Hopeless

Written By: - Date published: 2:31 pm, May 11th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , , , ,

Anyone remember Helen Clark’s announcement during Labour’s election campaign that there would be no new significant spending promises:

“We have judged it not prudent at this present time to make those sort of commitments.”

We’ve now got Key justifying his inevitable-looking betrayal of his campaign tax cut promises:

“There’s no getting away from the fact that this Budget has been prepared in much leaner times than I, Bill English, and indeed all New Zealanders had hoped for during the election campaign”

“Hoped for”.

I’m not averse to the odd punt from time to time myself but does that make anyone else a little nervous coming, as it does, from our PM?

25 comments on “Hopeless”

  1. bilbo 1

    You’re stretching a bit.

    • r0b 1.1

      I don’t think so. Key and Co were still talking up the tax cuts – “North of $50′ – even when it was becoming blindingly obvious that they weren’t going to be affordable:

      Tuesday Sep 16, 2008

      Despite global financial turmoil, National’s finance spokesman, Bill English, has indicated the party is still considering tax cuts of $50 a week.

      Asked on Radio New Zealand whether cuts of that magnitude were still on the table, Mr English replied: “It will be around those expectations.”

      His comment comes just before the next Treasury quarterly report is expected to show a recession, and follows ongoing ructions in the United States with the bankruptcy announcement of investment bank Lehman Brothers and forced sale of Merrill Lynch to the Bank of America.

      Either National were deliberately misleading the public, or they were “optimistic” beyond the point of stupidity. Which do you think it was?

      • Pat 1.1.1

        I think they were deliberately misleading the public even though they didn’t know about the ACC blowout because Labour were deliberately misleading the public. Or maybe Labour were just optimistic beyond the point of stupidity to think that they would win the election, and then wouldn’t have to disclose the ACC blowout.

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Ahhh yes, the good old ACC blowout beatup:

          The Finance Minister’s attack on Labour, which followed the release of the report of the ministerial inquiry into the failure to disclose a $300 million shortfall in accident compensation funding in the run-up to last November’s election, had all the bite of a toothless Muppet.

          That was not English’s fault. National initially had high hopes the inquiry conducted by management consultant Michael Mills would ping Michael Cullen, English’s predecessor, and former ACC Minister and Labour front-bencher Maryan Street as being responsible for hiding the cost blow-out and thereby breaching the Public Finance Act.

          Instead, the report is a fizzer from National’s point of view. It lays the blame solely at the Treasury’s door for not including the shortfall in the list of “fiscal risks” in last October’s pre-election update – otherwise known as the “opening of the books”

          See also:

          Smith has claimed ACC’s liabilities the amount needed to cover future costs of all existing claims will stand at $21.8 billion by the middle of this year. This is like saying we have a $100b liability in our schools because we will have to fund teachers’ salaries for the next 20 years. Give us a break, Nick!

      • Akldnut 1.1.2

        Ermmm…. are they allowed to be both?

  2. gobsmacked 2

    National’s Spin, in 4 gymnastic moves:

    1. NZ was the first to go into recession, early last year. It’s Cullen’s fault!

    2. We had no way of knowing the recession was coming … it just crept up on us without warning, after November 8!

    3. John Key is an expert on predicting the markets. His financial acumen is just what this country needs.

    4. John had no way of knowing the recession was coming … it just crept up on him without warning, after November 8!

    (copyright pliant media poodles, 2009)

    • bilbo 2.1

      1. No-one apart from commenters on blogs are blaming Cullen for the recession.
      2. Sadly most of the “wise” treasury heads around the world got a dismal ‘fail’ on picking the recession despite everyone now saying it was all obvious that it was coming …… if so one wonders if they exited certain stocks and currencies and made a killing.
      3. Meh
      4. Prefu was out but underestimated where we are now.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    So where does that leave Labour’s election promise to cut ACC levies given what they knew about the state of ACC prior to the election?

  4. Foot. Shoot. Bang.

    Perhaps the reality is that Cullen and Clark in their desperation had already over-committed in their last bribe … oops budget and had forced both National and Labour into a corner.

    As noted elsewhere, National “paid” for the latest round of tax cuts by ditching a couple of Labour’s commitments.

    The other issue (commitment to tax cuts) is what is being played out. Labour was never committed to tax cuts as it simply did not sit ideologically with Cullen.

    • r0b 4.1

      Rightly or wrongly, Labour implemented personal tax cuts. They implemented business tax cuts too, which is something National never did.

  5. BeShakey 5

    “The other issue (commitment to tax cuts) is what is being played out. Labour was never committed to tax cuts as it simply did not sit ideologically with Cullen.”

    So National is ditching their tax cuts because of their overwhelming committment to them? The ‘Cullen hates tax cuts’ meme just shows you have no understanding of economics. Cullen is committed to countercyclical stimulation of the economy, not stimulating it as it is booming whcih would have lead to us being in much more trouble than we are now.

    • Daveski 5.1

      BS (strangely appropriate given your comments) even allowing for the generalisations of posting comments like this, my comment about Cullen’s ideological aversion to tax cuts is a lot closely to the truth than you would ever admit. Labour made their decisions and favoured redistribution of wealth over tax cuts.

      r0b, fair point although as I’ve noted before the marginal and average tax rates of rich pricks were still much higher, as was the % of people paying the top rate of tax at the end of Labour’s 9 years.

      Noted re business tax cuts altho the logical action of reducing personal taxes to similar levels for all sorts of sensible reasons was beyond Cullen.

      My substantive point tho was that Labour had already committed beyond its own comfort levels in its budget hence why HC was so keen not to make additional promises.

      • Maynard J 5.1.1

        Your substantiative point was that Labour promised what was possible, while National offered something that was increasingly unlikely. Similar to the substantiative point of the post.

        Cullen wasn’t ideologically opposed to ‘tax cuts’. A party that is against 3-strikes is not opposed to ‘law and order’. I see what you are saying but the over simplicity of the statement irks me.

      • felix 5.1.2

        Dave, when do you expect to see National deliver on the “North of $50 a week” tax cuts they banged on about so loudly for so long?

        If the answer is “probably never” (which it probably is), I reckon it’s about time you dropped the bullshit about “Labour don’t believe in tax cuts like National do”.

        The hard facts are that Labour delivered what they promised on tax cuts (with or without the “belief” in them) and National never will. Sorry mate, but I think you’ve been had.

        • Daveski 5.1.2.1

          Time will tell.

          I’m not going to get into the self imposed trap of going round in circles but I think we’ve established our current positions on these issues.

          Certainly, National is going to have to deliver on other policies because this is one that won’t be delivered.

          MJ – acknowledge over simplicity doesn’t help but it is the nature of comments. I’ve made many stunning, brief and thoughtful comments in the past and returned to them later to think … WTF??

  6. Kevin Welsh 6

    The one thing that struck me early on in last years election lead up was that come-hell-or-high-water, National would do and say whatever it took to gain the treasury benches.

    Their behaviour since then has confirmed what I suspected then. I think I now understand the meaning of “time for a change”.

  7. bilbo 7

    “This will see significant decreases in the motor vehicle and average employer’s levy next year,” Prime Minister Helen Clark and ACC Minister Maryan Street said in a joint statement today.

    From the ODT.

    The substantive point of the post is that politicians tend to over promise, obfuscate and downright lie going in to elections National and Labour are very good at it so are the smaller parties albeit they will never have to deliver.

    Edit Felix were you around in 2005 when the tax cuts that were promised were never delivered ? Have you completely forgone the Greens and become a Labour apologist or have you moved beyond that to the sensible position of distrusting all of the twats that inhabit the beehive.

    • felix 7.1

      bilbo the “tax cut canceller” meme is exactly what I’m referring to. Do you remember anything that’s happened since 2005?

      And no, I haven’t “forgone the greens” but then I’ve never been much of a party animal (so to speak). They’re definitely testing my patience though.

  8. mike 8

    The facts are as JK pointed out again today – the first thing Labour did when it came to power was raise taxes, the first thing National did was lower them…

    As 70% + (in the polls I saw) voted for no cuts in the current climate I’m afraid the left are onto a loser persuing this one. But hey you have very little else to attack do you

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      I don’t think it was 70% Mike, let alone +, but let’s go with 70.

      That 30%. Who do you think they voted for? We can subtract ACT’s 4%. I’m guessing the 70% is the left vote, plus NZfirst, plus the swingers in the middle that National picked up some of. ergo, the one’s likely to be pissed off are National’s base and ACT voters.

      Are they going to switch to Labour? nope. Does that matter to National though? nope. It still hurts.

  9. vto 9

    Haven’t read the posts above, but as I used to call Clark a liar/twister when she was so too Key. He knew full well long before the election campaign that the depression writing was on the wall and that his tax cut promises would have an excuse, so for him to say such a thing smacks of not displaying his full knowledge of the situation.

    And that’s smelly..

    (so is that lying, or just merely twisting, and whats the diff?)

    • serpico 9.1

      I say that is lying, because on the job it’s always easy to twist the truth. Then the spin doctors throw the whitewash around and we all move on.Has kiwi got wet brain?

  10. BR 10

    “I don’t think so. Key and Co were still talking up the tax cuts – “North of $50′ – even when it was becoming blindingly obvious that they weren’t going to be affordable:”

    It’s not tax cuts that are unaffordable, it is wasteful government spending that is unaffordable.

    Bill.

  11. yawn 11

    loooosers


    [lprent: expat – thank you for that kind word. In line with your usual lack of effort. Since he seems to have nothing constructive to say amongst any of his various psuedonyms, I’m going to move him to auto-spam. ]

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