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National is all over the place on the budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, May 21st, 2018 - 131 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Economy, making shit up, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

National is continuing with its scattergun approach to the budget. Labour is spending too much yet not enough at the same time.  And National would have been more careful with the country’s money yet solve issues that became crises over its term.

And the Government is spending less on Health than National, although this was subsequently corrected to the increase in spending this budget is smaller than National’s last increase, caused incidentally by the TerraNova case which National fought all the way.

And National’s other zingers have fallen pitifully flat.

There was the claim that Pharmac’s budget had been cut by $200 million which faced the problem that funding had actually been increased.

There was also the claim that funding for contraception had been cut.  This was actually the dog whistle fund for long term contraception of beneficiaries that no one was using.

This claim caused all sorts of craziness on twitter.

And there was the claim that Labour had slashed the number of child exploitation inspectors.

Amy Adams rushed out this press release:

The Government’s need to put Winston Peters first might be responsible for a major reduction in the number of inspectors charged with investigating child sex offences, National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“In spite of having a billion dollars to throw at foreign aid and diplomats and $2.8 billion to make university free, the Government’s priorities have led to a reduction by one third of frontline staff in a critical unit charged with protect the most vulnerable New Zealanders.

“The Department of Internal Affairs has said it will have to slash the number of fully trained inspectors from its censorship unit who are charged with investigating the creation and distribution of child sex imagery.

“DIA’s impending restructure will mean there will be only 10 investigators instead of 15, despite official advice which clearly outlines the need to increase the number of investigators.

But she was being very cute with her analysis.  What was actually occurring was a reorganisation of the department and an increase, yes an increase, of people involved from 15 to 27.5.

Then there was this interview with Amy Adams on Q&A on Sunday.

It did not start well for her with claims that National’s tax cuts would have been worth $1,000 per week to the average worker.  Is she really National’s financial spokesperson?

And she clearly believes in her party’s magical ability to do more with less.  The interview went like this:

CORIN Okay. Would you, as Finance Minister, continue with the tax cuts in the face of clear signs of poverty, of homelessness? All these issues, the crises we can see there — would you continue with tax cuts for wealthy New Zealanders?

AMY So we had our policy going into the last election, which was that we could afford to return $1000 a week to the average worker and continue to put more funding into health, more funding into education, more funding into homelessness, more funding into state housing and the private housing market. We were doing all of that.

The cognitive dissonance is strong with that statement.

Her use of rhetoric is also strong.  For instance in this passage where she equates the protection of meal breaks with compulsory unionism.  And she admitted that unchecked immigration was actually a policy decision.

AMY Well, I think if you look at what the policies that this government is bringing in or has signalled, a return to 1970s-style industrial law changes — effectively, turning off the tap on foreign investment into New Zealand, cutting immigration numbers. And remember, even Treasury—

CORIN What, giving people meal and tea breaks in 1970s?

AMY Can I just finish, though? Can I just finish? Even Treasury is saying that the GDP growth that they’re forecasting is only held up because of strong and, in fact, growing immigration numbers — something that Grant Robertson went on about for nine years in opposition. So it’s been driven by immigration, industrial law changes, foreign direct investment, new taxes. Those things will slow the economy.

CORIN Are you seriously criticising this government for relying on immigration to grow its economy when your government relied on immigration and housing?

AMY Am I going to get a chance to answer? Okay, so what I’m going to say, Corin, is that for nine years in opposition, Grant Robertson made a big deal about the fact that immigration and the net flow of migrants into New Zealand was what was holding up the economy. What I’m pointing out is that Treasury, in its own estimates in the Budget, has said it is continuing strong immigration that is going to continue to see GDP held up.

And she hinted that superannuation would be means tested under a future National Government.

I would like to make sure that we don’t take any more than we need, and I would absolutely want to make sure that, every dollar we do take, we spend effectively and in a targeted way.

I challenge anyone to watch the video and praise Adams’ performance.  If you want to watch it here it is.

National has a problem.  It is floundering around with a scatter-gun attack approach but the attacks are based on bad analysis.  It has Shouty Simon leading and Amy Adams, who is your classical born to rule tory, getting things wrong.

If this is the best National has they have problems.

If they want an example on how to intelligently critique the budget this interview given by Bernard Hickey provides a very good example.  Short version, the budget responsibility rules are an artificial construct and they could have gone further to address the real problems National has left us with.

131 comments on “National is all over the place on the budget”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Hahahaha I was just thinking the same thing.

    It is like Simon and Amy get their speaking points after downing several vodka coolers with a bunch of angry Nats. they are incoherent, sound sensible only if you are drunk and seem designed to mainly feed red meat to the idiot end of their base.

    The strategy appears to be get their faces in front of the camera/microphone and say SOMETHING as much as possible, even if something is a load of old clarts that doesn’t make sense.

    • solkta 1.1

      I think that is several several vodka coolers.

      So funny to watch Shouty Simon after all the Angry Andy crap.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      I’m pretty sure that they’ve gone through C/T first. This is scare tactics designed to produce doubt about the budget and the government’s ability to govern.

  2. cleangreen 2

    “And National would have been more careful with the country’s money”

    Yes they simply ‘robbed from one place to fund another’

    This was what they did to fund stuff.

    But they presented it as ‘responsible’ with no money spent but this was a lie.

    But the money robbed from other services, has now shown up as ‘detrimental’ to our entire infrustructure as we see here in just one case of ‘National rail fail in Gisborne’.


  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Auto Amy…, “can I answer?”

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Yeah that really grates. If you look at the text she did most of the talking. But even then she thought she should be allowed even more time.

    • Wensleydale 3.2

      Corin should have said, “Yes, you can totally answer, just so long as that answer is coherent and truthful, and not a rambling word salad full of jargon and nonsense.”

  4. Adrian 4

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but does Angry Amy own 13 houses or is it now 17?
    “What me, privileged ?”
    Disclaimer, I have a share in two. Both of which I built myself for family members, so no I’m not bagging her because she’s rich, just hypocritical.

    • Cinny 4.1

      It’s really interesting that the nat’s are the party whose MP’s hold the most property, and that many MP’s properties are held by trusts.

      amy owns plenty, more than any other MP, 8 properties all up.

      Farm property (owned by trust), Aylesbury
      Bare land (owned by trust), Darfield
      Bare land (owned by trust), Te Kauwhata
      Commercial property (owned by trust), Templeton
      Commercial property (owned by trust), Temuka
      Residential property (owned by trust), Cromwell
      Residential property (owned by trust), West Melton
      Residential apartment (owned by trust), Wellington

      Link for 2018 register of pecuniary interests etc

      Click to access summary-report-2018-final.pdf

      Looking at that, nat MP’s appear to have fully embraced the housing crisis.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    A thousand a week… fifty two thousand a year? WOW!!! That is an error of magnitude.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      The average wage will be $150k under National 🙄

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      At a thousand a week that would mean total tax cuts of about three billion per week, $150 billion per year out of the government’s budget of about $60 billion.

  6. Gosman 6

    Do you think National should attack this budget based on the fact that Labour is still sticking within the BRR?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      How about they stop lying. That would make a refreshing change.

    • Robert Guyton 6.2

      Nah. I reckon they should just keep shouting untruths at it, the way they have been til now. All good.

    • Stuart Munro 6.3

      National should shut up about the economy – they really don’t know much about it. It is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        Do you want an Opposition to remain quiet on the single biggest element of Government?

        I don’t think that would be entirely beneficial for our democracy. You are aware it is the Oppositions job to attack and try to hold the Government of the day to account don’t you?

        That should be self evident but as you are a hard core lefty I am cutting you some slack on your knowledge level regarding democracy.

        • Robert Guyton

          You are aware it is the Oppositions job to attack like plague-crazed rodents and try to hold smear the Government of the day to account ? don’t you? Fify

          • Gosman

            So you are unaware of the role of the Opposition under our system then Robert?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Such a pity they’re so utterly incompetent that the only way they can do that is to tell lies. A bit like you really.

              • Gosman

                What lies have I told here or elsewhere?

                • McFlock

                  That the role of the opposition includes attacking the government.

                  That is a very different act from holding the government to account. The current opposition attacks the government with lies and falsehoods (like lies about health funding), rather than holding it to account for actual shortcomings.

                  • Gosman

                    That is hardly a lie. It is merely a difference in interpretation. I see attacking the plans of a Government as holding them to account as it forces them to ensure they are robust. You obviously don’t. Each of us is entitled to our views.

                    • McFlock

                      Careful, your moral vacuum is showing again.

                      You’re like a bad boss who confuses yelling and bullying with leadership.

                    • dukeofurl

                      $1000 per week tax cuts was a lie

                      There were so many others too, nationals hoping most wont notice them. It all started with the $11 bill ‘hole’.

            • Robert Guyton

              Seems we have a whoppersition this time round, Gosman – extender-noses galore! Key’s legacy is going to be a hard one for his “little wooden boy” to shake.

          • Grey Area

            Trip-trap, trip-trap, trip-trap!

        • Stuart Munro

          An ill-informed and frankly stupid opposition that lies more often than it tells the truth is in any case incapable of fulfilling its democratic function.

          They should go to the mattresses, get their shit together and come up with a coherent and fact based economic approach from which they can make decent criticisms. They’re not really up to that of course – they were too lazy to do it in government – not much chance they’ll bother in opposition.

          Since they’re too lazy to do their jobs, the best thing they can offer our democracy is their resignations.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They should go to the mattresses, get their shit together and come up with a coherent and fact based economic approach from which they can make decent criticisms.

            That’s what they should do but they can’t as the facts never suit their ideology. It’s why John Banks, when campaigning for the Auckland mayoralty, said that he would never be open about his policies as then he woudn’t get voted for.

            The RW have to lie. It’s as simple as that.

            • Stuart Munro

              I think they’re the victims of their own success. Since Rogergnomics they’ve dragged NZ further right than is actually tenable – hence the massive increase in inequality and social problems. Nevertheless, a return to joined up thinking is very desirable. A moderate centrist conservative party has a role to play in a modern democracy, a pack of lazy lying thieving assholes not so much.

              • AsleepWhileWalking

                Wise words.

              • Gosman

                Give me an example of a modern centrist conservative party.

                • McFlock

                  Give me an example of a modern centrist conservative party

                  intentional typo?

                • Stuart Munro

                  It is the nature of conservative parties that they are always behind the times – you might as well ask to see a modern dinosaur.

                  It is your job to imagine a better kind of conservative party, mine is to conceive a better and more enlightened Left.

                • An example of a modern centrist conservative party?

                  Why , – the very party that enabled Labour to be the government :

                  NZ First.



        • cleangreen

          Gosman, RE; gosman said; – “What lies have I told here or elsewhere?”

          I do admire your ‘constant dishonest representation of the National Party’.

          But the Nationa; party truly were just ‘rob and steal’ Party weren’t they?

          While I am honestly stating that my party – Labour are not meeting their promises are they?

          For instance their promise to restore or ‘save our rail’.

          As they did before the election; – they promised in the Gisborne Herald “that they will restore the Gisborne rail if they were elected to Government”.

          They have now broken that promise to the Gisborne.HB people so if they do not restore our rail they will lose votes for sure.

          Meassage to Jacinda and Phil Twyford, “fix our rail” and use jacinda’s magic election words, “lets do this”.

          August 23, 2016 11:17AM


          QUOTE; “THE Labour and Green parties last night committed to re-opening the entire length of the Gisborne to Napier rail line but pointed out that would only happen if the National Party was removed from office.”

    • mickysavage 6.4

      “Do you think National should attack this budget based on the fact that Labour is still sticking within the BRR?”

      No but I think this is the biggest weakness of the budget. WIth a slightly reduced surplus Labour could have achieved a lot more.

      • Gosman 6.4.1

        Quite possibly but it isn’t National’s job to make it easier for Labour to ditch a conservative economic restraint.

        • roy cartland

          Be nice if National had a plan rather than “not making it easy” for Labour. I dunno, something involving the people of NZ, somewhere.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Then you’ve got the age old debate about whether a budget is designed for people or simply to ‘balance the books’… which leads on to the next difference of ideology … neo liberalism is all about small govt, running a surplus whatever the cost – and usually , – that means Joe ‘working man’ citizen pays the price for that austerity… the wealthy do not. And if they do , they barely notice any impact because it is weighted in their favour…

          And that was effectively what we had under National.

          And as we know a govt should borrow and spend in times of leanness to stimulate an economy, and the reverse in times of plenty. But we had National not only borrowing , but borrowing massively to enable tax cuts… with a resultant loss in revenue… so who paid the price?..

          Places like Middlemore Hospital .Those on low meager incomes living in derelict ,cold and moldy state houses… and in many cases dying because of it.Preventable third world respiratory diseases as one medical official reported.

          Just so National could offer its lolly of ‘tax cuts’… so this idea of linking ‘conservatism’ and ‘economic restraint ‘ together in one sentence is erroneous. There was nothing ‘conservative’ or worthy of calling it ‘economic restraint ‘ at all… National were ( and are ) an ideologically radical neo liberal party now , … that sacrifices social health and wellbeing and prosperity to not only retain ideological purity but to pander to the whims of the already wealthy.

          Lets hope the coalition in the ensuing budgets becomes more socially radical.

          Only then will we see real work being put into repairing the damaged state that National left the country in.

          • Gosman

            I have never seen a description of neo-liberalism where running a surplus whatever the cost is a central tenant.

            • WILD KATIPO

              You may not have, but the debate remains the same…who’s it for ? – the people /citizens benefit or political reputation ?

              Bill English’s desperate attempts for example at being ‘seen’ to run a surplus was deliberately masking the reality’s of homelessness , crumbling schools, a ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach with regard to intensive dairy farming , entrenched poverty , lack of spending on essential infrastructure, – whereby the electoral promise of tax cuts to garner votes took precedence over a large proportion of citizens well being , – and that of the environment.

              Now that is NOT responsible governance, nor is it conservative, nor does it demonstrate restraint.

              And the almost feverish obsession with ‘running a surplus’ and viewing debt as an evil is economically erroneous and is not conservative economics anyways. All govts need to borrow, look at the US and China, – even them.

              The defining feature of debt and borrowing we should be looking at is : does it produce good results when we do borrow because we have a deficit,… or ,… are the finances borrowed being squandered?. In Nationals case it was for election bribes. We got an unfinished bicycle path for instance that employed around 200 people.

              Yet on the whole , – no significant infrastructure was built that could be productive , just rotting hospitals and schools,… a promise of 10 bridges for Northland by Bridges that were never built and on and on it goes.

              Put this way – it is a totally different beast that built the Mangakino dam or many of our schools and hospitals – and that was all borrowed money which went into building the country. That was called Keynesian economics and it built the place.

              Unlike neo liberal fiscal policy that creates austerity in its mad race for ‘surpluses’ and immediate debt recovery that destroys a country ie Greece, Portugal and the like.

              • Draco T Bastard

                All govts need to borrow, look at the US and China, – even them.

                That is part of the lie that has us becoming poorer.

                Government’s not only don’t need to borrow but actually shouldn’t. They just need to create the money while taking that power from the private banks.

                Money flow in a country should look like this.

                • Yes , quite agree, after all under the system we have currently , interest rates on borrowing are , – at least partways ,…figuratively, – created out of thin air , so to speak. But whether it should look like the above example may be another story.

                  The IMF , World Bank were originally created ( leaving all debate aside for the moment about shoring up capitalism after the Great Depression and world wars ) as a way to lend to rebuild and develop and stimulate economys,… however, they were taken over and it became more a punitive thing with deadlines in paying back those loans…in our case loans borrowed in the 1960’s by Holyoake were set to be repaid at around the same time Douglas was Finance Minister…

                  Yet even that did not warrant the slash and burn policy’s of the Lange govt at all. It simply became an excuse for wholesale plunder of the NZ economy.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    But whether it should look like the above example may be another story.

                    It can’t work any other way.

                    The IMF , World Bank were originally created ( leaving all debate aside for the moment about shoring up capitalism after the Great Depression and world wars ) as a way to lend to rebuild and develop and stimulate economys,…

                    Which was never needed because all countries could have created their own money to utilise their own resources.

                    Yet even that did not warrant the slash and burn policy’s of the Lange govt at all. It simply became an excuse for wholesale plunder of the NZ economy.

                    The problem was capitalism and so the solution wasn’t more of it. Same as today really.

                    • Pat

                      The IMF was appropriated by the US at inception…..an international body to oversee world trade was (and is) needed however…..unless you wish to revert to barter.


                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The IMF was appropriated by the US at inception…..an international body to oversee world trade was (and is) needed however…..unless you wish to revert to barter.

                      Nope. We’ve never needed such an organisation although, if we did, it would be the WTO and not the IMF.

                      Also, we don’t need an international reserve currency either. All nations should have their own currencies which float against each other but the means of that floating should be a trade weighted algorithm and not the subjective view that a currency is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. That gives rise to artificially high currencies such as our own because of our high interest rates.

                    • pat

                      none of that addresses the raison d’etre for the IMF or WTO post 2 world wars and the key issue Keynes attempted to counter….trade imbalances.

                      In the absence of alternatives there is only one rule….might is right…I think you chose the wrong country to reside in from which to espouse such foolishness

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      none of that addresses the raison d’etre for the IMF or WTO post 2 world wars and the key issue Keynes attempted to counter….trade imbalances.

                      The IMF and World Bank were a result of the Bretton Woods agreement which removed a hell of a lot of Keynes’ thinking. In fact, if I’m reading Keen right, Keynes’ thinking wasn’t truly implemented during the Great Depression either. Keynes supported deficit spending but not that the money be borrowed into existence. His ideas were actually closer to the Chicago Plan.

                      The Bancor was Keynes’ idea of having a trade weighted exchange rate. It’s not really needed as a floating exchange rate would do it. The problems we have are a) not all currencies float and b) that the currencies that do float are not trade weighted and are thus subjective. The currencies that don’t float are manipulated and the ones that do are, due to the subjective nature of the exchange rates, delusional.

                      Proper trade-weighting of the exchange rate would presently have the NZ$ less than the Chinese yuan (because we import more from China than we export there) and thus decreasing our imports while increasing our exports. In other words, trade balancing.

                      In the absence of alternatives there is only one rule….might is right…I think you chose the wrong country to reside in from which to espouse such foolishness

                      The only international agreement needed would be for the algorithm to set exchange rates. This could be done at the UN far better than through the WTO.

                    • Keynes came after the Great Depression , and his theory’s were developed because of that catastrophe.The theory went that country’s ceased to trade in a recession/depression thus exacerbating the situation. Keynes answer was to borrow to stimulate the domestic economy and stimulate international trade. And in actual fact , those country’s that did accept it, mainly western Europe- and Japan, – all went from the red into the black in around 6 months. America followed suit much later on with the same results,… in 6 months they were back in the black.

                      … ‘ Through the fund, and other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members’ economies and the demand for particular policies,[8] the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries ‘….

                      International Monetary Fund – Wikipedia

                      And it was at this point here ( ‘The demand for particular policies’ ) that the IMF was able to be hijacked by groups and individuals such as the the Mont Pelerin society (formed 1947 – not long after the Bretton Woods conference of 1945) who endorsed Freidrich Hyek’s works (whom also was a founding member of the Mont Pelerins ),… later on such individuals as Milton Freidman popularized those very same aims, – who not only endorsed the Chicago school of economics but was also a founding member and board director of the Mont Pelerins . Hence the prevalence nowadays of ‘ austerity programs’ , particularity post 1980’s ‘Thatcherism’ and’ Reaganism’… and after the GFC.

                      And these people were hostile to Keynes and his theory’s.

                      And I wonder about trade weighting if it took into account the resources of one country set against another. Or poorer agrarian country’s all trading pretty much the same types of products…all competing for the same market slice…

                      Regardless, we are where we are , and I don’t think the global power brokers would tolerate any other…at least with Keynesianism it gave the working man some modicum of economic security and stability – as opposed to the exploitative bull and bear markets that we have now in a world of neo liberalism.

                  • cleangreen

                    yes we are so poor as a country we seem to be begging any foriegners to come and buy us out, so our Government income will shrink as time goes on with a shrinking of our assets and wealth.

                    We should be borrowing and printing our way to fix up this country not selling it off!!!!!

                • pat

                  “The IMF and World Bank were a result of the Bretton Woods agreement which removed a hell of a lot of Keynes’ thinking”

                  …which is spelled out in my Bancor link…

                  …and the reason for Bretton Woods?…to avoid the results of laissez faire international trade from the previous centuries…aka war or conflict.

                  “The only international agreement needed would be for the algorithm to set exchange rates. This could be done at the UN far better than through the WTO.”

                  lol…right,,,like LIBOR.

                  Floating exchange rates havnt and dont prevent trade imbalances nor defaults….or the consequences….they merely flatten out peaks and troughs…they dont control the direction but a Bancor tytpe arrangement does so AND removes pressures associated with interest rates from offshore,,,,it provides national governments the conditions to implement the banking and interest rate control you claim to desire….floating rates alone do not.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    lol…right,,,like LIBOR.

                    No, not like LIBOR. That was a corrupt system set up by the banks for their profit and skimming.

                    Floating exchange rates havnt and dont prevent trade imbalances nor defaults

                    This is because they’re not done right. They’re not trade weighted which is necessary for them to work.

                    they dont control the direction but a Bancor tytpe arrangement

                    The Bancor works in that it highlights the trade imbalances whereas a our present system hides them. As I say – our trade imbalance with China should have us no longer importing from China but our system of exchange rate setting artificially keeps the NZ$ high.

                    ….floating rates alone do not.

                    I’m not talking about interest rates. In fact, I’ve always said that the government should provide money for business and mortgages with no interest.

                    • pat

                      ‘The Bancor works in that it highlights the trade imbalances whereas a our present system hides them. ”

                      Bancor was proposed to do far more than highlight…it proposed penalty and method to overcome the imbalance…you may wish to do some reading

                • Liberal Realist

                  Nail on head. The lie that is neoliberalism = fractional reserve banking.

                  Credit creation in the form of debt conjured by key stroke is the single biggest scam ever pulled in history. It’s two purposes; expand power of the ruling class, and enslave the masses.

                  • Be that as it may- that is what we are stuck with.


                    And the second paragraph also ‘ hits the nail on the head’ .

                    That said, what would we want? a continuation of more of the same neo liberalism or a return to a more equitable Keynesian based economy ?

            • Stuart Munro

              Tenet my little cabbage – an article of faith – glad to see you’re finally coming to terms with the fact that neo-liberalism is a cult rather than an objective stance.

            • Akldnut

              I have never seen a description of neo-liberalism where running a surplus whatever the cost is a central tenant.

              Gossy you clearly didn’t read the Bill English’s gameplan during his time as Treasurer

              • Gosman

                Bill English ran deficits for the majority of the time he was Finance Minister

                • dukeofurl

                  So true . Ending up putting $90 bill on the credit card when lost the election. Must have been under $20 bill when Key and English started

                • … ‘ Bill English ran deficits for the majority of the time he was Finance Minister ‘ …

                  Yes but there was a big difference in what Bill English was doing and Nationals massive borrowing and the end results and what they were spending it on…compared to true Keynesian economics.

                  Tax cuts / electoral bribes, underfunding of essential infrastructure to encourage the private markets to pick up the tab, ( ie ‘prisons, schools, hospitals, state housing ) …

                  ( See Frank Macskasy’s article on The Daily Blog ) ;

                  The Mendacities of Ms Amy Adams – “hidden borrowing”?! « The Daily …

                  And virtually zilch was put towards maintenance of existing infrastructure and real dynamic long term growth , – barring Nationals temporary speculative housing bubble and cheap imported immigrant labour… and despite Nationals 9 years of borrowing we have little to show for it except chronic poverty levels and homelessness…

                  Oh ,… all of the above and an unfinished bicycle track that employed 200 people …

                  Growth ,… National style.

                  • Gosman

                    Traditional Keynesian economics calls for both spending increases (Mainly on infrastructure) AND Tax cuts during times of economic downturn. In that regard National was far more Keynesian than Neo-liberal.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Tell it to the underfunded DHBs.

                    • McFlock

                      Actually, Key’s projects of unneeded (or even counter-productive) infrastructure and tax cuts for the rich were more reminiscent of Forbes & Coates than Keynesianism. But the erosion of workers rights and the increased enshittening of our drinking water was totally neoliberal.

                    • dukeofurl

                      really ?

                      Gosman has no idea of history.
                      in 2008 after winning the election National passed legislation cancelling labours personal tax cuts ( the ones creating the decade of deficits) and substituted their own tax cuts. ( which also would create a decade of deficits)

                      Lo and behold come budget time 2009, national cancelled their own tax cuts

                      When they did get around to cutting taxes in 2012 they raised GST in-spite of denying it at the 2011 election.

                      Wheres is the Keynsian approach by the nats.?
                      Keynes called Trickle down by its older name , Horse and sparrow – the leftovers from the horses feed goes for the sparrows.

                    • cleangreen

                      But national was also busy selling off everything they couild at the same tiime and that ain’t Keynesian!!!!!

                    • Gosman []

                      Asset sales are not oartbof Keynesian economics but they aren’t counter to it either.

                    • Gosman

                      … ‘ Asset sales are not oartbof Keynesian economics but they aren’t counter to it either ‘ …

                      But they are theft if the population that voted those elected officials do things that run contrary to the wishes of the voters. In other words they have / had no mandate from the public to do so – as evidenced by widespread opposition to the Key govts plans to sell off more SOE’s- despite the voters putting them in power.

                      Also – the whole premise of building infrastructure only for a small cabal of opportunists to then go ahead and sell them off at bargain basement prices later on IS COUNTER to Keynesian economics.

                      Stop trying to twist words and economic theory’s to fit your narrative.

                    • Gosman

                      National ,made the partial sell down in the share of a select number of SOE’s a cornerstone of their 2011 election platform. National was re-elected at the time. Given they received a mandate via the electorate you have no justification to claim they were doing something contrary to the wishes of the voters.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      National cannot claim a mandate for asset sales, because there was a referendum, in which a significant majority opposed the sales.

                      But they went ahead anyway, because they are deeply undemocratic, and had no other way to fund their irresponsible tax cuts.

  7. dv 7

    Nope, its the way the Nats plan.

  8. Well to be fair ,… it must be a hard act to follow after all the glaring social / economic damage done under 9 years of their party ( National )… hardly something one can hide in a closet forever once the changing of the guard occurs…

    I wouldn’t like to be in Simon Bridge’s or Amy Adams shoes for quids… and like many others are saying… the only tactic they have is to criticize, yet every time they do,… their recent past management comes back to haunt them.

  9. Zorb6 9

    Dog tucker.National accused Labour of barking at every passing car when they were in office.

  10. AB 10

    The widespread suspicion that “five farms Amy” wouldn’t hold up intellectually and ethically when under a modicum of pressure may have been right.

  11. Herodotus 11

    Amy Amy Amy. $1000/week no wonder National are not government I thought that an average worker was only going to get $1000 p.a.
    Amy sounded confident linking sentences together in what seem in a coherent manner, BUT …. they made no sense when listened to in its entirety, and the performance was an embarrassment to any straw man with no substance !!!

    • alwyn 11.1

      Out of curiosity, how many times did Adams repeat her slip of the tongue?
      Was she like Twit Twyford who said the price of Kiwibuild houses was going to go up by $50,000. When queried on it by the interviewer he repeated it. Then he said it again. After what I suspect was a short, brutal session with H2 he claimed it was just a slip of the tongue.
      He is clearly quite incompetent at his job, isn’t he?
      Either that or he was really telling the truth and he let slip something Labour were trying to hide. That would really get him a tongue-lashing from the H-acolytes infesting the Prime Minister’s office.

      • cleangreen 11.1.1

        But nine years of National causing a ‘big housing crisis bubble’ was not incompitent?????

  12. Bill 12

    So okay, the budget is such that it effectively neutered potential criticism from National Party quarters. And yes, some of the stuff they’re flailing around on is quite funny and ridiculous.

    But given that Jaccinda Ardern claimed to understand Liberalism’s failure in the run up to the election, and yet heads up a government that has just presented an undeniably Liberal budget, it would be an odd thing for a sizable proportion of NZ’s self identifying left to get carried away guffawing at National, and for that to, not only effectively give a free pass to this government’s Liberal economic prescriptions, but drown out or sideline the very clear and reasonable criticisms being leveled at this budget by workers across a number of sectors.

    To be honest, I can’t quite understand why Labour Party members aren’t bloody livid at this recycling of discredited economic ideology by their party. I’d have thought the absence of any real point of difference with those ‘across the house’, as evinced by the National Party’s ineffective flailing, would be a big red flag of concern, but hey…

    • I agree, as do others, but we knew that the neo liberal element within Labour is still strong. That is and always has been the problem post 1984. And it is that entrenched it is going to take a power of will to change it.

      One hopes that it is a softly softly approach with an overall game plan carried out over the next few years, but it doesn’t seem so at this point… with the result National are bickering on semantics… point scoring. We are a small country and as such are vulnerable to some strong lobby groups who want to’enforce’ the status quo.

      In my view it has never been about ‘left ‘ or ‘ right’ but all about ideology and the economics that flows from it. In this case- neo liberalism.

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        Good wrap there, Wild Katipo.

        Labour always prided itself on being “a broad church”

        That inlies a weakness.

    • Ad 12.2

      How are the Green Party members about it?

      • Bill 12.2.1

        Are you suggesting Green Party members are somehow separate from “NZ’s self identifying left” that I sign-posted in my comment?

        • Ad

          I would not be so bold as to suggest that ‘Green’ and ‘Left’ are consubstantial.

          You named Labour Party members.

          So I asked about Green Party members.

          Do you have an answer?

          • Bill

            I’d be saying that “Green” and “left” is no more and no less consubstantial than “NZ Labour” and “left”.

            I’d be saying the portion of my comment that focused on Labour Party members was down to what the Labour Party leader has said and the fact that it’s the Labour Party in the driving seat of this government.

            I’d also be saying that I’m pretty sure you’re capable of amending my comment so that it better covers Green Party members if that’s your desire.

            And then I’d be saying that in the absence of a really existing hive mind, I have no more idea of how Green Party members “are about it” than I have about how Labour Party members “are about it”. (Aside from the observation from available reading materials, that neither set of party members appear to be particularly livid)

            • Ad

              My desire was to get an idea about what Green Party members thought of the budget. That requires no hive mind at all. Just seeks answers from Green Party members.

              Who knows, maybe it’s true as you say that actually very few are upset at all.
              That would say that, while there may still be a righteous few determined to find fault with this budget (which is their right), that even the left are actually just fine with it.

              • KJT

                The only people truely fine with it are “pretend lefties like Ad and the Neo-liberal remnants in Labour.

              • Bill

                Seems Ad, that you just don’t appreciate the disconnect between liberal and left.

  13. Ad 13

    Simon Bridges’ performance is even worse, given that the main budget priorities were signalled in the December mini-budget, so Bridges has had half a year to form effective zingers and attack lines, ready to present in the 48 hours after budget presentation.

    He had none.

    That is pretty piss poor as a performance.

    As Mike Williams noted, the hour of Judith Collins just moved a little closer.

  14. Phil 14

    I have a horrible feeling that Jacinda and ‘Let’s do this ‘ is reminiscent of Obama’s ‘Hope and Change ‘ jingle. With similar unfortunate outcomes. Time will tell, but the MSM will not.

  15. Remember how quick the NZ Herald et al were to jump on National’s silly nicknames for “Angry” Andrew Little and “Tricky” David Cunliffe?
    Keen political watchers will recall this publication leaping on National’s attempts to negatively define respective opposition leaders, helping to elevate the profile of these jibes in the minds of readers and make the nicknames stick.
    Well, here’s an interesting comparison:


  16. Sacha 16

    And on he goes:

    National party leader Simon Bridges told Morning Report that the government’s Budget wasn’t ambitious enough and it splurged on low-value policies such as paying winter power bills.

    “What we would do is actually a better targeted support for those who really need it. The reality is my parents will get – and they’ll enjoy getting – that winter energy payment but they don’t need it.”

    • Ross 16.1

      If Simon’s parents dont need their winter payment I have no doubt they will give it to charity. The Right are good like that. 🙂

      • Wayne 16.1.1

        Be interesting to see how much of her salary Jacinda donates to charity. Since it is an article of faith among the left that you are all morally superior to anyone on the right (who are described by many on this site as morally bankrupt and evil) that should be a simple request.

        And if it is a decent percentage (at least more than 5%) then good on her.

        • Stuart Munro

          If she simply refrains from stealing public money she’ll be miles ahead of your lot.

          • WILD KATIPO

            L0L !

            Echoes of Margaret Thatcher, – but in reverse !

            ‘The neo liberals are good at spending / stealing money – so long as its someones else’s money !’….

          • alwyn

            “stealing public money she’ll be miles ahead of your lot”.
            I didn’t realise that Wayne was a member of the Green Party or New Zealand First. Which one is it Stuart?

            • KJT

              Double Dipton.

              • alwyn

                If you want a real example of double dipping I suggest you ask Stuart Munro. He will no doubt be happy to explain how two green MPs managed to each claim the cost of renting the same accommodation in Wellington.
                Those pillars of probity, Fitzsimons and Delahunty shared an apartment in Wellington and both claimed the rent as being expenses. Now that really was a case of double dipping wasn’t it? It seemed that it was far too hard to actually realise they shouldn’t do that.

                • KJT

                  Come on. How much is National MP’s legislating to benefit private companies, to ensure their after politics directorships and dividends, costing us, again!
                  How many National MP’s took jobs in private health, banking, airlines and many other businesses, after they featherbedded private profits while in Parliament.
                  Not to mention, the “strange coincidences” of contracts being awarded after donations to National.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Appointing Shipley at $1000 a day to fuck up the Christchurch rebuild was theft. We should be recovering that money.

                • KJT

                  Each claimed their share of the rent, BTW. Otherwise National would have been all over it.

                  Unlike DD, who pretended to be living in Dipton.
                  If i did that with my employer, I would lose my job, and, be facing criminal charges.

            • Stuart Munro


              Take some responsibility for the peculations of your fellow travelers, Alwyn. It wasn’t the Left that stole the rebuild money and left Christchurch in ruins. Until you discipline the thieves among you the Right will be treated with the contempt they deserve. They’ve earned it.

          • Baba Yaga

            When is a certain green MP going to be charged with benefit fraud?

            • Stuart Munro

              Wtf has that got to do with the abundant examples of gross corruption under the Key kleptocracy? The media got her scalp – now let’s see the far-right rip-off artists pay for their crimes.

              Or are you, like most rwnj, advocating different forms of justice for the rabid Right? Wet bus tickets for the rorters and asset thieves sounds like your kind of thing.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          He gave generously to charity? So did John Gotti. And then it turned out that the “charity” was the National Party.

          A good left wing response to this right wing self-fellation is simply to render charity obsolete by practical and competent provision of public services, and find other ways to insulate citizens from uncuous judgemental old creeps and their agendas.

          • WILD KATIPO

            You’re not suggesting John Key or Bill English were uncuous judgmental old creeps with an agenda, were you?

            Actually,… come to think of it… ponytails and dipping into public monies comes to mind….as does the sentiment ‘NZ workers are too drugged out to be of any use to employers’….

        • Ad

          Labour people get paid to work. Not fuck around playing golf like John Key.

          And since we don’t have corporates propping our party up like yours do, we donate more than National per head already.

        • McFlock

          Really? How much did dunnokeyo donate?

          Ardern might or might not give to charity, but whatever she gives will be miniscule compared to the help her government’s policies give to the needy.

          Unlike the poor-hating nats.

          • WILD KATIPO

            Oh go on with you ,… National at least gave the homeless family’s a choice :

            A motel room with an un- payable debt to govt attached or a tent issued by WINZ,… what more could a citizen of NZ ask for , huh?

        • cleangreen


          Jacinda needs that money for Nappies at least so she can reuse them after washing them as we did with our kids.


        • Drowsy M. Kram

          “Morally bankrupt” is an accurate description of National Party policies/ideology.

          Morally bankrupt is how you define a person or a group of people that have shown a regular history of making choices that are devoid of ethics and/or morals.

          Not all morally bankrupt individuals are necessarily ‘evil’ – only Wayne knows if he is being too hard on himself with that descriptor.

        • Pat

          charity?……a more pertinent measure would be whether she has a tax lawyer and her affairs are managed for ‘avoidance’.

        • Incognito

          Oh bollocks!

          Being more self-aware and considerate of the effects one’s actions has on others and possibly self-correcting, at least in attempt, does not equal to being or feeling morally superior! Being more self-aware increases feeling of compassion and tolerance of others and others’ so-called mistakes or shortcomings.

          I’d turn it around and suggest that this false accusation is because RWNJs suffer from feeling inadequate and having an inferiority complex (AKA chip on their shoulder).

          Stupid stereotypes!

    • patricia bremner 16.2

      Simon actually said he would do away with it as he believed in targetted assistance (means testing). (Uniniversal application of the winter warmth payment to all beneficiaries and pensioners was quicker and over all cheaper.)

      He made a claim his parents would get it but didn’t need it. Well Jacinda said people were free to turn it down. Perhaps Nats who don’t need it can go without it? Somehow that little piggy wiggy doesn’t fly.

      • indiana 16.2.1

        Did Jacinda really say that? “People were free to turn it down”. Does she also believe that people will freely pay more tax because they believe that should?

  17. patricia bremner 17

    Well Obama got Health Care for 4 million Americans who didn’t have it… and Trump failed to over turn that.

  18. soddenleaf 18

    It’s insulting. National pattern of omission. Farrer typifies the lying when he regaled is real for 70 years of existance, totally ignoring that they have incarcerated in a giant ghetto more people than live in Is real, that the mandate that founded Israel specified a Palastine state. That Israel roundly undermines its own authenticity by ignoring un mandates. Though I have no problem with a state, the state of Israel existance, the way they act, use western fears, do such great injustice, hold back progress… ..i hold the very great fear that the Un must ask itself is the mandate creating israel valid, ever achieved, because it undermines the U.N. that it sanctions Israeli behavior.
    See the debate is always much more detailed than the false rosy singular spin national put up. Take Bridges attack on the decision not to build a prison, like everyone knows Labour is dealing to it by increasing capacity, yet still the only rosy attack they can find is Labour is soft on crime, really, that’s all they’ve got, some singular rosy spin.

    • paul andersen 18.1

      nats are morally bankrupt, and have been since the time of muldoon.

  19. cleangreen 19

    100% Paul right there.

  20. Baba Yaga 20

    So the governments budget gets some bad press for broken promises and under delivering and you claim nationals all over the place? Diversion anyone?

    • Exkiwiforces 20.1

      What the heck are you eating or smoking atm? I and many others here and elsewhere know what it’s like or remember when a Government goes in kicking doors in, throwing hand genades about the place and shooting the shit out of rooms during building clearance.

      This Governments 1st Budget is what I expected and no doubt many others agree with me. That change has to slow and steady to achieve any long term goals, instead of changing into a room with guns blazing or letting a bull lose in a china shop could to do untold damage to the short and possibly long term to the economy if changed happens to fast.

      I’m expecting that at least 80- 90% of this Government promises to be met by the end of its first term. Depending on the worlds economy atm which could go either way atm.

      Clearly you have never shot a deer in the bush, caught a monkey, track TNI Militia in the Jungle or play chess. Aka slowly slowly catch the monkey as the saying goes.

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