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Herald gets it right

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, May 20th, 2008 - 41 comments
Categories: election 2008, Media - Tags: ,

Good to see the New Zealand Herald is starting a campaign to let us know the policy cost of National’s likely massive tax cut programme.

Amongst the list of things National could drop to put money into the pockets of a few are:

  • $700 million for Fast Forward Fund investing in food and pastoral sector research.
  • $150 million a year on educational changes to keep young people in school or training until they are 18.
  • $72.1 million over 10 years to clean up Rotorua lakes
  • $8.4 million over two years for Search and Rescue.
  • $22.4 million over four years for state house insulation.
  • $164.2 million over five years for a cervical cancer immunisation programme.
  • $46.5 million over four years to providers of home-based support for injured people.

And as the Herald’s list shows all Key has promised is broadband (with no detail) a small amount of money for solar hotwater heating and bootcamps. Oh and a tax cuts package that will “follow the outline” of their 2005 policy.

Granny is showing us the real choice this election: a party that wants to increase research and productivity, keep the poor warm, have a properly funded Search and Rescue, vaccinate half our population against a particularly nasty form of cancer and make sure if you’re injured you can get decent home care. Or a party that wants to pour money into the pockets of the top 14% of earners. Your choice.

41 comments on “Herald gets it right ”

  1. erikter 1

    I quote The Herald: “A quick tally of the spending commitments the Labour-led Government has announced this year shows it has already promised almost $4 billion for new health initiatives, a research fund for the food and pastoral sectors, buying the national rail system back and boosting the country’s foreign affairs presence overseas.”

    So, it turns out that National’s promises are three (3) times less than Labour’s (over 1 billion against 4 billion dollars).

    For a change you should tell the whole story, not one side (yours) of it.

  2. Thats great news, National is for cutting back on Government spending, and faster broadband which every report shows is needed for New Zealand to be a viable economy.

    Also good to hear that they wont spend money on cleaning up Rotorua’s Lakes, perhaps the Local tribe can look after it, since they care about the land so much, and then we will have more money for health care and education.

    Oh before I go on, can you please provide specific documentation from the National Party that states that they are going to do all this, or is all this the typical Fear Factor policies of the Left, you know,

    “The sky is falling, the Americans are taking your oil, the big bad white man is keeping you down, but don’t worry, Aunty Helen will look after you, even though you just dont feel like working”

  3. IrishBill 3

    So you’re complaining that Labour wants to spend money on health, research and trade when National wants to spend it on taxcuts? I think that’s pretty much my point. I see the Herald calls these pork barrel policies. I wonder if they consider tax cuts to fit the same category?

    Can someone tell me which party is “ambitious for New Zealand”?

  4. AncientGeek 4

    e: That is because Labour announce costed policy.

    The Nat’s
    a) don’t announce policy
    b) where they do announce it, don’t bother to detail it
    c) don’t cost it on anything except round figures because they haven’t detailed it.
    d_ even when they announce it. Their spokespeople on the topic don’t appear to have heard about the policy half of the time. That explains b and c

    Means that Granny has no material to cost the Nats policy on, and where they do, the number of highly suspect.

    You want people that can’t do sums running the place? That is the winston school of politics

  5. Tane 5

    Brett, all IB has said is that this is a list of things National could cut to pay for tax cuts. Certainly if they plan to make bigger tax cuts than Cullen then they have to either cut programmes or increase borrowing.

  6. darryl p 6

    Well, if all our manufacturing continues to leave the country and set up offshore I’m not sure that spending more money on trade initiatives is going to be that helpful.

    Sooner or later someone has got to offer something that keeps business from leaving and something that will attract new businesses to set up in NZ.

    Primary goods production is going to continue to feel the squeeze of increased shipping costs and has to compete with more and more primary producing countries like Russia. On top of that NZ populations continue to rise while our primary producers are plateauing.

  7. Policy Parrot 7

    What the Herald doesn’t state,

    is that many of the initiatives announced by Labour are in fact pre-Budget announcements. They are not campaign promises, and whatever the government spends on Budget policies, if National wins the election it will inherit these policies, therefore this years pre-Budget costings remain attributable to both parties.

  8. James Kearney 8

    Building a bridge to nowhere in Alaska is porkbarelling. Heating the homes of the poor is not. NZ Herald, you’re a disgrace.

  9. randal 9

    hey and dont forget that johnny wants his go and if we are all nice fair people then we should all rollover so johny keys gets a turn.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Sooner or later someone has got to offer something that keeps business from leaving and something that will attract new businesses to set up in NZ.

    Like what Darryl? Maybe a corporate tax cut, a free trade deal with an emerging superpower and $700m on R&D? I reckon that would be a good start but who could do such a thing?

  11. Tane:

    Yes he has put a list of things that National COULD CUT.

    Dont you think that is pointless?

  12. Tane 12

    The list? Or National cutting the programmes? I’m sure what you’re talking about Brett.

  13. My choice is a”a party that wants to pour money into the pockets of the top 14% of earners.” A good start would be getting rid of 50% of the public service: chart public service staffing

    [lprent: if you’re going to scatter the damn links everywhere – then learn to do it correctly – so I don’t have to correct them. Or since they appear to be to your site – make them smaller at the site]

  14. Good to know what matters to you Bryan. Don’t expect me to help if I ever see you drowning though. It wouldn’t be in my personal interests as a rational economic entity after all…

  15. Tane:

    No what is pointless is saying “National may cut this programme or that programme” when you have no evidence that they may do so.

    I mean I could write that Labour MIGHT …

    Spend $250 Million dollars on a education programme to teach people the correct pronunciation of the word “Whangarei”

    Ban McDonalds and KFC from New Zealand (even though it seems that is their demographics main diet)

    Spend a further $250 Million on NZ on Air to fund hiphop artists.

    Increased the Tax rate for the top earning kiwis up to 70%.

    But I wont write that, because not even Labour would do this, the Greens and the Maori party, might though.

  16. Tane 16

    Except that you don’t have to speculate with Labour, Brett. They’ve said what they’re going to do and will outline their tax cut package on Thursday.

    It’s National that is refusing to reveal its policies, or the shape of its tax cut package. Well it’s time they fronted up instead of sniping from the sidelines.

    Their cheerleaders at the Herald want to show you how much more money National has free to spend on tax cuts because they haven’t committed to various social programmes. It’s perfectly valid therefore to question whether those programmes are at risk.

  17. Brett – the money for National’s tax cuts is going to have to come from somewhere and it’s likely they would not fulfill Labour’s election promises (if they do I’ll be stoked) so it’s a pretty fair assumption that these policies represent a good place for National to take its taxcut money from. Even David Farrar has said so:

    This gives some idea of why National will be in a position to offer larger tax cuts than Labour


    or do you think he’s just a Labour party shill?

  18. Robinsod: I think the article in the NZ herald last week about a 29 year old married mother of four complaining that they were “only” receiving $285 in WFF income transfer shows what has been wrong with Labours policies. They have created a class of people who take no responsibility for their lives and expect others to pick up the tab. Having four children if you cannot afford them is irresponsible and why should hard-working, high-earning taxpayers pay for ill considered choices.

  19. Byran.
    Working for Families is a tax credit. You pay your tax and get some of it straight back if you don’t have a high income and have kids ot support. Bascially it’s a tax cut directed at families with dependent children.

    She’s not getting a benefit from anyone else, she’s paying less net tax. You can’t get more back in WfF than you pay in tax.

    Honestly, get informed, It’s embarrassing.

  20. Bryan – why should my hard work pay for roads and infrastructure you use? Why should someone’s four children grow up to pay for your medical care? In fact Bryan, I’m starting to suspect you are a bit of a parasite mate. Just suck, suck, sucking off society while pretending it doesn’t exist. Like I’ve said before. Go to Somalia if you want small government mate. You’ll be able to keep everything your “hardwork” earns then…

  21. gobsmacked 21

    The Herald’s Porkometer is a good idea with a silly name, but it won’t work. And I suspect the Herald won’t try too hard to make it work.

    It won’t work because they are comparing two different things: actual policy and vague promises.

    Government announcements look like this: “We will invest 2.5 million in Umbrella manufacture and distribution, targetting the wettest in our society.”

    Opposition announcements look like this: “Rain, rain, bloody rain! Have you had enough of the rain? We have too! Labour has allowed the rain to fall, and hard-working Kiwis are sick of it.”

    Reporter: “How will you stop the rain?”

    Key: “The issue is, it’s raining, and people are getting wet. It’s time for a change.”

    Policies cost money, dreams are free.

  22. Brilliant! LMAO!

  23. Phil 23

    “LMAO” takes on new meaning when it comes from ‘sod

  24. higherstandard 24

    I know it’s somewhat at a tangent to the argument IB but do you have any idea why we’re putting money into racing …

    ‘$9 million over three years to lift horse-racing prizemoney purses.’

    On the face of it seems a hellish waste of money for something that should be self funding ?

  25. Steve: she pays less tax ( and I suspect probably no tax) meaning I have to pay more tax to pay for all the government services she and her brood use. Benefit or tax credit the net outcome is the same, I am paying for her inability to understand the instructions on a box of Durex.

  26. Wayne 26


    FFS Bryan! Try to keep your hatred of the poor under control. The mask is slipping dude!

  27. higherstandard 27

    Bryan your missing the point those on very high incomes will always pay more in tax than the return they get in the services they utilise such is life unless you want no governmental input into social services.

    I for one have no issue with a portion of my tax take going to assist with the upbringing of other peoples kids if you do I suggest you vacate the country and live somewhere that is a completely user pays environment.

  28. Aj 28

    Bryan, those kids will grow into adults. Some may work in the health system that will tend for you when you have an accident, become ill, or grow old. But you have such high principles I expect you will never use those services.

  29. Wayne: with New Zealands extremely generous social welfare benefits and easily accessed and cheap tertiary education people choose to be poor.

  30. higherstandard/Aj: I use the Link bus as often as I can: it’s the only way I will be getting a tax cut this century 🙂

  31. higherstandard 31


    While the are some people in the group you allude to they are very few and far between.

  32. Wayne 32

    Wayne: with New Zealands extremely generous social welfare benefits and easily accessed and cheap tertiary education people choose to be poor.

    Our social welfare benefits are set at 20% below what people need to even survive ( http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1886 ) and long term beneficiaries are at record lows.

    Our tertiary education is some of the most expensive in the world and cannot is not designed to cater for everyone. Some people have to work shit jobs, that’s how our economy works. Do you think we should punish them for that?

  33. Paul Robeson 33

    ‘why should my hard work pay for roads and infrastructure you use?’

    indeed. roads lead to more cars and more carbon deficit in our Kyoto promise. Or like the link to the airport in Auckland, are fast and effective briefly and then they get filled up with more trucks.

    Why does no-one seriously tackle putting in a proper rail network in Aucks? Not electrification solely, but connecting more and more parts of Auckland?

    Dear Gobsmacked,

    we badly need you on tele doing an NZ daily show…or CNNN or equivalent…

  34. darryl 34

    May 20, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Sooner or later someone has got to offer something that keeps business from leaving and something that will attract new businesses to set up in NZ.

    Like what Darryl? Maybe a corporate tax cut, a free trade deal with an emerging superpower and $700m on R&D? I reckon that would be a good start but who could do such a thing?”

    None of which have stopped companies like F&P relocating. That’s my point.

  35. r0b 35

    None of which have stopped companies like F&P relocating. That’s my point.

    So you’re opposed to the global mobility of capital darryl? Should we move towards a centrally planned and managed economy so that this sort of thing can’t happen?

  36. darryl 36

    Not opposed to global mobility of capital at all rob. The problem is the capital is mobilising out of New Zealand at the moment and there are obviously little incentives for overseas companies/investors to mobilise money into New Zealand.

    Moving forward we only have three options, get more production out of our current export base, incentivise small business in NZ to grow and become exporters or encourage overseas companies to invest and manufacture here.

    These things aren’t going to go away.

  37. r0b 37

    The problem is the capital is mobilising out of New Zealand at the moment

    Well yes, some of it is.

    and there are obviously little incentives for overseas companies/investors to mobilise money into New Zealand.

    You’re missing the obvious points here darryl. Capital moves to places where there is (1) cheap labour, and preferably (2) no environmental regulation. All we need to do is drive the cost of labour down and scrap all our environmenatl restidctions, and the grateful capital will come flooding back. Problem solved, right?

  38. r0b 38

    Grrr – spelling mistakes.

    Lynn, Safari 1.3.2 now offers me the edit comment interface, but hangs on “loading comment” so I can’t actually do anything.

  39. Ari 39

    HS- I agree that racing is a waste of money, but then again, I highly doubt National will cut back on it either, and they’ve shown that they’re much worse than Labour in terms of pork-barrel subsidies. They’ve proven with the ETS that they have no real opposition to subsidies for large corporate interests, even when there are social costs like gambling harm or the environment in the way.

    I’d also like to point out quickly that the Broadband issue is another great example of corporate sponsorship. They offer to sink money into broadband infrastructure, dollar for dollar, without preconditions or obligations to be met in return. Key has mentioned no policy that areas that will have poor returns must also be developed and offered service, so telcos are free to simply grab the subsidy for areas that will offer excellent returns and make off like kings when they’ve been the ones refusing to spend on infrastructure for so long. I hardly think that’s fair.

  40. IrishBill 40

    “None of which have stopped companies like F&P relocating. That’s my point.”

    Darryl, what would have stopped F&P going overseas is workers willing to do the job for a dollar an hour.

  41. darryl p 41

    Yep, that may be part of the reason. But there have been countries willing to do that since the end of the war. Japan used to be the place to get things made cheaply, then it was Hong Kong, then it was Taiwain. Currently it’s China and India and in 10 years time it might be Indonesia or Vietnam. So there have always been places where there is cheaper labour and there always will be. F&P could have found cheaper labour in one of these countries at anytime over the last 40 years – but only moved this year.

    Which suggests there were other factors involved as well, and I won’t pretend I know what those were because I don’t. But what I do know is that our export base needs to increase so we can still afford the social policies we all take for granted in this country. It’s going to become more and more of a concern if we can’t turn this situation around.

    Party policy aside I think this is something that needs to seriously be addressed by any government that NZ puts in place. And I would welcome any party that incentivised more businesses to grow here, in whatever way possible.

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