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Media response to Labour’s budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, December 15th, 2017 - 114 comments
Categories: economy, Economy, grant robertson, greens, journalism, labour, Media, national, Politics, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

The media response to the Labour-Green-New Zealand First has been remarkably positive.  After nine long years someone is finally taking the scourge of child poverty seriously.

Audrey Young in the Herald was ecstatic.

For a package in which there were really no surprises, the Labour-led Government’s first budget exercise has had a stunning impact.

It was summed up in one headline: Labour’s package expected to halve child poverty.

The prospect of one package nearly halving the number of kids in low-income households (using the standard OECD income measure) when it is fully implemented is the sort of outcome that may assuage resentment of those whose tax cuts have been cancelled to fund it.

It is not that National’s package did nothing. If it had been implemented it was going to immediately lift 55,000 children out of poverty or 34 per cent on the same measure.


As soon as Labour’s package takes effect, in July, it will lift 71,000 children out of poverty, or 44 per cent.

By the time it is fully implemented, the figure will be 88,000 or 48 per cent.

National thought it could offer something to everyone. Labour is targeting families with children.

National is talking up the losers from Labour package of who there are many, wage earners, not all high earners, without children. But politically, there is only one loser and it is not Labour.

Mike Hosking also in the Herald complained that it was a big political risk and not sufficiently targeted.  Presumably Lamborghini drivers should have been targeted.

But even he says that if it works it will be very popular.

Fifteen billion. It is a bucket load of money, and even spread out over several years, you cant hide the fact the Government has thrown pretty much the kitchen sink at their Families policies.

The claims or aims are bold. 88,000 out of poverty – if they can prove that, it’ll lead to tangible political support. But there are a couple of seriously big question marks around all of this.

They’ve spent the lot. There is about $600 million left over for everything else. And $600m in government terms is literally nothing. It can simply vanish if the forecasts are wrong. If the growth slows even the slightest amount, if a budget blows out.

It’s not dissimilar to you having 10 bucks till the end of the week, and you haven’t bought the milk. You might make it, you might not. And the forecasts, which were part of yesterday’s big announcements, were interesting.

Barry Soper thought the budget has left National floundering.

Bill English struggled to take the gloss off the economy, simply observing the Government’s got no excuse for not maintaining its strength but saying its approach to sharing the benefits of it was pretty messy.

Yeah but National was itself finally converted on the road to the ballot box this year by also offering a families package which they’re now accusing Labour of stealing.

The Labour plan, also announced before the election, will see 384 thousand families with kids better off by an average of $75 a week while National’s Budget offer in May was lifting the income of 365 thousand families by $39 a week.

So it all comes down to whether the smoko room or the boardroom carries more influence.

And while they’re bickering over the figures, and who’s prepared to be more generous, perhaps the impotent National opposition should reflect on an observation once made by Helen Clark when she declared she was a victim of her own success.

And the ghost of Steven Joyce’s fakenews $11 billion dollar hole in Labour’s figures has finally been laid to rest.

It’s fair to say National was a bit like a fish just landed and gulping for air.

No matter how vigorously it flapped its tail, the water got no closer, and the protest was finally lost.

The worst the former Finance Minister, and more recently party leader Bill English could say about the Government’s opening of the books, taking into account Labour’s big ticket policies, was that they inherited a healthy economy.

The dead cat left on the election table by the man standing alongside him Steven Joyce, in the form of that 11.7 billion dollar hole in Labour’s sums, has finally been forgotten even if the stench does remain.

Tracy Watkins gave the budget cautious praise through gritted teeth.

Robertson’s mini-budget was a chance to re-announce a $1.8 billion package to boost family incomes, through an increase to working for families payments, a $60 a week baby bonus, and rolling out National’s previously announced increase to the accommodation supplement.

There are winners and some losers but this is a package that delivers on Labour’s  promise to halve child poverty.

That will resonate with more than its core supporters.

But the gamble is in the timing.

The package does not come into effect till July 1 – a good month after the May budget.

And thanks to Thursday’s announcements – including the families package, and a resumption of contributions to the Cullen super fund – there won’t be much more than crumbs left to spread some mid-winter cheer.

Meanwhile Steven Joyce can’t quite admit that his $11 billion hole in Labour’s budget is fictitious. From Radio New Zealand:

National’s finance spokesperson Steven Joyce said it was now clear just how incredibly tight it was going to be for the government over the next few years.

“With all the things they’ve promised that aren’t in there, they’ve given themselves very little room and that’s why they are arguing for about $350,000 over Kidscan and all this very small stuff, because it is so incredibly tight for them.

“So I think we’ll see that continue to grow, they’ve got debt going to $70bn over the next three to four years.”

Current net Crown debt is $59 billion. I suspect Joyce picked the $70 billion figure so he can claim there is a $11 billion hole. Someone should tell him the effect on growth and the importance of the debt to GDP ration. In crayon. Slowly. So that we can be confident he understands.

Ad said yesterday that the mini budget would be a big test for the new Government. He was right. I think we can safely say it has passed with flying colours.

114 comments on “Media response to Labour’s budget”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    I think Labour needs to take advantage of the political capital they will gain from this mini budget and look to increase revenue.

    What is clear is new spending over this electoral cycle will be tight. On Treasury’s best case scenario there won’t be a lot of room to increase spending over and above what has already been announced.

    That can be overcome by introducing a new tax bracket for those earning over $150,000. Those rich individuals are benefitting from our economy more than all others. They should pay some of that back in the way of a 45% tax rate for all income over that threshold.

    This will allow the government to continue what they started yesterday.

    Be bold Labour

    • Bill 1.1

      “Bold” is a four letter word to NZ Labour.

    • cleangreen 1.2

      Yes Enough is enough, Agreed.

      National lied every time after they quietly slapped on new taxes following an election, so why not Labour nopw?

      National quickly slapped on unannounced extra taxes, like GST (from 12.5% to 15%) and then they increased incremently over three years increased fuel taxes!!!!!!

      So we think Labour now must increase the RUC (road users charges) rate on HPMV (High produuctivity motor vehicles)

      Since these new higher weighted trucks are clearly responsible for the 45% increase in road maintainence costs incurred on the road users over the last three years .

      The Minister of Transport Phil Twyford confirmed that the road costs had increased over 45% in the last five years in Parliament this week.

      Lets go back to the ‘user pays model’ again.

      The rail will show better value even than they are now showing in the “new found National Party hidden report” on “the value of rail in NZ” produced for the NZTA in 2016.


      Study highlights rail’s value to New Zealand
      27 November 2017 9:09AM
      Rail is delivering up to $1.5 billion a year to New Zealand in hidden benefits, according to a study prepared as part of a joint KiwiRail/NZTA team looking at integrated transport planning.
      “That far exceeds what the taxpayer is spending on rail,” KiwiRail Chairman Trevor Janes says.

  2. Bill 2

    If your class enemies aren’t screeching that the sky’s about to fall in, then isn’t that a reason to pause for thought? Obviously their interests aren’t affected or we’d be hearing all about it!

    And since their interests run counter to our interests, then really, how well have our interests been served by this budget?

    I know it won’t be popular to point out that this budget’s a ‘muddled middle’ affair. (But hey.) Since NZ Labour abandoned its commitment to class long ago, and is committed to merely doing enough to keep those with nowhere else to go politically coming back to tick “Labour” at the ballot box, while actually being principally concerned about the opinion of elite and entrenched centres of power…

    See. That ended well for some overseas Labour parties and the Democratic party too. In time it will end just as well for NZ Labour. Meanwhile, there’s the sound of the grinder…

    • +1 Bill….”Since NZ Labour abandoned its commitment to class long ago” which is of course why nothing of real significance will change under this Labour…their ideology is still that housing is a tradable commodity, that labour must become still more productive and Labours ‘Responsible financial Management’ can only further our massive economic inequality and unprecedented private debt.


      Sure, of course Labour are better than National…but then that isn’t really that hard a position to be in politically is it?

    • red-blooded 2.2

      Bill, how about celebrating the fact that this government has presented a budget that’s going to make a big difference in the lives of lots of kiwis who really need it? Sorry if it’s not going to transform your life, but I guess governments have to focus their resources and this government always said its focus was going to be on child poverty. Alleviating that makes a huge difference to the both the short and long term outcomes of the kids who benefit from it. That’s good in itself, but it also has ripple effects; lowering longterm demand in health, social welfare, policing, prisons… plus creating a more cohesive and less divided society.

      As for your comparisons with the Democrats and British Labour, they don’t hold true for the simple reason that in the US and the UK, the electoral system jams together all factions of the left into one unwieldy party. That’s not our system, as you know. Besides, this budget would be seen as revolutionary in the US or the UK!

      • Bill 2.2.1

        First up it’s not about me.

        Second. Alleviating some poverty is good. I haven’t said anything to the contrary.

        Third. Selling a paper shuffling exercise as action on poverty is another matter altogether.

        Fourth. People get well fucked off being sold short eventually, regardless of the electoral system. Scotland doesn’t have a first past the post system btw. And UK Labour went from 50 odd seats to 1 over the space of a single electoral cycle. The only reason that’s being reversed now is because UK Labour has transformed under Jeremy Corbyn.

        And as a post script. This budget would not in any way be seen as ‘revolutionary’ by the current UK Labour party nor the bulk of its members. Fuck. It wouldn’t even be seen as ‘revolutionary’ by the stenographers that repeat the lines the elites want heard.

        In fact, not even ‘revolutionary’ here in NZ. Did you not read through those media responses provided in the post?

        • red-blooded

          First up, you’ve made other comments that did seem to be specifically about the budget’s impact on you. (Yesterday, for example: “Us undeserving don’t even get mentioned in the part of this mini-budget that might actually have an effect on us”.)

          Second, if you’ve managed to make some kind of grudging affirmation of the budget, I must have missed it. Or do you only bother to comment when you’re criticising and complaining?

          Third, this “paper shuffling exercise” is going to directly impact a lot of people’s lives in a positive way. That deserves acknowledgement.

          Fourth, your comments about being “sold short” might hold some weight if this government was doing that. But…

          And in reply to your post script, I didn’t say the current crop pf UK Labour MPs would see this budget as revolutionary, I said it would be seen as revolutionary in the UK (which is a bigger, wider political context).

          • Bill

            “Us” is plural and an indicator of some level of “identification with” you idiot And the paper shuffling is in relation to the accommodation supplement being given on the one hand and taken away by the other,

            This budget would not be seen as revolutionary anywhere in any country married to the so-called Washington consensus. Just look at the media commentary ffs!

          • marty mars

            + 1 you can’t win – if someone sees darkness everywhere that is what they see. That is their sadness, and their work if they ever get enlightened enough to recognise it and front up to it and have the courage to do their work on it.

      • Ben 2.2.2

        In Bill’s world it can’t possibly be good policy if the right-wingers aren’t out in the street in protest. From Watkins:

        “There are winners and some losers but this is a package that delivers on Labour’s promise to halve child poverty.

        That will resonate with more than its core supporters.”

        I am not a Labour supporter, but am more than happy to forego a tax cut given the targetted nature of the redistribution. It’s a fine balance, and not pissing off a large portion of the populace is a necessary evil lest you find yourself in opposition and watching your policies being reversed.

        • Bill

          There are winners and some losers but this is a package that delivers on Labour’s promise to halve child poverty.

          I guess there’s a $ sum that demarcates poverty and non-poverty? ‘Cause see, if there isn’t, then the claim to “halve child poverty” has no basis.

      • but I guess governments have to focus their resources

        Actually, they don’t. As representatives of the entire population of the country they already own all the resources in the country. There are enough resources to ensure that no one is in poverty. There just aren’t enough to make a few people rich as well.

        The problem is that this government is still trying to make a few people rich and the only way to do that is to make everyone else poor by shifting those public resources into the hands of the few.

        What the government has done is called a short term solution. It will help in the short term but the poverty will simply increase unless other changes are made.

        • greywarshark

          I think that spells out the hesitations some people feel very well.
          The boat was leaking – it is being fixed. The passengers in steerage were in bad conditions. They were hungry – that is being fixed. They had poor conditions and things are being done to improve those. When those things are done there will be a better education system for the young.

          It might be a quick run-through of conditions on one of the colonial boats bringing settlers out to NZ. The reason some people are down in the mouth still, is the fear that the political thinking is sinking to that 19th century level. We need rocket fuel to get up to the 21st century, and it is becoming scarce. We must do better than Helen Clark’s government. We need Aspiration and Determination. As an acronym that would be AD.

          Who seems fairly happy. With good reason. But after July 1st 2018 we don’t want the trajectory to be downward on the Bell Curve.

          What is the ‘Bell Curve’
          A bell curve is the most common type of distribution for a variable, and due to this fact, it is known as a normal distribution. The term “bell curve” comes from the fact that the graph used to depict a normal distribution consists of a bell-shaped line. The highest point on the curve, or the top of the bell, represents the most probable event in a series of data, while all other possible occurrences are equally distributed around the most probable event, creating a downward-sloping line on each side of the peak.

          The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is a 1994 book by psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray, in which the authors argue that human intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, birth out of wedlock, and involvement in crime than are an individual’s parental socioeconomic status.

          They also argue that those with high intelligence, the “cognitive elite”, are becoming separated from those of average and below-average intelligence. The book was controversial, especially where the authors wrote about racial
          differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences.


  3. Ad 3

    This is an outstanding social change for New Zealand.

    Any future government is going to find it really, really hard to wind back.

    Plus as the Prime Minister noted yesterday, unlike National’s across-the-board tax cuts, they get to deliver poverty reduction AND have capital to spend (whether from tax income or from debt).

    And in media terms, they get to have all of this good news multiple times over when each of the bills pass in January or February, then again when the 100 days are up, and then again on budget May 2018, and then again on July 1st.

    That is one helluva media play.

    • cleangreen 3.1


      Well said,

      We hope that Hon Clare Curran Minister of Broadcasting has got the new channel set up to again provide ‘real public affairs’ invesigative jouralism as we had when NZTV 7 channel was opperating up until 2009 when national killed it.

      Then that channel will be the Limelight of our poitical entertainment not the current media circus that has been proven to be less than useless.

  4. paul andersen 4

    giving money to those on low incomes is a far better long term financial bet than giving tax cuts to better off . low income earners money is more likely to remain in the system, rather than spent on overseas holidays, or stuck in term deposits. robertson will know this and much of the money given away yesterday will come back in gst.

  5. I don’t know, RNZ opened each and every news break today with predictions of fiscal “disaster” (ie we might have to borrow more, pay off debt slower) based on what would happen if there was..a disaster.
    The ‘disaster’ brewing being Business feeling a little glum this month.
    Which is more commentary and speculation, NOT a valid lead story.

    Though, again, it probably serves Labour right for declaring that Nationals overall spending restrictions and austerity style fiscal management, or, if you prefer, “spending to GDP ratio” were absolutely spot on.

    • Philg 5.1

      Siobhan. I have noticed RNZ doing the same thing. I think RNZ needs a spring clean out, starting at the top, and start producing quality journalism, which costs. Mourning Report needs a rethink as I want the news, not opinion, cut and paste, spin, light weight gruel. It sounds increasingly like commercial stations, minus the advertisements.

    • Nic the NZer 5.2

      RNZ likes to keep the government debt topic top of public mind because…
      Its both completely irrelevant and the basis for many stupid economic decisions the government makes. Once it becomes clear that the government is and does spend by shuffling accounts managed by one of its own ‘departments’ (the RBNZ) the stupidity becomes clear.

  6. SpaceMonkey 6

    I dunno MS. Seems to me that the MSM are postive because they can see this Labour Government really haven’t turned the corner. Business as usual is safe.

    • Ad 6.1

      Structural change isn’t necessary if you already have the capacity to redistribute wealth at this scale.

      • DoublePlusGood 6.1.1

        Structural change is necessary because this isn’t actually significantly redistributing wealth away from the hyper-wealthy who have accumulated it all.

        • Ad

          Tax working group will be addressing that.

          • DoublePlusGood

            I thought GST isn’t in the mandate of the working group? If that regressive tax isn’t being looked at then no, the tax working group is never going to be looking at anything that would bring about structural change.

            • tracey

              I understand they are not looking at GST or tax increases. Surely tge Working Group should have as wide an ambit as possible and then the Government decides what to implement and when. This narrowing means there can be no public education/discussion post report which could see some changing views which precipitated the Labour backdown pre electio ?

          • cleangreen


            We can’t wait to see fair taxes on the rich again instead of freeloading us all the time.

            Get rid of the tax havens/shelters these rich maggots use too.

          • cleangreen

            We hope you are right there Ad.

            Others here are right in sighting that “structual change” is needed because the wealth ‘redistibutiion’ is not ocurring.

            The proof is in the widening gap occuring between the rich and poor and the lower numbers of ‘ultra rich elitists’.

            We need the wealth redistribution to be a mainstay of future progressive economic plans & not just using fancy talk to create a ‘fair,caring’ society.

      • Structural change is necessary when the structure that is in place causes the poverty in the first place. Without changing the structure that poverty will always be there.

        • Ad

          There’s enough in the mini-budget to make a massive decrease in poverty without anything other than reallocation.

          They could have wasted their time re-forming departments, or implementing a cgt on day 1, nationalised Fonterra, or whatever.

          Instead they decided to improve the lives of citizens. About a million of them.

          Who knows, maybe they get through their 10 day plan as fast as they are saying and start on harder stuff. Odds on they are up for it if this pace continues

        • David Mac

          Yes, yes, you want to chuck the lot out. There are over 4 million of us with a hand around the baby’s ankle Draco. Change the water, but we’re keeping the baby.

          The best way to get money off rich people is not to yell ‘GIMME’. The best way is the same as getting money off poor people, sell them something. (Other than Goddam NZ!)

          The capitalism end game doesn’t need to be mega yachts for the few. Our government could be financing a family into a berry orchard that produces fruit for a Chinese fridge ready luxury dairy product. We just need to care about each other a little bit more and get smart.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The best way to get money off rich people is not to yell ‘GIMME’. The best way is the same as getting money off poor people, sell them something.

            Nope. The best way is to legislate them out of existence. Make it so that nobody can be rich.

            The capitalism end game doesn’t need to be mega yachts for the few.

            That is actually the whole purpose of capitalism.

  7. mauī 7

    $5 billion on reducing poverty is all I need to hear. Well done, this is far more than I thought Labour would be throwing at it. I think they could be the real deal.

  8. Macro 8

    Listening to the Gish Gallop from Joyce on RNZ this morning – a man who knows nothing and understands even less – I was struck by the hypocrisy of the man. Commenting on the *Shock Horror* of a grant to help beneficaries warm their home and how it would even be given to older people to help them stay warm in the winter months, when asked if he would take the $750 (or what ever it is ) if it he was eligible he said “probably not” – how magnanimous of him! Of course he had no intension to refuse the huge tax cut he was intending to give himself next year.

    • Note how he said ‘probably not’ rather than ‘no.’ That means that he will be grabbing it if he’s eligible but he realised saying so wouldn’t be a ‘good look’.

      • Macro 8.1.1

        Yes indeed – but he would rather have given himself and his mates a big tax cut than give it away to the undeserving poor!

    • alwyn 8.2

      He is actually being entirely consistent if the is what he said.
      He has in the past rejected very generous taxpayer funded handouts.

      He is, as far as I know, the only MP who does not belong to a contributory superannuation scheme
      These provide a contribution by the taxpayer of up to 20% of a basic MP salary to such a scheme. If the MP puts in 8%, or about $13,000 the taxpayer will contribute an additional $33,000 to their fund.
      Joyce does not belong to such a fund because he said he didn’t need the extra money. He doesn’t, in other words, get the $33,000 at all. That is exactly in line with his comment that he probably wouldn’t, if eligible, take the money for “heating allowance”.
      It is quite moot of course as he won’t be eligible for the National Super for at least 10 years and he might, like Bob Jones, not even apply for it then.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1

        Is Steven Joyce the source of the information that Steven Joyce doesn’t claim his entitlements?

        Because if so, you are a fool to believe him. It may or may not be true, but Steven Joyce is a serial liar.

        • alwyn

          There is a register of members interests published each year. The latest one is here.
          If you have a look at item 7, Superannuation schemes you will see that nothing is listed for Stephen Joyce. It has been the same every year he has been there.
          A few years ago some reporter noted that nothing was listed for Joyce, and asked him about it. He said he didn’t belong to any scheme as he didn’t see a personal need of it.

          To get the contribution to your Super scheme, as an MP, you have to be a member of a scheme. That is who they pay it to.
          Do you really think that Parliamentary Services, or whoever would pay it out if he didn’t list any such Super scheme? Do you think nobody would notice that he was getting paid the money even after a reporter had highlighted the fact the scheme wasn’t listed in his pecuniary interests?
          Come on, get real.

          It would be possible to belong to a scheme and not claim the money. It wouldn’t be possible to claim the money without being a member of the scheme though.
          There is no payment except to a scheme and if you don’t get any payment there you can’t get any alternative recompense..

          Do you really think that Joyce would turn down about $250,000 from his time in Parliament and then give a damn about $700, even if he was eligible to get it?
          Joyce is, of course only 54. He won’t be eligible for another 10+ years. I am not surprised he doesn’t know what he might do at some hypothetical, far distant time.
          What is it about him that makes you so bitter toward him? Sometimes “a cigar is just a cigar”, as Freud is reputed to have said

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The numbers of preventable deaths his policies produced.

            • alwyn

              I don’t know what you mean.
              Do you accept, on the other hand, that he is telling the truth about his non-acceptance of Super contributions?
              To do that would be a slight advance on your refusal to believe anything he says. In Neil Armstrong’s words, at least as he claims to have said.
              “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.
              Come on, you know you want to do it.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I believe the register of members’ interests, up to a point. Joyce provided the information: has he been audited?

                His ‘form’ indicates that nothing he says can be trusted without independent corroboration.

          • cleangreen

            Showing that national skirt again eh.

            you always was alwyn.

            • alwyn

              English lessons for you my lad.
              “you always was alwyn” indeed.
              You could at least write
              “You always were Alwyn”. It wouldn’t be true in either case but at least the second one would be better English.

              • cleangreen

                You are a nasty bitter right wing nut Alwyn pure & simple.

                Evidenced by your over riding love of your master Steven Joyce.

                This false belief he is a clever, wise economist is your downfall ‘my lad’. Time will prove your folly.

                • alwyn

                  Now just calm down and have a soothing cup of green tea,

                  Better still would be to take a look at my opinion of Joyce as expressed about half a dozen comments below this one.

                  Media response to Labour’s budget

                  If you had read it I think you could have saved yourself from the fantasy you have come out with here.

                  • cleangreen

                    How many times have you met Steven Joyce personally alwyn?

                    How many letters of promises did you personally recieve from him?

                    I can say several to meeting him and others on his ‘team’ I believe you are a troll used to protect
                    all shoddy National politics and their lying mastery.

                    Our opinion of you is worse every time we read your devisive diversion rubbish, you and your opinions are worthless.

                    Give it a rest go back to whaleiol or any other tory troll “concern troll site”

                    • alwyn

                      The answers to your questions 1 and 2 are
                      1. Met Stephen Joyce………….ZERO
                      2. Letters from him…………….ZERO

                      Your statement “I can say several to meeting him and others on his ‘team’ “.
                      Well if you have met him as you claim I guess you can tell us all what he is like. When did you meet him and what was the purpose of the meeting?.

                      Your statement “Our opinion of you is…”.
                      Wow, the royal “we” as in your use of “Our”. How many of you are there?

      • Macro 8.2.2

        Are you trying to tell us that Joyce would not take advantage of the Tax break he and his party has promised for next year?
        Pull the other one.

        • alwyn

          I am quite willing to wager he won’t take advantage of it.
          Neither will anyone else.

          • Macro

            No – he like everyone else like him would have just pocketed it.

            Oh wait! Are you saying he wanted that tax break to give to the poor?

            • alwyn

              No, I am not.
              I’m just saying that he won’t be taking advantage of it.
              Think about it.

              • Macro

                I’m not stupid alwyn – I knew precisely what you were saying. If you want to twist words and avoid the subject at hand – that’s your affair.
                But there is no way you will ever convince me that Joyce is a saint.

                • alwyn

                  A Saint?
                  For crying out loud, he’s a politician.
                  I’ve never met one yet who was a saint.
                  Not even the supposedly saint like Metiria Turei.
                  She was just a crook.
                  Actually Nelson Mandela probably came closest, but even he didn’t quite make it. Came closest though.
                  There has never been one in New Zealand who even approached sainthood though. They were always looking after number 1.

    • Kevin 8.3

      Maybe he will take it and ‘give it to charity’…

      • alwyn 8.3.1

        And maybe, given that he is only 54, he won’t get it. Why is there such bitterness about Joyce from those on the left of politics? Is it just that he is, like John Key, a great deal better at it than anyone on the left is?

        • Macro

          “Why is there such bitterness about Joyce from those on the left of politics?”

          Because even if he has, as you say not taken advantage of the public purse,… (not mentioning anything about a bailout of Media works) …. every policy he and his cohorts in crime have done, has been to rob the poor in this country of health, security, education, and wealth for his and those of his ilk’s, own benefit. Until you understand that, you will never understand anything.

          • alwyn

            One gets very sick of having to correct the wilful stupidity of lefties like yourself.
            There was no bale-out of MediaWorks.
            What a shame you are best described by the old proverb
            “there’s none so blind as those who will not see”.

            • Macro

              No there was no bale out of MediaWorks only a govt loan of $43m. Which basically went unpaid when the Company went bankrupt in 2013 costing the country – that means you and I – millions.
              Pity you can’t see how the 2011deal was is in effect a bale out.

        • peterh

          the bitterness is there because he is a LAIR, 11 BILLION HOLE. and that crap took alot of votes away from labour

      • dv 8.3.2

        And get a tax break on the donation!!!

      • cleangreen 8.3.3

        Kevin, you are probably partly right saying Joyce — ‘Maybe he will take it and ‘give it to charity’

        ‘Joyces supporters charity’?

        More like he uses the tax breaks to spread around his ‘supporters as smoothers to keep them on side.

        Some may be tempted to call this corruption, and mis-use of taxpayers money.

        He will be caught one day along with others that use privilege above honesty.

    • tracey 8.4

      Probably not means yes I will but you will never see proof of it. Afterall English used Lawyers and Accountants to get that extra accom allowance so cant see him turing it down either?

    • cleangreen 8.5

      Yes macro;

      I saw him crying in his words today over the Labour mini budget, he looked pathetic.

    • Incognito 8.6

      Sadly, Joyce called it “spaghetti of entitlements”, which is the exact same wording as he used in July: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/334938/labour-s-plan-labelled-convoluted-spaghetti-of-entitlements. National seems to have an obsession with Italian food 😉 But this is not where the similarities with Italian products stop. National is like a Fiat Punto that made history with first-ever zero-star crash-test rating:

      Low impact protection and absence of modern safety-assist technology was the Punto’s downfall.

      Yes this is essentially an old car, but that should have sharpened the focus on fitting safety technologies to counteract its dated crash performance.

      The Punto is not currently sold as a new car in New Zealand.

      Substitute National for Fiat and you’ll see that National is stuck in a rut and completely out of ideas; a party from yesteryear, like Bill English and Don Brash, a regressive party clinging on to status quo and dangerous ideologies. But most importantly, National is not currently in government in New Zealand. Let’s rephrase this, for emphasis, clarity & brevity: National lost the election.

  9. The worst the former Finance Minister, and more recently party leader Bill English could say about the Government’s opening of the books, taking into account Labour’s big ticket policies, was that they inherited a healthy economy.

    Which was a lie.

    Someone should tell him the effect on growth and the importance of the debt to GDP ratio.

    The government, being able to issue its own currency, doesn’t need debt. Just a deficit.

    • SPC 9.1

      The government should issue interest free money to finance student loans (will be repaid and not interest free to those who move offshore), Kiwibuild (money back when homes are sold) and loans to farmers for farm environment work (interest free and paid back when the farm is sold).

      • The flow of money in an economy

        There shouldn’t be student loans. The government should simply support people as they go through education. The money will be ‘paid back’ via taxes later.
        The same would apply to state housing. Simply build them, the amount would be ‘paid back’ later via taxes and income related rents.
        For farming and other industries the government should be funding huge R&D to determine best practices and then partially fund it’s implementation.

        The government, representing all the people of the nation, has all the resources and scale to do this which most business never have. It’s a lie that the government needs to raise cash first and that that makes government dependent upon the private sector. It’s actually the other way around – the private sector is dependent upon government spending.

        • SPC

          Sure there is the way things could be done and the way they are at the moment.

          The things I suggested are simply introductions to another approach, a bridge to somewhere else. Financing government programmes debt cost free and rationalised as loans that will be repaid, thus limiting perception of inflation risk.

          IMF economists, responding to the GFC, did look at an alternative government led approach should the current system collapse again.

          • Draco T Bastard

            IMF economists, responding to the GFC, did look at an alternative government led approach should the current system collapse again.

            Yes, they looked at the Chicago Plan and realised that it would work:

            The Chicago Plan Revisited is an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report from 2012 by Jaromir Benes and Michael Kumhof. The focus of the study is the so-called Chicago plan of the 1930s which the authors have updated to fit into today’s economy. The basic idea is that banks should be required to have full coverage for money they lend; this is called 100% reserve banking, which would replace the fractional reserve banking system.

            Under this proposal, banks would no longer be allowed to create new money in the form of credit in connection with their lending activities. Instead, the central bank should be solely responsible for all the creation of all forms of money, not just paper money and coins. The advantages of such a system, according to the authors, are a more balanced economy without the booms and busts of the current system, the elimination of bank runs, and a drastic reduction of both public and private debt. The authors rely on economic theory and historical examples, and state that inflation, according to their calculations, would be very low.

            There are many similarities between the Chicago Plan, MMT and what I suggest but the main point is that they all have the government creating money debt free and the private banks create none.

  10. SPC 10

    Where was the same media during the campaign? This was all in the manifesto.

    The key difference was always that Labour placed emphasis on those in need and National’s across the board tax cuts were unfocused. Thus the words of National about a goal to reduce poverty was always contrary to their planned action – post tax cuts they would have lacked the means to act.

  11. Tanz 11

    Hardly surprising, since our MSM is incredibly biased to the left, and basically rolled Labour into power this year. National need to buy their own newspaper and/or radio station etc, when it comes to the MSM they don’t stand a chance. Audrey Young called BIll English boring on the front page of the Herald pre-election – hardly non-partisan! The TV debates were biased too, against English, as is the norm on TV debates, always.
    Thanks to the tax cuts being cancelled, will now be $2000 worse off next year, like many other ordinary households. Thanks Labour, thanks Winston (backtracking), Merry Christmas anyway! Santa was kind to you, the rest of us just got poorer. Filling the car with gas just got painful too, ouch. ‘Greedies’, yeah, right.

    • dv 11.1

      So the Natz ARE paying Hosking Tanz!!

    • tracey 11.2

      Audrey stopped backing English post election. Pre election she did her best to push his lies.

    • Incognito 11.3

      When you going off the party script it pays to understand it first.

      The MSM did not roll Labour into power, Winston Peters did this singlehandedly.

      Calling Bill English boring is actually a compliment; it means he’s stable and predictable and will stick with status quo.

      TV debates deliberately give the appearance of being biased against Bill English so that he can come across as unflappable and strong and thus score points.

      You obviously don’t understand the slightest of National’s script so it is only fair that you’re worse off next year because of the cancelled tax cuts; you didn’t work hard enough to earn them although you do deserve them, of course.

    • Anne 11.4

      Aha… so, that is what all this wailing and gnashing of teeth is about. Tanz lost $2000 in tax cuts. Might have known money was at the bottom of it.

      To hell with the kids living in poverty. To hell with the women and children – and some men – being bullied , abused and generally violated. To hell with our beaches, rivers going to hell in a handcart… the list goes on. Tanz wants her tax cut.

      And you call yourself a Christian.

    • Craig H 11.5

      Only couples where both earn over $52,000 each. Couples with no children earning below $48,000 are no worse off.

  12. SPC 12

    Hosking’s mention of untargeted assistance with the power payment income support for those on super (those able to winter in Queensland – or the more numerous 25% collecting super while still working) overlooks the obvious.

    National was offering these people a tax cut on their work income AND an increase in the amount of super (which is bumped up by tax cuts). And they had no need for either. Little wonder they near all vote National (as do their cohorts the mortgage free boomers age 53-65 who aspire to the same privilege). They are the most favoured by government policy group anywhere in the world – receiving universal tax paid super while still in employment.

    PS Mike Hosking born in January 1965 is one month too late to be one of the “work and collect super as well baby boomers”, but this is his bread and butter ZB audience.

  13. SPC 13

    And this is all before the increases coming in the MW.

  14. Tanz 14

    Nope, but they should. It seems like Labour control and own the rest of the TV/radio/press commentators. It has created an unlevel playing field, where Labour is all good no matter what, and National bad, no matter what. Hardly safe in a supposed democracy, and hardly fair. All the same, the MSM is out of step with majority public opinion, as the recent poll showed.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1


      You haven’t learned what a majority is yet. Carry on whining: it’s funny.

      • cleangreen 14.1.1

        100% correct OAB.

        These National clingons love money and hate us that’s clear.

        Pity they are so pathetic.

    • dv 14.2

      Nope, but they should

      SO you believe political parties should pay journalist!!
      Interesting Tanz

    • red-blooded 14.3

      Tanz did you believe the media was slanted to the left before the election, or is this just another way of whinging about the fact that you lost?

      Tracy Watkins, Mike Hosking, Barry Soper, Jane Clifton, Paddy Gower, Duncan Garner… These are not exactly the darlings of the left! In fact, most people on this site see a significant tilt towards the right, particularly in our print and TV media.

    • tracey 14.4

      You are hilarious. Start a blog. Too funny.

    • cleangreen 14.5


      I refer to 14;

      What channels are you referring to here please?

      As I dont see/hear any favour for Labour over national at all.

      I wished it was true, but is is not!!

      But when the Minister of Broadcasting gets a new public non-commercial channel up and running, we hope to see a better balanced political coverage, (and less of steven blooody joyces face covering my screen every day when I turn that channel off.

  15. Tanz 15

    What, with National outpolling Labour still, by a country mile? Spin it as you want, as you do, to suit you, but the majority still wants National. Bet Labour are worried, especially as there is no true bounce for the new govt. Or do they like forever coming second?

    • SPC 15.1

      The Labour NZ First and Green parties have been polling at 50% for most of the past 3 years.

      You do realise that Key retired in 2016 because he knew National was dependent on NZ First to stay in power – because of the campaign he led to remove Peters from parliament (2005-2008) to end the last Labour led government. Removing himself from the equation to increase the chance of National staying in government with NZ First consent.

      Key has an awareness of markets and once you cannot win, you get out.

      LNZG under 50%, National can govern – LNZG at or over 50, National cannot.

      • dv 15.1.1

        Key has an awareness of markets and once you cannot win, you get out

        Sound like Hosking

      • cleangreen 15.1.2

        Bloody well right on there, SPC. 100% Key knew when to leave and we hope Joyce wakes up and also realises he is toast too.

        • SPC

          I wonder what Key thought of the strategy to target Peters because of some super overpayments? There goes their one chance …

      • SPC 15.1.3

        We have witnessed peak collectivisation on the right (Brash strategy) and it falls short of 50%.

        So they tax lawyer up, finesse an Ohariu or an Epsom to rort their way into power. And or partner up with a centrist MP – but when that results in them becoming a pawn in the continuing marginalisation of the underclass of New Zealand their brand is poisoned (I do have some sympathy for them in that they never really had the alternative option of going with a Labour led government).

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      You do not know what the word ‘majority’ means. A plurality of those polled support National. The majority supports the coalition government.

      But please, ignore the distinction: look like a witless idiot some more.

    • dv 15.3

      but the majority still wants National

      That is a fail in NS arithmetic Tanz

      What you really meant was the majority (>50%) DONT want Natz.

    • Mister Smokey 15.4

      No, Tanz, all’s good. Moving along nicely. No need for your concern.
      Just…happy as.

      Bit worried about you, though, Tanz.
      Those useless low-grade stirs of yours roll on and on.

      Maybe you’ll get a life for Xmas.

  16. eco maori 16

    Well it’s about time all OUR media start seeing reality through a lens that isn’t distorted buy $$$$$ and reports there stories in a honest humble humane fashion that does not have some of US scratching our heads in disbelief Ka pai

  17. Jum 17

    I’m interested to see how the following behaviour will be reported in the media, if at all, since it involves the national opposition.

    Obviously, National is angry about the good of the Families Package. I have never seen such appalling, hypocritical behaviour in parliament than that from jamie lee ross and louise upston at the end of the Part 1 debate.

    jamie lee ross screaming at the Chair and louise upston lying/obfuscating about the time when the Chair called for the vote mechanism to start.

    Seriously, are these cretins the cream of the national party crop? Apart from john key doing the throat slitting gesture at Phil Goff and getting away with it from the then speaker, even I was astonished at the gutter tactics employed today with constant badgering with similar SOPs and a constant barrage of POO (Points of Order) – actually, in the case of the opposition it really was just poo.

    David Seymour was thrown out which certainly improved the gene pool, but it was already contaminated by david carter last night and by the other national party opposition members for their sheer hypocrisy about urgency which was their buzzword over 3 long election cycles in reducing beneficiaries’/workers’ rights and income.

    As for demanding time off at 1pm for lunch – the opposition members don’t deserve it. They’ve done nothing to earn it. As beneficiaries living off the public teet, they need to be reminded of the dignity required of mps supposedly working to improve the lives of all New Zealanders not just their own pockets.

    Today in parliament was a day for national to hang its collective head in shame for bringing the house into disrepute.

    • Muttonbird 17.1

      Well said.

    • Ffloyd 17.2


      • cleangreen 17.2.1

        Well said JUM;

        I saw the national MP’s loosing it today at 1pm when they were attacking the speaker.

        I have never seen this before and when national speaker David Carter was ruling the house he was ruling MP’s with an iron hand -Nazi like in his style, so much that most MP’s were afraid of him.

        Labour speakers need to get tough as David Carter was I am afraid, as those national MP’s are disgusting.

  18. Incognito 18

    I find the framing a little ‘unfortunate’ as this is not Labour’s budget, is it now?

  19. Nic the NZer 19

    “importance of the debt to GDP ration”

    For the laypeople can we have an explanation of the importance of the debt to GDP ratio? Maybe a better one than this one?


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  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
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  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
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  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
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  • More cancer medicines for more people
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