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Key’s statement to Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, February 9th, 2010 - 59 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government, Parliament - Tags:

Very little specific so far.

According to Stuff, National will increase GST to ‘up to’ 15% – which I take to mean 15%.

He has ruled out a land tax, capital gains tax, or tax on risk-free rate of return. That leaves just closing the loopholes that allow landlords to offset losses on investment properties against income tax.

Key says any income tax cuts will be across the board, but there are no details.

He claims that will allow New Zealanders to keep more of their income… but the changes are revenue-neutral, so don’t know what he’s talking about there.

He’s talking about using science and technology to generate more high-tech jobs but, again, no details – apart from some changes to how science funding is allocated. Seems like tinkering. He promises some more money for research in the budget.

Now, he comes to what I suspect is the meat of his speech – mining. ‘unlocking resources’. He says restrictions on mining will be weakened or removed, and encourage oil. Publicly-owned land will be removed from Schedule 4, allowing private companies to come and mine it.

Problem is, the result will just be foreign-owned companies coming in, digging up our national parks and making off with the profits. There’s no plan for keeping the profits in New Zealand. Mining is not a jobs intensive industry.

He is ‘intrigued’ by the idea of NZ becoming a hub for high finance. I’m not sure we want to be putting our eggs in that basket. But he’s a currency trader after all.

A real lack of vision here. Nothing big, nothing that is going to make a real difference to the economy.

He’s alluding to changes to the secondary school system. I didn’t quite catch the importance, but I bet there’s some fish-hooks in there.

In comes the beneficiary bashing, which has been presaged by all those anti-beneficiary stories the government has been leaking over the last few months. The rules for getting benefits will be tightened. That doesn’t do anything to eliminate poverty, of course. We know the vast majority of people don’t choose to be on benefits, but turn to the benefit in desperation. Denying them that safety-net will just make them poorer.

Very very weak. No big ideas. Talk of a step change but no notion of how to do it. I really thought he would have something up his sleeve.

No serious plan for jobs creation, not even lip service. Pretty sure Key didn’t even speak for his full allocated 20 minutes.

Hide and Turia aren’t speaking in support of Key’s ‘plan’, just going on about their own issues. Ouch, that’s not a vote of confidence.

59 comments on “Key’s statement to Parliament ”

  1. Up to 15%, that could be anything?

  2. When does he release the actual details?

  3. He has confirmed that Government is “considering” an increase and has ruled out the other taxes. I am not sure why, no matter how it is dressed up an increase in GST will do nothing more but hurt large families.

  4. WELL perhaps the Labour government when they bought in GST should of made sure that GST wouldn’t be added basics like bread, milk and veges.

    • Or caviar or fine French wine?

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Where does ‘caviar’ and ‘fine French wine’ fit into “bread, milk and veges”.

        Yes excluding certain food groups isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers, but that’s not the point.

        • mickysavage

          You should try defining food types and seeing how easy it is to apply tax to one and not to the other.

          Fish a basic? Then why not fish eggs?

          • Lanthanide

            I acknowledged it was difficult. That’s not the point. Lots of policy decisions are difficult. It doesn’t mean they aren’t sensible or worth doing.

    • Sam 4.2

      WELL perhaps some times shit that seems cool in the 80s isn’t really so cool 30 years later.

      That is quite frankly a retarded comment.

    • SHG 4.3

      Speaking as a resident of Australia, where fierce lobbying from various special interest groups DID result in various GST exemptions, I can say that it’s fucking retarded. An across-the-board GST is the best aspect of NZ’s implementation.

  5. Ooh “benefit reform” aka beneficiary bashing is promised.

    • Loco 5.1

      “Welfare, Crime and other Social Disfunctions” – Key

      Well we see how Key views those his government has thrown on the unemployment heap, he offers no solutions…… no new ideas…… nothing but denigration.

  6. Kevin Welsh 6

    This should be mana from heaven for Labour. Typical National Ltd in the end, they can’t help themselves and revert to type.

    Looking forward to those on the left getting stuck in. But I am sure the Maori Party will put a positive spin on it.

  7. ak 7

    Bash the bennies, bulldoze the bush and milk the poor further via GST (polls willing). NACT as usual. Yawn.

    • @ak
      Do you seriously think that?
      Have you thought about the ordinary NZer?
      Have you ever thought about anyone else in this country except the “bennies” and poor people?
      We are one country. One people. This sort of comment is stupid, arrogant and not helpful to anyone else.

      • mickysavage 7.1.1


        Did you listen to the speech? I thought ak’s comment was a very succint synopsis of what Key said.

        • kiwiteen123

          I have not listened to the speech yet.
          What ever Key said you and ak would say he was “bennie bashing”.

          • mickysavage

            So KT let me get this right?

            You are defending Key for not saying something in a speech that you have not heard?

            • kiwiteen123

              I’m not defending Key.
              Even if Key said everything that ak quoted his comment was still silly.

              • I have now skimmed over the speech.
                I can’t see any bennie bashing.

              • So would Key’s speech also have been silly in that case?

              • It would be silly for John Key to say the things that ak has quoted him as saying.

              • What Key said to Parliament is a different thing to his prepared speech but what about this?

                I need to be able to look taxpayers in the eye and assure them that their hard-earned wages are not being used to support those who lack the will or desire to work as hard for their living as their fellow New Zealanders.

                for most people, a benefit should only provide temporary support until they can return to work…

                Our benefit reforms will therefore be squarely focused on helping people get back to work as soon as possible, and ensuring that they do so.

                These reforms will include adjustments to the criteria and testing for a Sickness Benefit, to ensure it only goes to those people who are genuinely too sick to work.

                The number of people receiving a Sickness or Invalids Benefit in particular has been allowed to grow out of control in recent times. Without any fundamental changes, this number is expected to keep growing over the longer term, by perhaps 50 percent over the next 15 years.

                … We owe it to our children, the taxpayers of the future, to bring welfare rolls back under control.

                Accordingly, this year the Government will appoint a working group of experts to recommend ways in which we can reduce long-term welfare dependency and thereby reduce the welfare bill future generations will face.

                Pure dogwhistle.

              • @Micky
                How so?
                This is not bashing.

              • It is pure benefit bashing. It suggests that the only cause of increased benefit numbers lies with the beneficiaries themselves and that all that is required is a bit of “tough love” to make things better.

                It is insulting to the many thousands who have lost their jobs that they are at fault, not the economic situation. It is an insult to our aging population who find incresingly that they are gettiung sick that they are to blame.

                It suggests that most people who receive a benefit are bludgers whereas the vast majority are either over the age of 65 or genuinely in need of state help.

                Do you not hear the dog whistle?

              • Rex Widerstrom


                He didn’t ascribe unemployment to any cause other than beneficiaries “lack[ing] the will or desire to work”?!

                Much of the reason for rising unemployment is simply beyond the control of the government of a nation as small as NZ, so I’m not implying he should have accepted all of the blame, either.

                But if he’s swallowed the Paula Bennett / Christina Rankin view of beneficiaries hook, line and sinker I suspect the report from his “group of experts” will meet the same fate as that of the Royal Commission on Social Policy.

  8. the sprout 8

    Jake Quinn points out an excellent own goal from Key

    “National leader John Key said told (sic) a press conference this morning that if National is elected and does a “half decent job’ at growing the economy, then increasing GST and the top tax rate will not be necessary.’


    • @the sprout
      Hey, where have you been??
      Obviously they have not done a half-decent job but a good job.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Much like Xeno’s paradox of the flying arrow, you cannot do a good job without first doing a half-decent one, which he has admitted they haven’t done. Q.E.D.

      • lprent 8.1.2

        Obviously they have not done a half-decent job but a good job.

        …of raising unemployment.

        I can’t quite see how that is a good thing unless you’re like Brash and considered that a high unemployment rate was a good thing for the economy…

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.3

        Ah, the delusional ramblings of the RWNJ.

  9. Loco 9

    Poor speaking style from Key today, not up to his usual standard.
    Very reliant on his papers, stumbled many times and had trouble with his statistics.
    Boring and offered nothing new, nothing smart, nothing that will work.

    Anti-spam: ‘doubtful’ – indeed

  10. Excellent speech by Goff. He is really hitting his straps this year.

  11. tc 11

    And they’re off and running in the race for election 2011…….Goff needs to make some tough calls after the first parliamaentary term as to who belongs on his bench if he wants the PM’s job.

    He’s got it all over Key but has to convince the electorate to elect his team which contains some geniune albatrosses like Mr bash and the blonde battleaxe.

    Take note Goff……fresh is best, look what the nodding dogs around Key have done to him, look and learn phil…….NZ really can’t afford any more of this do nothing, dismantle the past cause it wasn’t done by us dogma so please make more of an effort by genuinely refreshing the front bench and letting them go toe to toe with their opposites.

  12. ParkDrive 12

    If they do make changes to the rental property system, they need to ignore those who have a 1+1 style (house+rental) arrangement, otherwise they be losing a lot of votes.

    Many people have a rental property for their retirement after being shysted out of the markets post 87.

    It’s those with more than 1 rental property that need to be targeted. No way of being able to dress it up as can easily make law so that those whose names are on a deed have it counted as 1 house in their name – irrespective of whether there’s 2 or 200 people on a deed to a house.

  13. tracey 13

    Goff should never have tried to “out sweet” Key. Today he looked tougher, mentally more acute and invigorated. Key read his notes, stumbled (no aut-cue for him as at the Halberg Awards), The Nats are so poll driven… this one will lead to more polling before the final Budget is set in concrete…. and any chance for proper reform of the tax system, the loopholes (of which there are SO many) and the property investors, are gone again because the Nats are LOVING power again, and they will do anything )or not do anything in this case) to keep it.

    My brother is a former ACT voter and national voter, he told me on Sunday that if Key didnt do something with this speech he’s had enough and wont be voting Nats next time.

    • Clarke 13.1

      It’s taken a while, but I think his speech was pretty much the death-rattle for his honeymoon with the New Zealand electorate.

  14. tracey 14


    I couldn’t agree with you more, a portfolio isn’t “one”.

  15. Milk and bread should be basics.

  16. BLiP 16

    I’ve really got to learn to drive the tv remote.

    There I was excited after the big build up and ready to hear the Prime Minister of Aotearoa address the nation with a vision for the future based on equity – a firm plan to raise our sights above the over the daily grind and set sail for a brighter more optimistic future for us all.

    Got the wrong channel, didn’t I. I ended up watching some worn down, clapped out mid-level manager named Don Key reluctantly mumble his way through a presentation to the accounts receiveable department at McDonalds’ HQ.

  17. gingercrush 17

    Adequate speech. The left are screaming murder and the far right are also screaming murder. Its always a good sign when these two groups agree on the same thing. For that reason I give his speech an A.

    • Clarke 17.1

      An “A”? But “mediocre” doesn’t begin with the letter A ….

      • gingercrush 17.1.1

        Well I don’t see it as mediocre. But then I’m partisan as fuck. Where I believe it has its good points is that it doesn’t piss off everyone but does annoy the political left and the far-right. It still achieves some tax reform in regards to consumption but doesn’t do it to the extent it’ll hurt average tax-payers.

        Its very middle-of-the-road and very National. Much like the 1990s after Ruth Richardson. Standard conservative National government. The same National government we’ve had since the days of Holyoake.

        • felix

          Sorry to be a pedant but I don’t think you’ll find his speech “achieves some tax reform” or achieves anything else for that matter.

  18. Good comment by David Cunliffe.

    “Is that it?”

  19. …and still the elephant in the room is the maori party voters who didnt vote their party in to share power with a nat gov’t that will raise GST.

    if there is gonna be a serious backlash that’ll force Turia and co back to their electorates for a mandate to continue, this budget and the lead up to it will be it.

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