National accuses John Key of shying away from the hard issues

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, March 6th, 2017 - 61 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, national, same old national, social media lolz, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Some more social media lessons for prospective politicians. Rule number 2 is never delete something unless there is no alternative and you don’t mind looking like a fool. Rule number 3 is know what social media your staff is putting out.

A very clear test case occurred on the weekend when a tweet was sent from Bill English’s account which clearly criticised John Key for shying away from the hard issue of superannuation. Key’s position always was that he would resign as Prime Minister rather than increase the age of eligibility. But clearly work is going on in the background with this as an option. Maybe this is why Key resigned.

Here is the tweet:

It then disappeared, presumably when someone with sense realised the implications of what was said.

English says he did not sent the tweet and he did not delete it.  Maybe Crosby Textor no longer are in charge of things because this whole episode has been pretty shambolic.

61 comments on “National accuses John Key of shying away from the hard issues”

  1. weka 1

    How is this connected with the Super age? What makes you think there was worki being done on that while Key was PM?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      From the language used I can’t see that it refers to anything else. These things do not happen overnight. There is always a workstream and a planned programme. English raising this as a subject is programmed as part of the roll out.

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      Good question Weka

      “a tweet was sent from Bill English’s account which clearly criticised John Key for shying away from the hard issue of superannuation”

      How is that clear Greg? Isn’t your assertion a wee bit hyperbole

  2. Ad 2

    He should have kept it.
    A bit of distance from Key would have proven useful in the election.

  3. ianmac 3

    Duncan Garner has an “awkward” interview with English over this.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/video.cfm?c_id=1&gal_cid=1&gallery_id=172360

    • The dipton diocesis confessional priests are on 24 hour call out duties.

    • roy cartland 3.2

      Ah I see, in that appalling interview, English himself said it was about super. There’s your answer @WEKA and others.

    • mosa 3.3

      I think “awkward ” is the wrong term ianmac more like another missed opportunity to nail another lying PM and Garner treated it like a joke anyway.

      Clearly Bill has taken lessons from Key on how to “deceive” with a smile and an easy going “yeah nah” and get away with it.

      I just want my country’s leader to be direct , tell the truth and admit mistakes.

      That would make a refreshing change, actually fronting up instead of putting on a show.

      The more things change the more they stay the same.

  4. The media sharks can smell blood – English will be gone by lunchtime – in a couple or so months. The awkward meme starting – incompetence upon incompetence – only dumbarse Smith taking hits for his buddy, the rest watching the carnage and tut tutting but not helping, rather using the fishhooks to push him back in.

    This latest one in this post is just typical of this incompetent. Come on Paula – how long are you going to let Bill suffer, for God’s sake put the poor bastard out of his misery.

    Edit- spose to be reply to ianmac

    • Tamati Tautuhi 4.1

      Looks like Paula needs to take the bull by the horns?

      • PMC 4.1.1

        Paula’s been told to keep a low profile. Her incompetence is too obvious. The whole situation National’s found themselves in is a simple reflection of their lack of depth and the reliance they placed on Key as a phenomenon. They no longer have that and it’s showing more and more. English will soon be as unpopular as he was as leader in 2002. It’s just a matter of time before the remnants of the Key effect wears off. The election is Labour’s to lose.

  5. Red 5

    Another Game changer 😀

  6. AB 6

    “To make sure New Zealand’s prosperity is sustainable for the long term”
    And if this means raising the entitlement age of superannuation, then “New Zealand’s prosperity” will be sustained by reducing the prosperity of the low-income elderly.
    So what does he actually mean by “New Zealand’s prosperity”? Because even though he is using the language of the collective ‘us’, he sure as hell doesn’t mean it.

    I’m beginning to dislike English even more than Key. Key was the blokey, jokey clown sugar-coating the standard right-wing sh*t sandwich they were serving up. But English is the right-wing sh*t sandwich in unabashed. plain sight. They’re not even embarrassed enough about their ideology to try to disguise it.

    • Wayne 6.1

      AB

      In 2011 and 2014 Labour was proposing increasing the age of super eligibility. Were they serving up “the standard right wing sh*t sandwich” when they were proposing it?

      On RNZ, the Retirement Commissioner was proposing an increase to age 67, starting 10 years from now and taking 8 years thereafter to come into effect. That is, someone aged 47 today could expect to get NS at 67 instead of 65. That hardly seems extreme.

      She also referred to something needing to be done for people doing hard physical work, and for whom age 67 would be too long. She indicated we had time to work that one out. Maybe something similar to the 55 Plus benefit that currently exists.

      • Siobhan 6.1.1

        That was an interesting interview…she also tried to talk about her serious concerns over the large numbers of people who will be retiring while renting in the future…not a topic gaining any traction with either the interviewer…or our politicians.

      • AB 6.1.2

        “In 2011 and 2014 Labour was proposing increasing the age of super eligibility. Were they serving up “the standard right wing sh*t sandwich” when they were proposing it”
        Well they weren’t in government so they weren’t serving up anything. But it was bad policy – let’s hope they’ve dropped it. They were too keen to look “financially responsible” so were proposing austerity with a human face.

        The Retirement Commissioners views don’t look extreme if you are comfortably off and likely to remain so (that’s you).
        But if you are outsourced, downsized, automated or otherwise made disposable in your 50’s or early 60’s they are scary as hell because they might mean a longer period of low income and still quite high expenses.
        And the Retirement Commissioner’s opinions are predicated on a view that the government’s ability raise revenue is similarly constrained as it is now. Whereas we have widespread tax avoidance/evasion and significant unearned income (housing market investment especially) going untaxed while it fuels house-price and rent inflation that has to be paid by other people with real (and meagre) income from actual work.
        All these factors coalesce to produce a sh*t sandwich that some get to serve and others have to swallow. I don’t think you will ever be one of those forced to swallow.

        • The Chairman 6.1.2.1

          “And the Retirement Commissioner’s opinions are predicated on a view that the government’s ability raise revenue is similarly constrained as it is now.”

          Which makes Bill’s announcement (National is looking at resetting super) an admission of failure.

          Clearly Bill is implying National has no plan to sufficiently grow our wealth, thus are looking at ways to cut back on expenditure.

          • Wayne 6.1.2.1.1

            AB

            Just to get this right, I presume you are stating that the retirement age should be fixed at 65, basically forever.

            I would note that this seems to be Labours current policy, since they thought the 2011 and 2014 policy hurt them politically.

            Winston Peters raises a reasonable point that the current cost of NS is 3.6% net of GDP, though in fact it is closer to 5% of GDP on a gross basis. Govt accounts separate out tax and payments for good reason. Many govt payments are subject to tax, so the proper accounting reflects the gross payments out with the tax payments as receipts.

            To try and do everything on a net basis leads to govt accounting chaos, and a very misleading picture of the cost of govt. After all teachers, police, etc pay tax on their salaries. Should this be deducted from the cost of providing education?

            In any event, 5% of GDP on superannuation is still relatively low on OECD measures, but with NS expected to double to 10% of GDP over the next 30 years that will put it pretty high as percentage of GDP. Greece and Italy are already there, but we can all see the problems they have.

            Increasing the age to 67 reduces the cost of NS to 8% of GDP, which is more sustainable.

            So in my view the Retirement Commissioner has proposed a reasonable shift in age, especially given the long lead in time. Many other countries have already done this.

            As for the point you have raised about employment difficulties for people in their early 60″s, I am well aware of this. It has happened to a number of people in my extended family. The 55 Plus benefit is intended to moderate this issue. Though it is a lot less than National Super. Maybe a higher rate benefit for people who can show need at this point.

            • lprent 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Brazil is an even worse example of retirement systems going wrong

              However the other approach is to simply prepay. If we reverse the rather economically ineffective taxcuts from 2009/10 and start filling the economically effective Cullen fund with the proceeds, what happens? We prepay our liabilities.

              We push money in while our tax base hasn’t had the demographic shift, and prevent the tax increases later.

              Of course we should probably push up higher income tax rates even higher to compensate for the short sighted idiots we have had in government. Not to mention those who lobbied them for those unsustainable taxcuts. So let’s put that on the higher in one groups – like ex MPs….

              BTW: to date I haven’t seen anything that shows ANY good economic effects from them. Politically good for the National party, lousy government for the country.

            • AB 6.1.2.1.1.2

              “Increasing the age to 67 reduces the cost of NS to 8% of GDP, which is more sustainable”
              The word “sustainable” is a weasel word. What it actually means is “without disrupting the status quo”. And it’s a status quo marked by serious inequities in wealth and income that are unrelated to people’s abilities or how hard they work or the social value of what they do.
              And I don’t believe anything should be “forever” – except for some underlying principles about the dignity and welfare of all citizens. I’d be quite happy if superannuation was replaced by a UBI or some other mechanism provided it drove greater equality and in a taxation sense favoured income from labour over income from capital

            • RedBaronCV 6.1.2.1.1.3

              Nope we don’t have to raise the age. We just need to put a one off levy on all the peeps who have done so well over the last 9 years from the rockstar economy Wayne talks about , they can have time to pay and we can stick the proceeds in the Cullen Fund. problem solved.
              Anyway with increasing automation shouldn’t we be looking at the fiscal case for lowering the retirement age?

            • PMC 6.1.2.1.1.4

              “Just to get this right, I presume you are stating that the retirement age should be fixed at 65, basically forever.”

              You sound as if the age should be regularly reviewed. 65 today, 67 tomorrow…perhaps followed by 70 then 75 followed by 80 and maybe capped at 85 by the end of the century? Heck, as [some] people live longer and stay working longer why the hell not? Certainly suits the agenda of those of your ilk.

          • Tamati Tautuhi 6.1.2.1.2

            The big problem is the Government has sold off its good solid revenue earning State Assets?

      • Augustus 6.1.3

        Can you point me to the 55+ benefit that currently exists please? As far as I’m aware, 55+ year old people who did hard work are exactly the same as 18-year old unmotivated school leavers as far as WINZ is concerned. I do agree there should be something like that, and also for the sick and disabled, but you (?) voted to do away with it.

        • Wayne 6.1.3.1

          Augustus

          As I understand it the 55+ benefit is essentially the unemployment benefit, but it is not work tested, at least not nearly to the extent that younger people are work tested.

          • Sabine 6.1.3.1.1

            You sir, have no idea what you speak of.

            here are the main benefits on NZ and what one can ‘expect’ from 2016

            https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/benefit-rates/benefit-rates-april-2016.html

            you see what is not on that list? Your magical 55+ benefit. Cause that would now be the unemployment benefit, and WINZ and the Minister of Social Development care very little if you are 16 and unemployed, or cancer stricken and unemployed, or a mother of three and unemployed, or a broken body over 55 and unemployed. You will have to prove that you are searching for a Job, you will have to attend seminars, you will need to be ready for humiliation, no toilet breaks, bring an ID before entering and any such bullshit for your 250+ a week. Which amounts to little to live and to much to die on.

            here is a mention of your 55+ benefit

            ’55+ Benefit — For people who are unemployed and looking for work. Must be 55 years or over and not able to get National Superannuation’

            from here
            http://www2.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/quest/sddquest.nsf/54c8cdbd113793d54c2563aa0073758f/233a15ed0c9165564c256347000bd900/$FILE/P24-31.pdf

          • PMC 6.1.3.1.2

            The 55+ benefit wasn’t a benefit at all. It was simply a policy not to work-test people on the unemployment benefit who were close to 60. And in any case that policy’s now gone.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 6.1.4

        How about increasing the top tax rate to say 39% for a start?

    • Jesters whip 6.2

      Sustainable hell everyone is slowly going broke now in twenty years be nothing left
      Thanks John key for. 8 years of nothing at least he can go on holiday

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Raising the age of retirement isn’t a solution to an older population and is completely impractical for a lot of professions, especially those that require physical labour. It just means more people looking for the same number of jobs in work place which those who can’t find one on one form of benefit or another. Hopefully it will put a few people off voting for National though.

  8. Adrian 8

    I think the figures are bullshit because I’m 67 and a large number of my cohort are doing some kind of paying work and paying a large portion of super back as tax , so it’s not costing as much as intimated.
    The age would need to go to over 70 to make any sort of dent in the costings.
    If that were to happen it would make it about 2 to 5% harder for younger workers to
    get into the job market.
    Good luck electorally with all that Bill, but I strongly urge you to keep going down this speculative track.

  9. Keith 9

    Of all the reasons or reason which contributed to or caused Keys resignation, I think this one is too minor on the John Key scale to rate. A flip flop on this subject wouldn’t have harmed him and furthermore it gives currency to the old chestnut of buying investment houses for ones retirement.

    His dirty little fingerprints being all over the tax haven debacle was much more of an indictment.

    Having said that how can National use the tax cut bribe and then take away Superannuation rights?

  10. Whispering Kate 10

    Of all the things Blinglish could do with tampering with National Super, I do not think one of them will be to extend the residency period to 25 years for the elderly parents of the Chinese. Two things about Blinglish are, he enjoys the wealth his rich friends of European or Asian enthicity bring to his coffers and he would not risk the wrath and backlash from them. The other is his innate dislike of anybody who is Kiwi. He slags off at so called drug addled New Zealanders, he slags off at solo mothers, he thinks we are lazy, he insults ordinary Kiwis on a daily basis. He is judgmental and harsh but he sure loves immigration getting away from us like a bush fire and he loooooves money.

    It will be maybe a few things he will tamper with and he will not want to rock the boat but sure as hell he will not meddle with the entitlements of immigrant elderly parents. What is most likely to happen is he will reduce slowly the entitlement until we are all near to starving to a shadow and stressing how we will make ends meet. That’s his enjoyment. The immigrant elderly won’t suffer as their children have bottomless pits of cash to look after them in their old age.

  11. michelle 11

    all this b….shert ( by Bill) and he is suppose to be a devout catholic what does this say about him as a person and his religion

  12. fisiani 12

    What a storm in a D-cup. An entire post about a tweet. Get out and get off the keyboard. there are some real issues to be concerned about.

    • Tophat 12.1

      It’s shit weather out and it’s my first day off in 2 months.
      You should stop using rash generalisations! See how well they are serving your master Blingless?

  13. Cinny 13

    Wait and see, wait and see… is that not shying away from the hard issues?

    The outgoing PM was a disaster on both tv networks this morning.

    • fisiani 13.1

      Outgoing???? He will be there for another three cycles then hand it over to Chris Bishop the MP for Lower Hutt

      • lprent 13.1.1

        Interesting? Invented a time machine? Or just have a tin foil hat?

        • fisiani 13.1.1.1

          File it away for future reference. I am usually very accurate.
          PS There will also never be another Labour Government in New Zealand.

          • Muttonbird 13.1.1.1.1

            Farrar is of the same opinion. Bold prediction.

            • tc 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Thats the message penguin’s paid to push being part of the nact messaging brigade.

          • Cinny 13.1.1.1.2

            You are correct Fisiani, with your ‘PS’ because we now have an MMP system, glad I voted to ditch FPP. MMP for the WIN everytime, it’s so much better.

            Looking forward to election night, keep in touch Fisiani the day after spring equinox we shall discover whom the seer really is.

          • Tamati Tautuhi 13.1.1.1.3

            Will be Labour + NZF Coalition you heard it first on TS

          • the pigman 13.1.1.1.4

            Cool, favourited.

            And when your employer Bully Bishop is handed the leadership in 6 years time after two terms of Labour-Green rule, you’ll no doubt you’ll be here to crow, “I was 50% correct! My crystal ball was just faulty – it is usually very accurate!”

          • lprent 13.1.1.1.5

            There hasn’t been a National government since 1993 either.

            What is your point?

  14. Richard@Downsouth 14

    Just wants to avoid putting money in the Cullen Fund, and be able to take from the Super side of the ledger and put it in the general side… “yay surplus”

  15. Sabine 15

    maybe a minimum of years contributions via Payee should be a requirement.

    i.e. must have worked and paid taxes for at least 15 years before a min of super can be paid out.

    However, we should take into account that women often leave the work force so as to raise children or to look after sick family members and that could and should be factored into the calculation.

    And i agree, if the age goes up, that should also apply for politicians, no super before the official age is reached. Does not matter that you might retire in politics in your early forties or so, just continue to work until you reach what ever age it is. IF you die before that, well i guess that is bummer then. Oh, and if we can’t afford super for the workers, then the country for sure can’t afford to pay travel expenses for the spouses of politicians. That little perk/pork should be cut immediately after making any change to super. For past, present and future politicians.

  16. Ann Meyrick 16

    It’s a worry when people are not in charge of their own Twitter accounts – and therefore take no responsibility for what is said in their name. So it is just another way to lie.

  17. mosa 17

    When news broke that Bill English was receiving an accommodation allowance of $900 per week to live in his 1.2 million dollar Wellington home when receiving a ministers salary of $276,200 it seemed clear to me that he is the wrong person to be in charge of anything let alone the country or superannuation.

    When he leaves HIS parliamentary super will ensure he lives a secure life untouched by any changes or cut backs that can cause many people stress coming up to the age when you have to rely on a fixed income and really cannot work any longer.

    Behind the scene English loves to take the knife and cut vulnerable public entitlements like he did as minister of health from 1996-98 but making sure its sold as being good for the public and “i have a long term plan “is one of his favourites and the latest “Lets cut the burden on vulnerable people.”

    He would cut the entitlements and raise the age to 70 for super tomorrow like Don Brash advocated but he knows the fire storm would be immense and his hands are tied.

    If he really wanted to do something meaningful for retirement and savings why not stop collecting tax on kiwisaver contributions, increase the employer contribution every five years and contribute to the Cullen fund would be a good start on “cutting the burden” of funding super in the next 3 decades.

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