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Key to scrap research fund

Written By: - Date published: 5:17 pm, March 12th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: john key, national, slippery - Tags: , ,

From Radio NZ:

National says it will scrap a major new research and development fund for the pastoral and food industries if it becomes the Government at this year’s election.

Party leader John Key has criticised the fund as a “gimmick” and insists only the interest earned on the fund will be spent on research.

Key’s totally wrong on this. As Jim Anderton points out:

It’s quite clear from the overview document distributed yesterday at the fund’s launch that it will be in place by July this year and will include a $700 million Government contribution that will be invested in innovation over the next 15 years, running down the capital of the fund. This has been publicly stated by myself and Prime Minister Helen Clark.

He had a bad week last week and this week is the same. Our fund of $700 million will be spent, plus the interest, which could total $1 billion – What part of that doesn’t he understand?

This is a case where he’s wrong again, he’s made the wrong call but he can’t and won’t admit it.

He’s up against the whole food and pastoral sector which has come out strongly in support of this exciting plan for the future.

Key’s problem of late seems to be an inability to be simultaneously decisive and correct. No surprise then that he declined to be interviewed on this today.

UPDATE: Good to see Jim Anderton getting involved in online discussion on the fund over at Public Address.

20 comments on “Key to scrap research fund”

  1. steveo 1

    Is pastoral the politically correct term for the dairy industry that’s now being used so as not to scare off the green vote ?

  2. maybe jim was talking about the theological “pastoral sector”?
    have the Exclusive Brethren deserted National?

  3. Hillary 3

    Great to see the vision for NZ we keep hearing Key has. Atlast some detailed policy – scrapping R & D funding. Federated Farmers will love it!

  4. Weather Eye Of The North 4

    The “flake” barometer continues to rise !

  5. gobsmacked 5

    Everything’s tactics, isn’t it? Not “this is what I believe”. Just “this is how I need to appear”. The issue itself is irrelevant.

    Today’s special: Decisive. Menu changes daily.

  6. Dan 6

    Key is reminding me more and more of George Bush as he faces the cameras. He just has to practice the smirk.
    Who on earth in the Nats let him loose today? Is he being set up for a leadership change before the election?

  7. Phil 8

    You’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle:

    “over the next 15 years”

    So, what we’re actually talking about is no more than $50mln a year on average over the next decade and a half. While it’s better than nothing, its still much closer to “nothing” than it is to “better”

    When you add in the effect of inflation, and start to calculate the present value of these future payments, it works out at sweet F.A.

    Add to that the fact we’ve got a whole raft of organisations who are going to be making pitches to get their hands on the cash, and you start to see an awful lot of people who heard “Ka-ching!” are going to be sorely disapointed

    Captcha; “Scout party”
    Time to start scouting the party for a new leader? Could be equally true for the red team and the blue team…

  8. randal 9

    bang goes his end of year bonus…

  9. While it’s better than nothing, its still much closer to “nothing’ than it is to “better’

    Your point being that Key’s offer of “nothing” is a closer match to “better?” Serious logical flaw there, Phil.

  10. Dan 11

    The red team’s leadership is fine. It is only the biased press that keeps knocking her leadership. She is the best we have had for generations. What the polls don’t tell is Labour’s core support is rock solid. It is the waverers who will eventually see through Key’s bluster and quietly move back, totally disallusioned in Key who promised much but to too many.
    Labour is in the box seat.

  11. mike 12

    “What the polls don’t tell is Labour’s core support is rock solid”
    Yes the smaller things get the more solid they appear Dan.
    I hear Cullen’s name is being put forward by an increasing number of worried labour MPs.
    Chris Trotter and other ‘biased media’ are still pushing Goff though….

  12. out of bed 13

    I hear Cullen’s name is being put forward by an increasing number of worried rightwing nutjobs

  13. all_your_base 14

    TDS – look like Slippery John changing his mind again. Seems that he had sensibly reconsidered his initial refusal by the end of the day. Shame he still didn’t have his facts straight.

  14. Conor Roberts 15

    Phil – even if it was $50 million a year – that’s more than the Marsden Fund. But it’s not $50million a year. It’s $2 billion over a decade after you take into account government and private contributions. And that is a fantastic investment in R&D in NZ.

  15. randal 16

    in this mornings dompost on page A2 key reveals himself as bad tmepered, almost desperate…he is not going to win friends or an election this way.

  16. the sprout 17

    i get the feeling Key’s having second thoughts about whether he actually wants the job.
    can’t say i blame him.

  17. Ari 18

    Mike, Chris Trotter is biased in the direction of delusionality, and despite being pretty irredeemably leftist, I haven’t yet agreed with the general thrust of anything of his that I’ve bothered to read. Fortunately ideology is independent of separation from the real world, but that’s not going to prevent Trotter from having a punt at Phil Goff. And I agree that if the Labour Party didn’t have the most solid party leader in quite a while, he’d be a good candidate. But he’s not worth jettisoning Clark for.

    TDS: John Key even points out in that interview his objection is more with Government policy than with actual public servants… which makes his speech about the excesses of the public service look loony.

    And… he complains about the government giving figures on year 1-3 spending for its policy one day late when we don’t even have any National policy yet, let alone numbers for it… Is anyone getting a sense of deja vu?

  18. the sprout 19

    it’s like deja vu all over again

  19. Dan 20

    Mikw: 35% has not changed and will grow. It does not need much movement before the Nats knives will be out. Bill English is the only alternative, and with the moderating influence of Rich gone, the female vote will desert National in droves.Don’t be afraid Mike. New Zealand has improved over the last nine years when you look back on the likes of Richardson and Bradford.

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