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Leaping into inaction

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, April 20th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: economy, employment, national/act government - Tags:

Cycling is a great way to travel, so it’s great that the government is going to back more cycleways around the country to make the experience safer and more enjoyable for cycle tourists. But the new plan will only see a national network completed in “10-20” years time. That’s not going to help the recession now.

So let’s review National’s recession package:

  • Restart: 1,303 are getting some extra assistance after losing their jobs. Good but tens of thousands have lost their jobs, what about the rest?
  • Bank-Govt business equity scheme: killed by banks
  • Mortgage holidays: killed by English
  • SME package: already planned, minor changes
  • Tax cuts: smaller than planned, targeted at wrong incomes, cuts for middle incomes to be cancelled
  • 9-day fortnight: two businesses signed up, possibly a third
  • $1 billion for roads: stolen from public transport and road safety
  • Cycleway: 4000 jobs over next two years? Not happening.

They have at least given a $30 million boost to the pavillion industry. Oops, most of that will be spent in China.

It adds up to whole lot of nothing. We’ll start to see the cost of National’s delicition of duty when the unemployment numbers come out.

12 comments on “Leaping into inaction ”

  1. Eddie, it seems to have escaped you that the non-use of many of National’s initiatives is a good sign that the economy is not in as bad a position as we thought. Banks are saying they are managing without the equity scheme and they are providing mortgage holidays off their own bat (hardly “killed by English”). Businesses have not yet needed the 9-day fortnight.

    Don’t know where you get your “tens of thousands” of job losses but virtually all job losses qualify for restart. Presumably, people are finding new jobs quickly and not needing it.

    Not sure where you think the money should come from for roadways, tax cuts and cycleways. A magical money tree, perhaps? If tax cuts are smaller than planned, that is hardly National’s fault is it?

    • Maynard J 1.1

      Eddie, it seems to have escaped you that the non-use of many of National’s initiatives is a good sign that the economy is not in as bad a position as we thought.

      It cuts bothways, MacD – I’m gonna argue that the initiatives are crap, explains why no one is using them. Everything tells us there’s trouble – unemployment, retail figures, announced job losses, wage freezes. Unlikely that the piddling effect the NACT Government is having is because it’s not needed!!

      The cycleway was meant to be their flagship idea, and they could have found $50m from somewhere without too much fuss if it didn’t turn out their flagship idea was also crap, for a colorful variety of reasons.

      Eddie argues (tax cuts were) “smaller than planned, targeted at wrong incomes, cuts for middle incomes to be cancelled” – so maybe you’re right about ‘magical money tree’ for the first, but irrelevant to second two points.

  2. Rich 2

    In a boom, a sensible government should pay down debt, just as the former Labour one did.

    Then, in a recession (particularly one that stems from a credit crisis, like this one), the government should borrow and spend to substitute for private borrowing and spending. This one is, instead, cutting back.

    I’d add to the employment-destroying actions of the Nats the following:
    – removing the tax incentive for R&D.
    – putting much of the public service on a hiring freeze, so that efficiency reduces along with employment.

  3. Meanwhile while their mucking about with their hobby cycleway the Budget looks at slashing the Public Sector and Key is quoted as saying

    “New Zealand “cannot afford” to provide fresh fiscal spending for its embattled economy and was instead planning to cut government expenditure”

    This after we have already had a round of tax cuts!!!!

  4. BeShakey 4

    MacDoctor – So if National does nothing its ok because nothing must be needed, whereas, presumably, when they get around to doing something that’ll be good too because clearly it’s needed then? Your whole argument is ‘National can’t do anything wrong, therefore whatever they’ve done is right’.

  5. •$1 billion for roads: stolen from public transport and road safety

    Is it too much to ask for The Standard to pin up a copy of the proposed GPS to stop this error from being perpetuated?

    The reduction in funding for PT from roading revenue is ‘up to’ $225 million. Some of this reduction is a transfer of liability to fund rail improvements from the NZTA to the Crown. That may be even worse than eliminating the money entirely as it can be spent at the whim of politicians buying marginal electorates.

    The reduction for ‘road safety’ is actually a reduction for road policing. You will need to look at the size of the increase in safety funding for roadworks to see if there an actual reduction. Bearing in mind how ineffective previous road policing funding increases have been it is well past time to put the emphasis back on engineering as it was during the 1990s.

    Why do The Standard’s writers and guest writers keep overlooking the GPS’s proposed $225 million reduction in funding for local roads? Do they think the cost of bitumen is going to benefit from the fall in oil prices for evermore? Do they think ratepayers are crying out for bigger rates increases?

  6. Jan Farr 6

    Delicition? Did you mean dereliction?

  7. ak 7

    Yep, lucky we’ve got the “party of business” in charge, I mean they did so well last time we gave them free rein. Anyone remember Douglas telling us how we were “so far ahead of Austrailia” with our “reforms”, and set to become the “Switzerland of the South Pacific” within 3 – 5 years?

    “The OECD report pitilessly reveals New Zealand’s woes: apart from the vulnerability to external shocks because of the current account deficits, now at 8.9 per cent of GDP, the policy reforms of 1980s and 1990s have completely failed, leaving NZ productivity and standard of living near the bottom of the OECD tables.” (added emph)


  8. Rich 8

    He meant Swaziland..

    • Was Roger planning to turn us into a tax haven then?

      A bit like Anderton’s constant references to our position at the top of the OECD in 1948 without noticing that almost every other OECD country had just been bombed to buggery by the Nazis.

      But then we used to believe we had racial harmony, a pristine environment and that Auckland is the engineroom of the economy, so self delusion is hardly confined to our politicians..

  9. BLiP 9

    From the new plan link:

    Planning consultant Mike Barnett, who researched the Lake Wakatipu-Bluff route on behalf of Venture Southland, said the Ministry of Tourism had found “the practical thing was a network of excellent cycle opportunities in New Zealand which may lead to bigger things later”.

    What – like strip malls in the middle of our National Parks, perhaps?

    • BLiP, That reads like you’ve never talked to a cycle tourist.

      The bigger things arrive when those living along the cycle routes discover that cycle tourists need tent sites with showers, B&Bs, cafes, stores, etc located much closer together than is needed for motorvehicle dependent tourists. That sprinkling of a variety of non-farming jobs through remote rural regions slows the loss of youth to the big smoke so it’s good for the social fabric as well as being an extra income source.

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