Nats’ economic failures just another excuse for cuts

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, April 27th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: bill english, budget2012, debt / deficit, Economy, john key, tertiary education - Tags:

Didn’t take much clairvoyance to see that National would fail to meet its promise of a Budget surplus by 2014/15. Once again, the forecasts have been downgraded. Once again, English could barely contain his grin as he said ‘welp, we’ll just have to cut some more’.

You’ve never seen a Finance Minister have his forecasts cut so often and look so happy about it. His failure against his own artificial target gives him an excuse to cut.

His party’s ineptness to blame but we pay.

The UK’s just entered a double-dip recession thanks to its austerity measures. English and Key seem hell-bent on following the same course.

Students look to be the target this round. Eligibility cuts, it seems. They say they won’t put interest on and they won’t move the repayment threshold until 2015 (that saved $70m – one off). The eligibility cuts will have to be pretty severe to save any real cash. Student loans only cost $800m a year – 1.1% of govt spending – so you would need to take a lot of it to make a difference.

16 comments on “Nats’ economic failures just another excuse for cuts”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Supposedly they’re going to be closing ‘tax loopholes’ as well. I wonder if it’s going to be the same sort of thing they did to gift duty: just cut up a hole in the cloth and therefore it’s no longer a loophole!

    • Deano 1.1

      wasn’t that their excuse for cutting the top tax rate? ‘lots of people are using loopholes to avoid it, so we’ll reward them by cutting it for everyone’

  2. Bill 2

    His party’s ineptness to blame but we pay.

    Is it? Is it really ineptness on the part of the National Party and other governing parties across the anglo-saxon world to run policies that concentrate power and wealth in fewer hands? Is it really ineptness to run policies that will see a return to a 1920’s style of Capitalism where the fabled ‘middle classes’ have been returned to whence they came; the heaving mass of the unprivileged simply thankful if they can ‘get by’ on a week to week basis?

    If I had my way, there’d be no more talk from the left of the ‘failure’ and ‘ineptitude’ of the right. Wouldn’t it be nice if the entire broad left simply called it as it is? The gains that were made by many ordinary people following WWII and the institutions that underpinned those gains are being successfully rolled back and/or destroyed. And it’s deliberate. The best present the left can give the right is to keep harping on at the right’s apparent stupidity and so seduce people into believing that if only the right can be made to see the error of their ways that more socially responsible policies will be pursued. That’s only going to buy the right years of breathing space.

    And I think it has to be pointed out again and again and again that the former parliamentary left is no longer of the left. Otherwise we’ll simply continue on this track where, when the so-called left takes control of government, the foot comes off the gas a little and ‘getting worse slower’ masquerades as ‘getting better’. It just makes people frustrated and angry. And then we either don’t vote (what’s the point?) or vote for a genial media generated personality (why not?) And the right at some point take over from the caretaker ‘steady as she goes’ left government and the pedal’s pushed to the metal again.

    It’s all bollocks. And saying it’s down to stupidity or misguided intentions is about as helpful as the soap opera politics thats kind of prevalent on the left. Time to stand back and look at the big picture and offer no excuses or distractions for either of the parliamentary wings.

    I could have put this comment under ‘the reverse Midas touch’ post or any number of posts that misguidedly decry Nationals supposed mismanagement. It’s not mismanagement. And the elites in Australia probably look to NZ with envy and wish the Australian government could make similar inroads to the ‘post WWII consensus’…or whatever label you want to assign to the concessions those in their economic position made after 1945. They too have an eye on closing that wage gap.

    • just saying 2.1

      Completely agree Bill

      This could be a post….

    • Kevin Welsh 2.2


      Simple, to the point and telling it like it is.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3


      The left really need to take the gloves off and state how it is. Unfortunately, the “left” of today follows the same socio-economic paradigm as the right which, of course, only benefits the few while impoverishing everyone else.

    • JonL 2.4

      Bill – you’ve hit the nail square on the head!
      When will NZ’ers realise, that, like it’s namesakes over the ditch and in the UK, the Labour party is no longer a party “of the left”, or “for the poor and downtrodden”!

    • rosy 2.5

      +1 It’s never been good to call Key & Co stupid, inept etc. These people are clearly not stupid – they wouldn’t be where they are if they were (I’m excepting Brownlee here). I see two negative points with this strategy.

      The first is the public turns off because they can see it as name-calling and inaccurate. The second is the public is not given an alternative way of viewing NAct’s decisions (that the NAct strategy is in the best interests of their friends and that doesn’t coincide with the public’s best interests).

      It’s too easy to switch off if the opposition is framed in absurd terms.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    I love the remark about English (repeatedly bringing us bad news) looking so happy about it! Exactly!
    I am sure, given his personal circumstances in life, he has plenty to smile about!

    • jack 3.1

      It’s called leveraging. Leverage the sales of assets. Make the situation worse to make it appear that asset sales are the only way out. Key is not a good business man because a good business man would not sell his assets when the returns are between 8 to 10 percent. He’d keep them. English is smiling because he can’t wait to get his hands on the those assets. Oh and let’s pay 2 billion for unnessary roads. Key and Co. don’t act like there is a recession. I have seen it all before.. George W Bush and his running mate Darth Vader.

  4. Anthony Blomfield 4

    Thanks Bill:

    Solution: Start an independent TV channel like TV7 which actually really conveys the news.
    (Broadcast without a Licence and incluse a range of real issues from Left and right up and down)

  5. What’s this? More broken election promises? We’re not even 6 months into the second term!

  6. Treetop 6

    When did NZ last have two zero budgets in a row?

    • mike e 6.1

      never the last budget was supposed to be Zero but is negative and this one will be negative.

  7. On a related issue – something to watch tomorrow (Sunday) on TV1;

    Are our homes killing our children? 10am this week on Marae Investigates 29 April 2012 TV ONE –

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