of recession, now’s the time for him to come good on his promise to raise the country’s living standards …We all know what the problem is, and most people seem to agree on it: low productivity, poor wages, slow economic growth, only average standard of living, growing gap with Australia, boom and bust housing market, poor savings record, high overseas debt and exchange rate … Platitudes about cutting red tape, rolling out broadband and tinkering with the RMA will no longer be enough”

Wonder if they'll let me mine Fiordland if I say it's for the cycleway

Key needs to present policies that will get the 275,000 jobless Kiwis back into work and lift wages. Offering more fig-leaf policies like the cycleway to cover another money-grab for the rich is not going to fly.

Undoubtedly there will be some little things in there to excite the media but I don’t think they’re going to fall for the diversions this time. Key got a free ride last year. This year, policies that will actually lead to the brighter future Key promised us are all that will cut it.

Key can talk a big game. Now it’s time for him to deliver some results. If he can’t, his growing reputation as a do-nothing PM will be cemented.

19 comments on “Great expectations ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Here’s what John Key said last time:

    My Government is today tabling a Bill to reduce personal taxes from 1 April 2009. Its intention is to pass this new tax legislation by Christmas and it  believes this tax reduction will equip New Zealanders with some much needed extra cash in tough economic times.

    Personal taxes will be further reduced from 1 April 2010 and from 1 April 2011.  As a result, by 1 April 2011 around 80% of New Zealand taxpayers will end up paying no more than 20c in tax for every additional dollar that they earn.

    This programme of tax reduction is a central part of the economic plan of my Government, because it believes in encouraging New Zealanders to get ahead under their own steam, and it views personal tax reductions as an essential step in ensuring that can happen.

    . . . snip . . .

    These tax reductions will help New Zealanders make ends meet and reward their hard work even as international conditions worsen.  They will inject considerable stimulus into the economy.

    These are the policies I campaigned on and they are policies I am committed to implementing

    . . . snip . . .

    My Government is acutely aware that despite the measures I have just outlined, the enormity of the economic challenges that New Zealand faces today are such that unemployment is forecast to rise in the months ahead.

    It believes that the economic crisis will not be averted by cutting government spending and social support, but rather by backing the everyday New Zealanders who, through their hard work and resilience, will power New Zealand through this recession.

    In what may be particularly tough times, my Government is determined to ‘stay the course’ with New Zealanders, by giving those who have lost their jobs the support they need to get back on their feet.

    In this area, as in all others, my Government intends that its actions reflect the belief that New Zealand is a country built on a sense of fairness and a sense of our obligations to each other.

    Can we really believe anything he has to say today?

  2. Jenny 2

    The big question of course is, how will Labour respond?

    Goff should be able to have his own “Big Tuesday” comprehensive, left reply to Key’s salvo, ready by next week. At least I hope so.

    If Goff can give a successful and credible left rejoinder this will cement his leadership, into the elections and beyond.

  3. If Goff can give a successful and credible left rejoinder this will cement his leadership, into the elections and beyond.

    …and if not he should step aside ?

    • Lew 3.1

      The party just reconfirmed him unopposed as leader the other week. The only way Phil Goff won’t be leader in six months is if there’s a medical or criminal reason.


  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    ” and if not he should step aside ?”

    Nope. He’s making good headway as I see it and there do not appear to be any other potential leaders immediately available. I think Goff and Labour will score some points today, but even if they don’t, this dimwitted, slothful government will afford them plenty more opportunities.

    And keep watching Simon Power. His vanity won’t stand too much time on the sidelines, so as soon as the polls drop, expect him to stop talking about knife crime just long enough to stick one in Key’s back.

    • outofbed 4.1


    • luva 4.2

      ‘so as soon as the polls drop,’

      I don’t think anyone other than those on the fringe left really expect that to happen until well into the 2nd term.

      So Key should be safe until around 2014 maybe 2015. Labour should have a decent leader (at least double digit support) by then in the way of Andrew Little.

  5. tc 5

    Goff needs to sweep aside the dead wood that’s shown when given golden opportunities by their opposite failing ministers they still can’t land the punches as they either aren’t capable or don’t bother trying hard enough.
    King on unemployment and mallard on education……FAIL

  6. vto 6

    My pick is that Key will be bold and announce major changes. The sorts of things that do-nothing Clark and scrooge McCullen, who did nothing but take the money and run, should have done.

    They really were bloody useless and their place in history will rest at a point far below that which many posters on here, with their adoring spectacles, believe.

    • SD 6.1

      Yes but there is a difference between announcing something and actually doing something. For example announcing rolling tax cuts then realising there isnt enough money for them. Or annoucing the public service won’t be cut then taking to it with a scalpel. Or annoucing a cycleway all the way from Cape Rienga to Bluff (what a pipe dream!) only to realise it’s not logically possible (Raurimu Cycleway Spiral anyone?). The list goes on….

      At least Labour kept their word 95% of the time (I couldn’t say 100% as they did fail in their goal to be in the top half of the OECD). But I cannot think of any other example of Labour overpromising and underdelivering, unlike with this government for which it is rife!!!!!

  7. sweetd 7

    you’ll need a big broom for Horomia. He has been missing in action all last year.

  8. ak 8

    How about running a book on the only certainty and sole plank in tory ideology – i.e. how much wealth will be transferred (by whatever woolly, obfuscating means) from the bottom half to the top 10%

    $10 says at least another bill/yr. The fat cats have been patting their kitten for months now.

  9. Lanthanide 9

    “only average standard of living”

    Clearly Colin is out of touch with reality if he sees the NZ standard of living as anything else than well above the global average.

    The true global average standard of living is probably more like the average person in Mexico or Papua New Guinea enjoys.

  10. tc 10

    You folk need to remember, and I often forget, that whilst Labour didn’t do much tax reform they didn’t have the numbers (Winston couldn’t be trusted) and by and large ran with just enough votes to run the country after Turiana tossed the toys over F&S.

    No excuses for NACT……100% relentless focus on stuffing more dfosh in the top ends pockets.

  11. Anne 11

    Great expectations alright!
    TV1 mid-day news mooted a hike in GST to 15%.
    That will hit the low paid workers by far the hardest and you can be sure that whatever sweetener he throws at them to “compensate” will turn out to be stuff-all in practice.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Actually the tax working group has suggested tax rates should be cut across the board, but the media keeps repeating about the top rates being cut (probably because they make the biggest $ difference to the government, and to the people getting them).

      National have repeatedly said they want to have tax rates of 10/20/30, which is probably what we’re going to see. The next question is what the thresholds will be.

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    He said he will be commenting on WFF. I assume the pre-election promise to leave it unchanged is null and void. A bit like the Kiwisaver changes we got last budget.

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