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.
— Christopher Bishop (@cjsbishop) May 17, 2018
No, Pharmac’s funding was not cut in yesterday’s Budget. Rather, the opposite. (See also: the Opposition claim about contraceptive funding cuts.) pic.twitter.com/3XTUZmhVAq
— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) May 17, 2018
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.
Cuts to funding for access to long term contraceptives for women on low income – simple practical assistance loses to ideology – shame #budget2018
— Louise Upston (@LouiseUpston) May 17, 2018
1) The funding hasn’t been cancelled (& Judith knows it),
2) “The useless”? And people say right whingers have no hearts..!
— Suzanne Robins (@SuzanneRobins1) May 18, 2018
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.