Plenty of pixie dust for the cycleway

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, July 21st, 2009 - 39 comments
Categories: benefits, national/act government - Tags: , , ,

small pixiesJohn Key says there are “no pixies printing cash” to help Kiwis who’ve lost their jobs under his government’s watch.

Funny, because there’s plenty of pixie dust for Key’s cycleway.

Pixie dust is in no short supply to subsidise Key’s rich mates who want to send their kids to elitist private schools.

And there’s buckets of pixie dust to throw at Hide’s undemocratic supercity experiment.

It’s just a matter of priorities I guess.

39 comments on “Plenty of pixie dust for the cycleway ”

  1. So Bored 1

    Eddie,

    Lay off of Jonkeys cycleway, its my one and only hope that he might deliver something useful. As Fairy Dust perhaps we should get Bruno over here to hurry him up, if that doesnt scare him nothing will (well perhaps Brownlee in Spandex might come close).

    • Ari 1.1

      I think Bruno is more offensive* than scary, but perhaps that’s because I failed my homophobe licence.

      *In that the character is essentially a wrap-up of every homophobic stereotype about gay men ever.

      • So Bored 1.1.1

        Given the homophobic and unjustified nature of the Nats supporters comments about Helen and the Labour ladies, sending Bruno after Key would be rich irony indeed (and not a little fun). And yes, Bruno was appalingly offensive to absolutely everybody, no prisoners taken.

  2. Ari 2

    That’s a pretty revealing comment. Does he seriously think we’re complaining that he’s not spending money on creating jobs without having cuts in mind to fund said initiatives? I’m sure someone would do the bloody accounts for him if it would result in him actually stimulating the workforce.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    It seems strange, Eddie, that you are attacking a subsidy to private schools, which allows many parents to send their children to private schools instead of making them a burden on the taxpayer, but you are happy for three hundred million to be spent providing a universal dole even to millionaire parents.

    • Its a big INCREASE in subsidy to ‘millionaire’ parents. It breaks even the targeting mantra

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        ghost do you know how much money the taxpayer saves by not having to pay for the education of children who attend private schools? Far more than $35 million I suspect. Parents who send their children to private schools are paying twice: once for the schooling of everyone else’s children, and a second time for themselves.

        • Joel Walsham 3.1.1.1

          Well actually not Tim, you are wrong, why? Because everyone who is a tax-payer is subsidising elitist private school education since your buddies got into power. While there have been cuts to public education funding (90 Million over the next two years) there has been a LOT pored into private schools at the expense of everyone else.

          I dont have a problem with private school’s. But they are that…. PRIVATE, and this not the taxpayers responsibility to prop them up.

          • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1

            It isn’t about the taxpayer propping them up, Mr Walsham. What happens if a private school collapses? The students go and study in the state system. Who pays then? The taxpayer.

            It is all very well to say that rich kids’ parents shouldn’t be subsidised, and it’s a nice headline, but there are many examples of the government intervening in private businesses to protect risk to the taxpayer or the economy in general.

            Just a few weeks before the election, Dr Cullen announced a retail bank deposit guarantee scheme, involving a substantial potential taxpayer subsidy to an otherwise very profitable banking system. If Dr Cullen hadn’t acted as he had, the viability of the banking system, and the economy as a whole, would have been severely undermined.

    • Bright Red 3.2

      Tim. Do you even read the posts anymore? eddie’s post on the dole specifically said that it shouldn’t go to everyone regardless of income – it talks about lowering the abatement rate so people on incomes “upt to $70,000” can get at least something.

      Dork.

      • Maynard J 3.2.1

        No, he takes the same line on every post, because no one can be bothered explaining the same simple things over and over again to him like a child. We know eddie explained a useful method to cap the idea, Tim know that, everyone reading this probably knows it but it unfortunately does not save us from Tim’s attempts to spread a meme. As I said yesterday, at least Tim has gotten over calling Goff a panty-sniffer, and has maybe gotten over calling him a right-winger. The meme today is “Goff wants welfare for the rich”. There will be a new one in the next few days..

        “For example, the dole policy should have been designed as a lowering of the abatement rate for partner’s income from 70 cents in the dollar to 25 cents. Then it would have meant anyone whose partner earns up to $70,000 could get some level of dole and it would have cut off the Nats’ line of attack. ”

        Yet he is still talking about supporting millionaire parents, of which we also know there are probably about three affected by the recession, as opposed to the tens of thousands who are really struggling but get no assistance at this point.

    • Ari 3.3

      How is subsidising something less of a burden on the taxpayer? o_O

  4. Bright Red 4

    that pic – lol

    By honestly, what a hypocrite the guy is.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    But the subsidy is a burden on the tax payer, Tim! I’d rather the money went to public education, where it will do the most good. Private schools offer significant advantages and provide a great education (or so I’m told), but they shouldn’t be propped up by the taxpayer.

    Much more of this creeping communism and I’m joining ACT!

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      It’s $35 million over four years, TVOR. Five million this year, and ten million in the following three years. It’s designed to lower the costs of private school fees so that more parents can shift their children from public schools to private schools, and reduce the costs to the taxpayer.

      At a rough estimate, if all of the children who currently go to private schools shifted to state schools, the cost would be an extra $300 million a year, or $1.2 billion over four years.

      A $35 million subsidy to an industry that provides a $1.2 billion saving to the taxpayer doesn’t seem outrageous to me.

      What it says is that the parents of children who go to independent schools are subsidising the taxpayer to the tune of $1.2 billion.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Got a source for that?

      • $300 mill extra costs to bring 3% of the school population into state schools ( per year).
        This doesnt count integrated schools)

        That would mean the existing primary and secondary education budget would be $30 billion per year.

        Its more like $30 mill extra costs per year, not the $300 mill you talk about.

        • ghostwhowalks 5.1.2.1

          The total payments to ‘choice’ schools sound like its much of the saving they make by not being a ‘burden’

          • mickysavage 5.1.2.1.1

            I suspect the subsidy is not required to prevent the mass transfer of Remuera’s richest and most insistent into the state system, rather it means that their parents have to pay less for the privilege they think their families most richly deserve,

  6. Pixie dust was all so available to support ‘iconic brands’ , meaning the shareholder but not the workers.
    Pixie dust is available to have a ‘review’ of the addition of Folic acid in bread( but not the iodine added at the same time) but not a review of the interest rates charged by banks

  7. Has anyone considered the fact that one (the cycleway) is Government policy, for which money has been budgeted, and the other is a kite-flying exercise by the leader of the Opposition, which, according to the Herald, he is now backing down on?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10585783

    Thought not 😉

    • Tim Ellis 7.1

      Very salient point, Inventory.

      It really does show that it is Mr Goff who is Mr Flip Flop this week.

      • Inventory2 7.1.1

        Cheers Tim – I didn’t expect the author or any of the faithful followers to be able to make the distinction!

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Mr Goff reiterated what he said in the first place. You really should try reading more than the first paragraph.

        • Maynard J 7.1.2.1

          Actually, you only realise it is not a flip-flop if you read more than the headline, so I can see where they have slipped up.

          But yes, Inventory2, I for one am more than aware that there is money budgeted for the cycleway (well, about 100km of it, but that is by the by) and not for an idea from the opposition. I imagine darn near everyone is.

          Have you got a point to make? Is it possibly that if the opposition ever suggests something then it is a silly idea that could only be funded by pixies, but if the government wants to do something then there will be money for it? Wow. Insightful – a Very Salient Point indeed.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    The post is a good one and raises the point that the best lines are always your enemies own turned back on them. Cheap shots while may seem funny at the time can linger for along time around ones own Neck. Pixie dust now becomes the answer/ retort for most things.

  9. Sting 9

    My friend snorted some pixie dust and ended up a solid roger garden nome that dogs use to piss on.

    • Tim Ellis 9.1

      Good point, Dad. I wondered where you had gone.

      • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1

        Tim, can you show your work for that ‘rough estimate’ upthread?

        • Tim Ellis 9.1.1.1

          Sure, PB.

          It was a VERY rough estimate on my part, I agree. I couldn’t find any specific data identifying the savings to the taxpayer for students attending independent schools, so I used the following process:

          First, the number of students in private schools. I used a reference in a speech from Heather Roy earlier this year, that identified 4.1% of New Zealand school students attending independent schools.

          Second, the total number of students in schools in New Zealand. A quick google approximated around 750,000 students in primary and secondary schools in New Zealand.

          From this I extrapolated around 30,000 students in independent schools in New Zealand.

          Next, the costs per student. I couldn’t find easy references for this, and I don’t know if the costs I do have include capital and operational costs. I used OECD data in figure B 1.3, which identifies the costs per student being just under $6,000 USD. This data is from 2004, and is calculated using equivalent USD converted using PPP. I assessed this as being the equivalent of $10,000 NZD in 2009.

          This was a five minute analysis, and very rough on my part, but the estimate was based on 30,000 students at an average of $10,000 per student, arriving at an annual saving of $300 million per year.

          There might be some much more in-depth analysis available, but I didn’t find it in my quick search. You’re welcome to critique it and suggest a more accurate number.

          • Marty G 9.1.1.1.1

            The problem is your premise that without this $35 million all those kids would be coming into the public system.

            Might it be the difference for a few kids? Maybe but the 30,000 kids you’re estimating were in the private system before this $35 mil, why wouldn’t nearly all of them keep going without that money?

            Effectively,every private school kid has received an additional subsidy (of over 10% by your estimate) so that a few kids can stay private.

            Using your numbers,even if 10% of private school kids went public without this money, it would still be cheaper for the govt… and there’s zero evidence that anything like that many kids would make the move.

          • Pascal's bookie 9.1.1.1.2

            There certainly does seem to be a lot of pixie dust in there.

            I think it’s pretty silly to assume that the marginal cost of each extra student will be the same as the average cost for each existing one for starters.

            Beyond that I reject the premiss about ‘paying twice’ in any case. It’s a fundamental misundersatnding of how our taxation and public education systems work. Handy rhetoric though.

  10. Tim Ellis 10

    Agreed, PB, I don’t have a figure on marginal costs per student. I suspect that data isn’t available, and it’s based on a whole lot of factors, including the capacity of the current school system. If, for example, the current school system is running at full capacity, then the transfer of students to the state school system would require the building of new schools, and consequently much higher capital costs (i.e., the marginal cost would be significantly larger than the average cost). I don’t have that data available, and I suspect it doesn’t actually exist.

  11. Irascible 11

    The pixie dust for the private schools and other subsidies for the affluent in response to their specious argument that they’re being taxed twice – once to support themselves and again to support the undeserving poor is typical of the argument positions that individuals like Timmy campaign on.
    The supporters of private schools are being taxed once as their contribution to the greater good of the community they really don’t want to be members of but are because they choose to live in it and to take advantage of most of the services it supplies.
    Their election to use a private provider is theirs and theirs alone and therefore they should be totally responsible for the costs involved in supplying the services that provider offers.
    Because the private schools are essentially businesses the reality of the market should operate – they should sink or swim depending on the support of the market -an argument that the Timmys of this world would use to denigrate those who would support the idea of a socialist state that offers support to all members of the community.

    • Tim Ellis 11.1

      Interesting points, Irascible.

      Are you equally concerned that primary health practitioners, including GPs, got increased subsidies to treat patients, including wealthy ones? Aren’t primary health providers treating wealthy patients primarily businesses? How about physiotherapists? Aren’t they businesses, too?

      How about legal aid to lawyers? Aren’t law firms businesses as well?

      How about when the government gives money to the New Zealand rugby union to assist in hosting the world cup? Isn’t international rugby a profitable business? Or how about subsidies to Team New Zealand?

      How about the money spent on trade promotion overseas? Isn’t this a subsidy to private businesses trading internationally?

      The government subsidises private businesses all the time, where there are direct positive returns to the taxpayer or the economy as a whole. A small subsidy to private schools (just 2% of the cost of the education, rising to 4% next year) makes it easier for parents to send their children to private schools, and reduces the burden on the taxpayer.

  12. Irascible 12

    The Rugby Union does not deserve any subsidies. i agree. The idea that professional sport is a national income earner because of its pageants and spectacles is a definite no brainer. The idea of a Govt encouraging the Rugby Union by giving $84 mill to build John Key’s Party Central sticks in my craw too. The same goes for the yachting fraternity in my books.
    Personally I’d love to see a fully socialised health system providing health care to all thus removing the creeping privatisation of a necessary public service.
    The private school lobby is often calling for aid to prop up a system that is not as efficient as its PR presents but those people opt into it should, like those who opt into private health services should pay for the cost of operating it.

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    ...
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  • Newshub Signs Off
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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
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    1 day ago
  • District Court judges appointed
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  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
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  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
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  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
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  • Taking action to reduce road cones
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  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
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  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
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  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
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  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
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    3 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
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  • Granny flats popular with all ages
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  • $25 million boost for conservation
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  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
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  • Country Kindy to remain open
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  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
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  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
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    4 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
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    4 days ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
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  • Upgrading system resulting in faster passport processing
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    1 week ago
  • Expert panel appointed to review Public Works Act
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  • Resources Minister heads to Australia with message – ‘NZ is open for business’
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  • Prime Minister’s scholarships awarded
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  • Targets will drive improvement in mental health
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