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Over-promise, under-deliver

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, March 31st, 2010 - 7 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, education, Mining, national, tax - Tags: , , , , ,

The Key Government is constantly promising us great results and actually do nothing that improves things for New Zealanders.

Bill English claims that his tax cuts for tax cheats and a massive wealth transfer from the rent-paying poor to the wealthy will boost economic growth and make everyone better off. It’s trickle-down re-invented. Does English have any evidence that it will work? No. Nothing. Yet he promises us that giving tax cuts averaging $19,000 a year to the richest 0.5% of tax payers will somehow make everything fine with the economy.

Gerry Brownlee promises that mining will provide a huge and necessary boost to the economy but the government is in near total ignorance of key facts to support that promise:
– The value of minerals in the areas the Nats want to remove from Schedule 4
– The value to the New Zealand economy of mining in these areas
– How many jobs would be created by mining in these areas
– The fiscal impact for the government of mining in these areas
– The potential cost to tourism of mining in these areas

The only major mining company to express interest in mining on Schedule 4 land is Solid Energy, which wants to strip-mine in Paparoa. Companies like Newmont have said they’re not interested in mining in the Coromandel and Great Barrier. Yet the Nats have no problem stating point blank that mining on these protected lands will be worthwhile and is necessary.

Paula Bennett, National’s greatest self-promoter, says she is supporting beneficiaries into work. But there is no support and there are no jobs. All there is are redundant checks on eligibility that will carry a huge cost, especially in terms of needless GP visits. Bennett talks about saving money but the advice from Treasury is that any savings will be negligible. She talks about turning around the massive increase in benefit numbers that have occurred across all benefits during her watch, but the official advice is that there will be little or no reduction.

Anne Tolley has been promising that National Standards will somehow reduce academic failure. She loves to say ‘1 in 5 Kiwi kids are failing and we’re doing something about it’.

But what is she doing about it? Tolley is also saying that National Standards won’t mean any change of practice for teachers, The question has to be asked: How will National Standards improve academic outcomes?

Tolley has not a shred of evidence that National Standards will make any difference and that doesn’t seem to concern her a jot. She just keeps on making outlandish promises with no plan to deliver.

After a year and a half of this over-promise and under-deliver government, where are we? Unemployment is up and still rising, wages are starting to fall, crime is up, economic growth is weaker than Australia’s and below expectations coming out of a recession, we’ve gone backwards on climate change, and the government is jumping from one ill-thought out policy to the next without a hint of a plan or leadership from Smile and Wave Key.

7 comments on “Over-promise, under-deliver ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    My boyfriend pointed out that national standards really isn’t about directly improving education outcomes at all (which is why Tolley can’t give any answers that make sense in that regard), but that it is about putting some sort of monitoring on teacher performance, so that bad teachers (and schools) can be identified and paid less for bad performance. This is itself isn’t a bad idea, provided that on the other hand you are offering pay incentives for excelling and actually offering help for those identified teachers to pick up their game – which is where National is failing to close the loop.

    National’s problem is that they can’t come out and say this to the public, because it is politically unpopular, so they are making up vague unsubstantiated claims that it will somehow improve education outcomes, essentially amounting to a chewbacca defence.

    • Ianmac 1.1

      The major problem is “what is a good teacher.” There has been a huge amount of research on this and there are huge variables and no clear answers. If you tie success to successful teaching of Literacy/Numeracy this is related to the intake so leads to picking good prospects for improvements in classes. Like Performance Pay, this leads to selfish teacher uncooperative behaviours between teachers who would need to protect their patch, yet NZ Education has been famous for the interaction and the sharing of ideas as a means of lifting performance.
      It may well be a prelude to National Performance Pay and bulk funding but God help us if it happens.

  2. just saying 2

    So the schools in economically deprived areas (where children underperform due to their circumstances) get less, and rich schools with their ‘enriched’ higher achievers get more.
    Yep I can see how this will improve educational standards across the board. National really are brilliant aren’t they?

  3. prism 3

    There used to be inspectors of teachers who sat in on a class and watched the interaction and method of a teacher. Being from outside the school, this person should have been objective. Presumably there were some stats about how the teacher was doing that would have been discussed. Don’t hear about this system now.
    Yet blame and doubt and muttering is heard constantly about poor performing teachers. Objectively, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as the saying goes. Perhaps inspectors would pick up the few poor performing teachers and see that they received direction and techniques on their failing performance areas. Sometimes just getting a difficult class to think and read the whiteboard, library or text book, and remember one thing could be counted as success.

    There was a school set-up for drop-outs in Auckland trying to give them direction, help them to settle to reading and study, enable them with new skills, affirm them with opportunities to do things they liked perhaps as encouragement or as rewards those things being perhaps ones they’d excel at, like sport.
    I think it was Rodney Hide who created about this – these youngsters were playing golf! Talk about a rort, when they were supposed to be provided with an education.
    This little creep knows next to b……r all about anything except where he has received specific training, but his head is swollen with his opinions, and his mouth isn’t big enough to spout all the half-digested ideas that he has swallowed. And Epsom got together and held a benefit for him to help him get elected. How kaind!

    • Ianmac 3.1

      Up until the 80’s Inspectors could visit a teacher for a full day and a grading mark given. For Basic scale teachers it was a mark out of 9. For leadership grading it was a mark out of 7 and for higher leadership it was a mark out of 5. This system was abolished. It had been the basis for job application run by Education Boards. Highest mark wins the job. Now appointments are made by Principal/BOT by reference and referee.
      The position now is the competecy is the Principal’s responsibility. ERO inspections may produce an issue about a particular teacher but this is directly ERO to Principal. Often the ERO concern is over written records rather than the program in action.
      Should there be a formal inspection system restarted? Would need a large body of Inspectors for 15,000 Primary teachers. Would it happen? Not likely as it suits to have a group to bash like beneficiaries and teachers.

  4. tc 4

    On the one hand I’m appalled but on the other I’m impressed.

    Appalled by the subversion of due process, atitude, behaviour, arrogance and deliberate porkys unfurled in campaign 08.

    Impressed by their ability to control, direct, diffuse and generally keep pulling the wool over swinging voterland via the fawning msm, an ability to tell a whopper with a straight face and some good old fashioned dog whistling.

    No wonder RNZ is in their sights.

  5. Ianmac 5

    I reckon the public perception will be from a few headlines. “Bludgers stealing our money being fixed. Stop schools from failing and sorting out bad teachers. Sorting out water and mining issues. Getting rid of beaurocracy. Improving hospitals” etc. I suspect that many people just skim and avoid the detail so that it is seen that this Goverment is an active fix-it unit with a friendly front face.

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