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Key needs to face the facts

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, November 18th, 2009 - 24 comments
Categories: Environment, john key, national - Tags:

Nice Mr Key may be feeling the strain a bit. He’s starting to sound quite snippy:

Meanwhile, Key has also slammed Treasury predictions that the proposed changes to the ETS would add $50 billion to the price tag of the scheme.

“The numbers from Treasury are nonsense. Treasury can’t tell us what the deficit is going to be in December let alone what’s happening in 2030 or 2040.

Sounds like Key can’t face the truth. National have stuffed up their ETS scheme big time. Nick Smith’s costings are nonsense. National was warned about this and chose to ignore it. Then sure enough Treasury had to admit to a $50bn blunder – the costs of the ETS are twice the original predictions. This makes an obviously untenable scheme even more ludicrous, costing up to 16% of GDP, up to $92,000 per family.

Because he can’t handle the message, Key has instead shot the messenger. He would rather we continued to believe the original costings pushed by the incompetent Nick Smith – a man with a known history of lying with numbers. “Let’s trust Nick Smith not Treasury. Yeah right!”

Time to harden up John. We need a PM who can face the facts, not flee from them. You’ve stuffed up your ETS, it’s unsustainable. Drop the amendments and leave Labour’s ETS in place.

24 comments on “Key needs to face the facts ”

  1. This really is appalling politics on the part of the National Party. At the same time they have managed to do the folloing:

    1. Really annoy those of us actually wanting our country to do something about climate change,
    2. Signed up for horrendous debt. If the price of carbon increases, and this is a possibility, then the debt would be even worse.
    3. Annoy the climate skeptics who think that it is all a load of ruibbish anyway,
    4. Really annoy the rednecks who are becoming more and more distraught at the thought that their precious leader is actually giving favourite treatment to Maori.

    And the stench of hypocracy about the process used is overwhelming. National said about Labour’s efforts “[t]he legislative process has been rushed and inadequate given this bill’s complexity and significance. The public has not had adequate time to examine and submit on the bill, and it is [in]evitable that serious mistakes will be made that will adversely affect New Zealanders.”

    Speaks for itself really.

  2. BLiP 2

    Of our 100% Pure brand, John Key says:

    “We think it’s a foundation brand to carry on into the future. We can use that to leverage not just our tourism activities but also our trade promotion and general promotion of New Zealand.”

    Meanwhile, our farmers destroy overseas rainforests and burn 180,000 tonnes of filthy coal per year – two name but two of the acts of environmental vandalism due to be subsidised by National Ltd®. And now the government is master minding a PR exercise in distraction where, rather than address the actual environment, we have descended into a squabble about financial costs. There’s simply no sign of any actual leadership concerning the real issue, the Prime Minister is even too ashamed to show his face at Copenhagen even though we’re all willing to pay his airfaire.

    Its a bit like having the country run by a banker – oh, hang on a sec . . .

  3. burt 3

    Is this Key’s way of saying that Treasury have had an ideological burp ? Funny – Treasury was slammed as being useless when they didn’t agree with Cullen but things change I guess.

    • r0b 3.1

      Ideology driven speculations are what they are, and that’s what Cullen was describing. Basic costings are bread and butter work. Treasury should get them right and Key should listen to them.

    • burt 3.2

      You don’t have a clue do you. It’s all OK when your team do it… pathetic.

      Cullen’s famous quip of ‘ideological burp’ was in relation to the cost of interest free loans…. Bread and butter work as you say. And what is more time has proven Treasury correct and Cullen a muppet. Grow up rOb, It’s not always OK when your team do it.

      • mickysavage 3.2.1

        But Burt this is entirely different.

        Treasury are saying this will be a disaster.

        It is clear that Key and Smith do not have a clue how much it may cost.

        Remind me why are we proceeding with this?

        • burt

          “It is clear that Key and Smith do not have a clue how much it may cost.”

          And it’s not even an election year so they have no excuse for flipping the bird at Treasury…..

      • r0b 3.2.2

        You don’t have a clue do you. It’s all OK when your team do it pathetic.

        Good strong start there Burt. Come on – hit me…

        Cullen’s famous quip of ‘ideological burp’ was in relation to the cost of interest free loans . Bread and butter work as you say.

        Oh noes! Fail! Wrong in point of fact:

        Treasury has told the Government it should cut personal and company taxes as soon as the next Budget.

        But Finance Minister Michael Cullen dismissed the briefing as the usual “ideological burp” from Treasury every three years. He remained largely unconvinced tax cuts would change the growth rate.

        Grow up rOb, It’s not always OK when your team do it.

        Get your facts straight before you try to lecture me thou cloth-eared puttock.

      • burt 3.2.3

        Fair enough then I still think he said there was an ideological burp about interest free loans perhaps that was a different election bribe justification three year burp.

        Interesting also that Cullen changed his tune and started to follow Treasury tax advice just before the 2008 election.

        Even more funny is Cullen saying that Treasury have these burps every three years that is basically him saying that Treasury and the Labour party have different objectives come election time. Fair enough I guess, Labour have a red flag so that’s enough to justify them ignoring Treasury when there is an election to win . National on the other hand are just mad they should know they have a blue flag so they need to be accountable. Furthermore there isn’t the justification of an immanent election giving them then right to tell Treasury to STFU because winning elections is more important than the long term health of the economy. Perhaps if they changed the colour of their flag to red they would be blessed by you defending them irrespective of what they do.

        • Pascal's bookie

          I still think he said there was an ideological burp about interest free loans

          Think what you like. I think it’s just your usual partisan hatred of the LP.

          Your last para is equally weird. Govts are usually influenced by ideology. If they disagree with some treasury civil servants, SFW. Nobody elected the treasury, so they don’t get a say on ideological matters. The idea that politicians should be criticised for not taking their ideological advice is mental.

          Further madness is the idea that Cullen told treasury to fuck off re tax cuts as an election bribe. Way I remember it, Cullen’s refusal to give tax cuts was unpopular. Wise, but certainly not an election bribe.

  4. tc 4

    I think the only fact JK will be facing is that this PM gig’s not as easy as Sir Doug and all his other backers made out…..people actually expect you to lead and decide, especially when your senior ministers make a complete mess.
    JK is incapable of anything beyond a photo opp, sticking to a script and repeating slogans like ‘efficiency will help us catch Oz…” etc
    He’s hamstrung after Hides unpunished outburst and minsters sticking 2 fingers up to him regarding partners travel……like the powerless figurehead he is.
    ETS is simply dumb, from any angle you look, I expected them to shelve it being the climate denial monkeys they are which would have been astute in the electorate and politically…..come on down Nick Smith, oh and can you do a likewise top notch job on ACC whilst you’ve got the toolbox out Nick….marvellous.

  5. Red Rosa 5

    mickeysavage has it right. ETS will be the biggest Economic Transfer Shambles since the SMP days.

    Just love those acronyms – only the $ sign is missing.

    Some encouragement for forestry plantings is always useful in NZ, even if it just stops the steep bits flowing out to sea – do we have this or not? Simple answers appreciated.

    And even the farmers aren’t happy – no doubt they expect the taxpayer to pick up the whole tab, instead of 90% or whatever………!

    A complex issue, but the simple answer is the good old NZ taxpayer will be ripped off big time.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Now, I’m going to have to admit that I wouldn’t trust Treasury to get the numbers right – their inability to predict the recession is proof that they’re using the wrong theory to start with – but I’d trust their numbers a hell of a lot more than Nationals. Treasuries numbers are based on research – NACTs are based on belief.

    • Geek 6.1

      Belief would indicate that they believe there is some semblance of reality to what they are spouting. These numbers seem to be based on achieving a desired goal and are selectively picked, out of context, to create the desired image.

    • burt 6.2

      Are you sure it was Treasury’s inability to predict the recession and not Labour being in a position where they didn’t want to communicate such advice so close to an election ? Having just spent twice the book value on Railways while promising to spend billions rebuilding it and having told us that ACC levies would come down because the books were in such great shape – it is no surprise that Labour took their default arrogant position that they know better than Treasury. Hell some partisan hacks actually defended them for this position as well.

      The only real surprise is that National has become equally arrogant so quickly. It’s OK when Labour do it though because their flag is red!

      • prism 6.2.1

        burt there has been a world wide meltdown in the value of investments and Labour can’t be blamed for that and the effect it has had on Acc investments.
        The rail is essential infrastructure never to be rebuilt if destroyed. And English has chosen to
        comment unfavourably about Treasury’s predictions – we’ve heard them all before he says.

    • prism 6.3

      DTB I think that National have a natural inclination to be Action Men, and what’s more their education and their class have taught and reinforced this. They’re the sort of people who used to mock information and opinions from universities saying they were just ivory tower academics and didn’t know anything practical, (presumably like making a Taranaki gate).

      At school what was important for them was passing the right exams to get them a good paying job and playing sport. Hardly the stuff needed for nutting out decisions where ‘no man has gone before’, as with many of today’s problems. As you say they just have to believe they are right, and make the decision that stands out as the most convenient for their in-group.

      • Geek 6.3.1

        It seems a bit far fetched to refer to this government as “Action Men”. As much as what they have done, they have done under urgency there actually seems to have been very little done over all.

        The reason they want to rush through what little they are doing is because it won’t stand up to scrutiny.

        • prism

          geek – I think my vision of National action men is more of people who rush round doing things without doing serious thinking around the problem. The motto “When all else fails read the instructions” approach.

  7. Tanya 7

    Yes, he was a bit snippy or snappy seeming on Breakfast today. Still, I suppose if I’d had to get up at some ghastly hour, I would be too. Is the fun of being PM fading? Those questions re Graham Burton were silly, I thought, the PM did well to dodge them.

  8. Tanya 8

    I’d say more tired than snippy, not as relaxed as usual. Is the fun of being PM slipping? Those questions re Graham Burton were not necessary, that’s hardly the PM’s fault, don’t blame him for dodging them. Guess if I had to get up at a ghastly hour like Key does, I’d not be at my best, either. Can’t be easy.

  9. Nerdy 9

    I actually think the National amendments are, on the whole, good (and I’m generally not a National supporter!). It’s removed grandfathering, (grandfathering limits growth in our businesses without reducing business’ incentive to move overseas). Economically speaking, there is room for an effective price cap to be the most efficient means of capping emissions during the early stages of this this scheme, and making NZUs not tradable overseas allows NZ’s focus to be purely on meeting our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol (which is essentially the only goal NZ should have regarding this. Nothing else we do is going to make any significant difference to this issue).

    The only questionable components to the ETS in my view, is the effect the price cap will have on forestry, as it may provide incentive for deforestation of forests to be brought forward while the price cap is still in place. And on the level of free allocations to high emission intensive industries. I definitely do not think the ETS should go back to Labours version, I just think the level of free allocations should be lowered (which farmers will hate, but why should we fund an industry that’s inefficient under the ETS), and precautions should be made to reduce deforestation of forests during the transitional phase.

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