- Date published:
12:02 pm, July 19th, 2017 - 91 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, leadership - Tags: choices, election 2017, labour, policy, priorities
Labour lays out financial plan with billions more for health, education
Labour has run its numbers and opened its books, promising multi-billion-dollar injections into health and education.
If elected, Labour leader Andrew Little said he would pump $8b more over four years into health and $4b into education, all the while maintaining surpluses of more than $4b.
The plan has been independently vetted by economic consultancy firm Berl, which has confirmed the policy plans would stick within Labour’s own budget responsibility plan, which it signed jointly with the Green Party.
“Labour’s Fiscal Plan prioritises new investment in housing, health, education, and infrastructure. Our plan will boost the incomes for low and middle income families, create opportunities for our young people, and improve the lives of all,” Little said.
“Our fiscal plan shows New Zealanders that we will make the investments required to re-build our core public services, reduce inequality and poverty and invest for the long-term benefit of New Zealand, while also responsibly managing our country’s finances,” said Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson.
Labour had already announced $5 billion more for a families package through Working for Families – that included the Best Start programme for newborns and a Winter Energy Payment.
Read on for more details.
Or we can have tax cuts for those that don’t need them.
The choice is ours in September.
Labour promises to invest billions of dollars in health, education and families, rejecting National’s proposed tax cuts
Labour announces $17bn social spending policy
Labour would spend billions more on health and education
Labour’s fiscal plan hints at $10 billion for campaign surprise
Proud to lay out a plan that puts people first. #health #housing #education #cutpovertynottaxes https://t.co/fo7QnlgRDF
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) July 19, 2017
And if that was the only choice on the table come September, I’d take it.
But thankfully it isn’t.
C’mon Bill – this is what you have been claiming was not going to happen – you can make a deeper acknowledgment surely.
There’s nothing there that I claimed “wasn’t going to happen”. You care to be more explicit?
You have regularly written that Labour is dominated by ‘liberalism’ in your broad negative turn of the phrase, and asserted that the party is not capable of returning to a social democracy platform.
When Labour indicates movement in that direction, I am suggesting that you acknowledge and soften your view, rather than adding further disparagement. Big spending on health and education is surely a shift towards the spaces in the Venn diagram of your mind, that are outside the one you label ‘liberalism’.
Labour putting the people first. I’m huge on the importance of education opportunities for everyone no matter their age or social background.
Giving people equal opportunities (education) and resources (health care) is fundamental to forming a productive society
Educated people lift up any economy and community
Healthy people take less time off work, are more productive and live happier lives, our health system has been neglected for far too long, people are now dying as a result.
Bravo Labour, it’s obvious you care about the people of NZ.
NZ Labour are pushing the interests of some people. And that’s all good as far as it goes. But just like in previous campaigns, the poor are destined for the front wheels of the bus.
Referring to those on “low and middle incomes” is explicitly excluding those on no income.
And that’s clear from some policies, such as not extending WFF beyond those in given levels of paid work.
Such as their housing policy that absolutely favours people who may be in the market for a house, while only paying a kind of lip service to those who aren’t.
And a $450 staggered winter fuel payment is all well and good, but begins to look like a busted light bulb when placed next to a 20% increase in core entitlements that NZ Labour, sadly, seems not too keen on.
Hard not to see David Shearer’s ghost lurking in the background
Labour’s families package gives money directly to beneficiaries
– Family tax credit
– Winter Energy Payment
– Best Start payment for kids 0-3.
Plus there’s a sh*t ton being done on housing and health and education too.
Take out the beneficiaries with kids and what is left? The winter energy payment. Which is a good thing, but on it’s own it looks like an ideological resistance to helping people who can’t work and don’t have kids.
“Take out the beneficiaries with kids and what is left? The winter energy payment. Which is a good thing, but on it’s own it looks like an ideological resistance to helping people who can’t work and don’t have kids.”
Indeed. And as you are aware, I’m disappointed.
The Greens costed increasing benefits by 20% at $1.4 billion. Yet, it seems Labour would rather maintain a $4 billion plus surplus than work with the Greens and vastly help address poverty. Shame on them.
One hopes the progressives among us opt to vote Green this election. We can’t afford to allow Labour to have the majority vote.
“One hopes the progressives among us opt to vote Green this election. We can’t afford to allow Labour to have the majority vote.”
That’s probably the most useful thing I’ve seen you write.
I think you’re just saying that because I’m advocating for the Greens, lol.
Clearly you need to read more of my posts.
No, it’s because it’s solution based instead of just trying to tear something down.
Had to do a little tearing. One often does when pointing out flaws. It’s difficult to provide an alternative if readers can’t see the initial flaw.
Won’t be able to get everything everyone wants. But I’m happy about this particular news, and their other announced policies.
MMP for the win
The negotiations on government priorities that will take place in light of the election results will be interesting for sure. For me, the bigger the Green vote, the more heft they will have at those negotiations, and the more the government’s priorities will then align with my own.
Bill 😀 🙂 😀
Bill, I think you’re seeing ghosts, here. A benefit is a low income. Plus, Labour’s housing policy see Housing NZ’s sale of state houses stopped, more state houses built, requires rentals to be insulated, heated and have healthy drainage. That’s a lot more than lip service.
Vote Green if you want. Encourage others to vote Green. But stop constantly denigrating Labour – the only way the Greens will have any say in the next government is if the Labour vote is strong enough for them to form the core of it. (And let’s remember too that if too many votes go to NZ 1st rather than Labour it may well be another Nat-led government – either that or the Green’s will have much diminished influence within any coalition.)
So you think a housing priority that will see 100 years lapse before the number of rental houses NZ Labour intends to build (1000 per year) equals the number of “first time buyer” houses it intends to build in the next 10 years (100 000) is a good and balanced priority given chronically low wage levels and the current numbers of homeless and overcrowded houses?
Doesn’t cut it for me. And I’d suggest it won’t be cutting it for thousands and thousands of people in NZ who have no desire or hope of home ownership.
Neither will $450 per year cut it in terms of offering up a measure of social security for those who’re unwaged – certainly not when placed next to the Green Party’s social security policy.
And it’s not as though the warrant of fitness for rental properties is an idea unique to NZ Labour. In fact, I’ve a sneaky suspicion the whole insulation and WOF thing came from the Green Party, no?
Meanwhile, increasing WFF payments while specifically and predictably excluding those not in work, isn’t just discriminatory (wasn’t there a legal challenge to the Clark government on those grounds?), but it locks in low wages by further strengthening the hand of employers.
NZ Labour is essentially running a “compassionate liberal” campaign. That’s fine for what it is, and it’s reflected in their policies. Unfortunately for them, liberalism’s a busted flush (so maybe expect 30% tops at the election) and unfortunately for us, the only party explicitly calling it is NZF.
I find it maddening that The Green Party has policies that thus far slot happily into that social democratic mould (the only other option to liberalism in a market driven economy that seeks to preserve representative forms of governance), and yet they seem unable to stand firmly and squarely on that platform.
That leaves NZF to enjoy upward traction in the polls as the only party echoing any generally held dissatisfaction with liberalism that’s being harboured by the population at large. And I don’t think those levels of dissatisfaction should be in any way underestimated.
I’d tell you to look at the whole package (housing, education, health, employment relations, environment….) but I think you’d continue to look at them with one eye, Bill.
I don’t think you’ve actually addressed my main point: feel free to put your tick beside whatever box you want, but if you keep running down Labour (as you do at every chance), you’re helping to ensure another 3 years of Nat+. If you actually want any change in direction (and any chance for the Greens to have an impact – something you claim to champion) then have the nous to pull back on the Labour-bashing.
As for NZF “echoing dissatisfaction with liberalism”, Winnie started as a Nat, served as Treasurer under Bolger, was in Cabinet for 9 years under Clark… he ain’t no revolutionary. He might be anti-liberal (small “l”), but he’s not in any way shape or form left wing.
Show me where I have done anything less than address policy here rb.
And then when you fail to find examples of that, try explaining that whole “Labour bashing” thing again, aye?
Also. You’re confused as to what constitutes a challenge to Liberalism. I’ll help you out a wee bit by stating that it’s obviously not necessarily left wing. And also point out that any such challenge certainly isn’t necessarily revolutionary. In fact. If the challenge comes from within the parliamentary environment, it most absolutely and definitively isn’t revolutionary.
Last thing. If the next government isn’t one that includes NZ Labour, then the only people to blame for that are going to be those people within some or all of the parties who were responsible for trying and failing to secure enough votes from the electorate to form such a government.
“NZ Labour are pushing the interests of some people. And that’s all good as far as it goes. But just like in previous campaigns, the poor are destined for the front wheels of the bus.”
… So that’s you being supportive and/or objective, is it Bill?
As for your final comment about “some or all of the parties” trying to form an alternative government, I still don’t see you acknowledging the fact that your stated enthusiasm for Green policies is doomed if Labour doesn’t get the chance to lead the next government. It’s perfectly possible to endorse and enthuse about one party without constantly insulting and undermining the other. I know I’m not the only one who’s said this to you, Bill. I’m not trying to score points. Please think about it seriously.
Can’t engage, can you? Oh well.
I’m tempted to reply “can’t read, can you?” I’ve responded to your views of Labour and NZF. You seem determined to avoid the issue about the alliance needed for the Greens to be part of government. Perhaps that’s because it’s a self-evident truth.
I’d need to look at the fine print – with Labour the Devil’s always in the details (I suspect he actually writes its policies for the Party). The Greens’ policies seem a lot more credible.
Michael, I can smell the sulphur on your breath!
To adapt a saying, like. Ē
yes all good Andrew,
But since Labour also bought back the Rail asset back in 2008, – and National has all but destroyed it, we need labour to step forward now boldly here also.
Labour seriously needs to rescue the rail system that has been closed down in many productive regions such as Gisborne and Meka Whaitiri MP – Ikaroa Rāwhiti needs your support for rail restoration there!!!
She is receiving stiff competition from Maori Party MP Marama Fox!!!!
Or will it be yet another rail line to be allowed to be lost forever?
If so we will loose some more rail line services down the line to Palmerston North because of less freight carried on the East coast branch line it to may be forced to close.
Would it not be better for the local community to have a go at running the rail asset as is proposed by the Maori Party, rather than having the taxpayers subsidise a handful of forestry companies and a few tonnes of pumpkins?
Probably not. Rail is one of those things that is much more efficient as a state monopoly. Power and telecommunications fall under this as well.
That depends on how much subsidy you want to pour into regional rail as both a capital and operating entity, versus how much economic and social and environmental return you are getting out of it.
I can see why English didn’t rule the Maori Party idea out.
So, a regional subsidy or a state subsidy.
I think I’ll take the state subsidy thanks especially when it’s poured into building up the production facilities.
Really, a nation shouldn’t be competing with itself.
The Maori Party appear to be proposing something different: they want to own and operate that stretch of rail, but also have $330m of state subsidy into it to get it going. So it looks like a mixture of both; more a matter of cooperation than competition.
At which point it ads complexity and cost for no gain.
Cooperation always entails more complexity. Not a bad thing when you are seeking to support declining regions like Gisborne.
At the moment, unless there is a change of government, it’s the only plan that will get that rail line going again.
It would take real structural change – for example de-corporatising Kiwirail and then merging it into NZTA – to enable the rail system to be integrated as a single system alongside the highway and motorway system for freight. There’s a paper due out straight after the election on future governance arrangements for Kiwirail. Hopefully NZTA are making a play for it.
Your initial question was regarding what would be better for the local community, not what is the best achievable outcome under the current government.
That extraordinarily low bar is a damned fine argument for a change of governmnet.
I’m quite keen on a change of government.
I’m also quite keen on a different Government Policy Statement for transport.
And a different government could easily go into coalition with the Maori Party’s one remaining member to achieve the outlined rail plan from their manifesto.
At this rate, a different government won’t need to deal with the Maori party at all.
Although they should probably have a serious chat with each other about decent policies.
You are not at the coal face like we are to see the impacts without a rail service is causing.
Read the NZ freight demand study will you to see the forecast increased freight demand for the next twenty years will you so we can school you up.
We are facing a disaster up there, in this booming product export region.
You sound as though nothing is going on up there.
There are 10 large companies who are wanting rail services back and there was a one page article by them saying this.
Did you know that before the rail was damaged we had for three years been gathering more freight for the rail and doubled the freight in the year before the rail was damaged.
The freight doubled and that was only in eight months but if the rail had been not damaged the total of freight carried was projected to have trippled.
So your assumptions of a few forestry companies and pumpkins is totally inaccurate sorry.
The Government lied as usual to cover the real story here.
They will pay at this election for this and you can take this to the bank.
Tourism is booming and they want a rail service as the roads are dangerous and crap.
A bus went over a bank recently this year to illustrate this point and killed two in the bus.
Our road deaths are high and to many trucks already cram onto that single lane winding hilly road.
want to know any more?
I’ve seen lots of talk and complaining from the Gisborne Rail Cooperative. But they haven’t even managed to persuade their local council to pony up with anything, let alone Kiwirail. Who knows maybe the Maori Party idea has a shot.
The question isn’t freight demand – the question is which mode for the freight, and whether sufficient businesses would use it.
Kiwirail will react to a good business case like anyone.
Meantime, the only business to persuade Kiwirail is the same kind of business on the mothballed Stratford-Taumaranui line: rail tourist shuttles.
And yet everyday the taxpayers of New Zealand subsidise the freight companies using our roading system. It is time that the building and maintaining of the rail network was under the same umbrella as roads. Let KiwiRail run the trains.
The plan for Labour, NZ First and the Greens, is for a policy to change the whole Rail and road funding regime.
Whereas in 2008 when National took the treasury benches over they actually negatively penalised kiwirail when they took away the balanced funding policy for rail that Labour put in place after they boldly bought the rail back finally.
Labour placed Kiwirail as a totally separate entity from the “track & infrastructure management, as “On Track” was funded from the same pool of money as roads are today.
This was an equal balanced footing so both transport modes were equally set up.
Labour exclusively had it set up so the cost of funding for track maintenance was secured on the “level playing field” and national set up kiwirail for failure by removing the same funding model as roading has today.
AD is wrong to say the rail co-operative has not “even managed to persuade their local council to pony up with anything,”
The majority of the candidates for Council attended a meeting in August 2016 and backed funding contributions for rail and as the road north through Waioeka gorge is now having the same slips issues as the Manawatu Gorge had, the Council are realising that rail is needed for a security of another land transport option as most other regions enjoy and why not?
Is Gisborne; as the most isolated community of its size not allowed the ability to be funded as all other regions???? Gisborne produces 19% of the total export freight in NZ so yes we need our rail back National!!!!!!!!
Last november Labour, Maori Party and NZ1 all came out in support of the gisborne rail linke being repaired.
Dunno anyone’s plans for regional rail expansion (which I favour, rather than subsidising trucking firms).
“Yes, that’s all very well Labour, but what about housing/clean energy/regional regeneration/employment rights…”? CLEAN GREEN, this policy focuses on health and education. That doesn’t mean that it’s the only policy being put on the table, but it’s the one under discussion in this thread.
Great to see the Labour Party planning to spend big an all the things that New Zealand’s disadvantaged need so much: education and health. Rebuilding our emaciated middle class.
Plus, reconfirming contributions to NZSuper.
Labour has figured out voters want to see that the taxes that are taken from them are given to people who need and deserve help.
A large proportion of voters don’t think that though, we need to convince them that it is the right thing to do, and convert people to our cause by selling the story.
Labour can do the redistribution story with their eyes closed.
It’s the other side of the story – how do we collectively get everyone wealthier – that they need to spend more time convincing crossover votes on.
Absolutely, well said.
If we are going to be throwing more money at these areas we need to be getting better results, otherwise what’s the point?, we’ll just be labeled the usual tax and spend party. Let’s hope we get our chance in September.
Are you suggesting that we cannot tax our way out of poverty?
spreading the largesse.
looking out for our neighbours.
plenty to go around mate, we are not a poor country.
I have an orange tree – it’s laden with sweet, tasty fruit. Way more than we can ever get through. So we give away what we can’t use – to our friends, our neighbours or just put it out on the kerbside for passers by. Or I suppose we could hoard it all and gloat over what we have and watch as it slowly turns…
Do you ever think that the people you are giving away your fruit free to now believe that they are entitled to it? How do you monitor that the fruit you gave away for free isn’t being sold down the street to someone else and your “friends, neighbours and passers by” are not profiteering from you? Do you in return get free labour to prune your tree, free fertilizer to ensure you tree continues to flourish or free water?
Oh my goodness – entitlement! To gifts! I can just imagine the wastrels, their lives of sloth, awaiting, nay expecting, oranges for gratis!
Monitoring my giving? People are free to do with gifts as they wish.
I have better things to do with my time than spy on others to see if they conform to my expectations.
Profiteering at my expense? I care not.
I didn’t plant the tree, it was here already, the sun rises every morning, the rain falls quite often and without charge, and the tree lives. My labour is freely given as the tree provides for my family, and then some.
Look on the bright side my friend! Expect the best from people and you will invariably get it.
Isn’t that what WINZ does? Gift money (Tax collected from workers) – I thought that was the whole premise of you comment and use the orange tree as an analogy….my bad.
The orange tree is real and is also an analogy.
WINZ seems to share your world view, that everyone is out to rip each other off, that everyone requires monitoring so that whatever is grudgingly given is only used in an approved manner, that each and every person who is ever given help will forever more be rendered incapable of looking after themselves.
I just sincerely hope that we end up with Labour first, Winnies party second and the Green a long way third, for a coalition government.
The Greens are full of nutters including Metiria, they would not safe in leading and responsible portfolio’s.
Wrong, wrong ,wrong billmurray. NZF are the nutters. Winston has lost the plot with his referenda as his bottom line. Who the hell does he think he is with such blatantly stupid brain farts?
No, it’s pretty much Labour that have become the nutters over the last thirty years as they catered to the delusional capitalist system.
Yes. That is exactly what today’s $17 billion social spending boost shows.
It seems to me that I have just read a series of righties pretending to be lefties, and all concern-trolling about what ‘we’ should be worrying about. Garibaldi and Draco TB excluded, I think post 5.1 onwards should be ignored by real lefties.
Policy that leads with preserving the environment on which we depend to um, exist, is not nutty. Be a little bit sensible, please.
So, three regular posters on TS assert variously that the Greens/NZF/Labour are “nutters”, respectively – why can’t we all just get along?
Rowboat ad, anyone?
[lprent: Expecting anyone to agree about almost anything on this site is like expecting a bucket with a hole in it to keep that rowboat afloat. It wasn’t a site that was ever designed to engender agreement. Just “robust debate” (without boring the moderators too much). ]
Well said Iprent.
Robust debate to engender thought and contributions.
“Or we can have tax cuts for those that don’t need them.”
I’ve yet to meet all these middle income earners Labour keep saying don’t need tax cuts.
It’s especially strange when Labour say this, but then give WFF and accommodation supplements a lift, then add on money for having a baby
Middle income earners either don’t need them or they do. Make up your minds
I’m a middle-high earner, and I don’t want or need tax cuts. Nice to meet you.
I’m slightly above median income (although sub-40hrs/W). Get enough already for hobbies and life in general, thanks.
More would be nice to have but there are many people on struggle street, so I can wait.
And I’m another. Won’t qualify for any of the payments you’ve just mentioned. Don’t need them. Don’t need a tax cut, either – I’d rather live in a society that cared enough to look after the people who do need support.
I think Labour are doing really well in terms of policy focus and credibility.
Me too. Enough is enough so give some of the enoughs to those who need it.
Pleased to hear Green and Labour’s positions.
But one day soon Government weapons will be deployed to attempt to annihilate such plans.
Likewise, and my wife as well. We watch our families struggle, and would much prefer helping them than getting a few extra dollars in our pay.
Well, I expect you meet other right-wingers, which skews the population sample. You’re reading comments from a bunch of well-off people on this blog who don’t need or want tax cuts (I’m one of them), so now you can say you have “met” such people.
I think the debate ( Gareth beef) is do we want to pay less income tax, I think most would agree to much of our tax is derived from wages and salaries and redistributed ( much more efficient and less deadweight loss if just lower tax rate) here every one deserves a tax cut, maybe more tax on wealth and hoarding
Since when did your lot tax wealth and hoarding, Red? Prize for funniest Joke of the Day so far.
I think most would agree to much of our tax is derived from wages and salaries…
No argument from me on that one. Those of us on wages and salaries don’t get to weasel out of paying our taxes like the noteworthys of the (snigger) Taxpayers’ Union do. The answer to that is making sure that wealthy people who aren’t wage/salary earners get made to pay their share, not lowering the tax rates on wage/salary earners. For which purpose, a vote for the Green Party would be most effective.
Is it really the middle income people getting those?
I was quite surprised back in 2004 when, after getting hold of the budget, I calculated that ~75% of people didn’t get the average wage. Most were far below it.
Now, IMO, the middle income range should be those getting significantly above the average wage but not into the top 1%. Considering this spread I’d put it from the top 10% to the top 3%. Anything above that is into the high income bracket.
Now, how many people in that bracket are actually getting WFF?
I’m a middle-high earner and I don’t want or need tax cuts. What I do need is a good public health system that will enable me to cancel the bloody private health insurance that is costing me almost $2000 per year and that is without even covering specialist visits. See how I would be given more money than the tax cuts I would get?
And what my business needs is more people earning good money so they can spend it here.
2k per year
Wait until you get over 60
Middle income earner here. Don’t need or want a tax cut thanks. Would rather pay more tax and have people in need looked after, more money into education and health, more money spent on upgrading infrastructure, houses built etc…
Low income earner here – I need WFF and accommodation supplements (although we don’t get this) and I’d like an increase in these, plus education and health, rather than have middle class earners getting a tax cut.
As a middle income earner, I am all for that Marty Mars, that low income earners and benificiaries need the money. A tax cut for me is unnecessary and will only get frittered away.
Actually I think between Lab and Greens, they have got it covered. For those who want to vote for significantly increased welfare benefits, they can vote green and I hope this gets a lot of extra voters out. For those who are less inclined to do this they can vote Labour………for better health spending, increased minimum wage, better family package than Nats, Kiwibuild……..re-starting payments to super fund.
All is good.
+1…i agree …Labour and the Greens appear to be targeting distinct and separate cohorts to maximise the combined vote.
I’m a high-middle income earner also. I don’t need tax cuts. What I need is our society healed of 30 years of neoliberal policies and significant wealth returned to the Commons for ALL.
Bill says “So you think a housing priority that will see 100 years lapse before the number of rental houses NZ Labour intends to build (1000 per year) equals the number of “first time buyer” houses it intends to build in the next 10 years (100 000)…..”
Where did you get that first stat from, Bill. Its not in Labour’s comprehensive housing policy. The real state housing policy is to build 1000 state houses per year until the need has been resolved. Quite a lot different from your moaning assumption that it will take 100 years to build enough state houses.
Labour are planning to build 100,000 houses in the next 10 years for first home buyers. They are also planning to build 1000 rentals per year for state housing. To build 100,000 state houses at 1,000 per year would take 100 years.
You’ve been around this site for long enough to know how the reply function works Jenny Kirk. So how about you use it instead of trying to slip disingenuous responses off down the bottom of a thread?
Your question was answered a week or so back in a thread of conversation you were a party to. It wasn’t the first time the 100 years time span had been mentioned and explained.
Anyway. I see that Cardassian has spelled it out for you again.
Read what Anne said again – you are conflating rentals with all houses to be built.
Also – go and read the policy rather than misrepresenting it.
Except that I thought they said “starting with 10 000 a year a thousand of which etc….
Reinvesting profits etc. So year 10 may be 2 times/3 times as many houses.!!!
Good moves from Labour, well done.
Stick to the good message on the tax cuts – i.e. Labour are cancelling tax cuts that were primarily for the wealthy. One News tonight was trying to frame it as merely “cancelling tax cuts” while omitting the fact that the cuts were going to favour the wealthy – and the Labour reply simply said “we don’t need tax cuts” (which is right), but the “we don’t need tax cuts for the wealthy” bit did not make it to the piece (but maybe One News made some unfavourable editing to what Labour said).
Stephen Joyce’s reply to the Labour policy was risible.
Labours announcement is a welcome step away from neoliberalism…and not a moment too soon.
WE NEED A RETURN TO HELEN CLARK’S 1999 “KINDER, GENTLER, CARING, INCLUSIVE GOVERNMENT”.