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So where’s the plan?

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, May 20th, 2011 - 108 comments
Categories: budget 2011, privatisation - Tags:

Not in John Key and Bill English’s third budget. The ‘good times’ they are promising would have looked pitiful under Labour.

4% wage growth will be below inflation once the Kiwisaver clawbacks get you. An extra 1% of your gross income will go into Kiwisaver to replace what the government is no longer contributing. And your employer’s contribution may go up to 3% from 2% but now you will be paying tax on it, which you don’t now, so you’ll actually only get 2-2.7% net from your employer. Oh, and your employer is allowed to make that Kiwisaver increase part of your pay rise.

Working for Families will be killed off slowly by eliminating the inflation-adjustments so the real value of the payments shrinks and rising nominal incomes mean you’re no longer eligible.

National says that jobs will come but they have pinned their hopes on Christchurch rebuilding itself, and claiming the credit for themselves. Personally, I don’t see it happening. Every Budget, National has promised the recovery is coming, and it simply hasn’t happened. Anyway, even National’s projections don’t get unemployment back under 4% like it was under Labour.

Oh, and their projections assume asset sales. The way they’ve planned things, there will be no money for new capital expenditure – schools, hospitals etc – unless they privatise assets.

National claims the cuts and asset sales are necessary to close their record deficit but what caused that deficit? Apart from the earthquakes, it’s economic underperformance and tax cuts for the rich. National refuses to even consider unwinding those unaffordable tax cuts and has no plan for the economy.

The field is wide open for Labour and the Greens, not to mention Mana, New Zealand First, and ACT to show that they have real ideas for the future. Ideas that National so clearly lacks.

108 comments on “So where’s the plan? ”

  1. RobC 1

    Sorry for re-posting this from another thread, but I’m convinced they do have a plan.

    tax cuts to the rich, sell assets to the rich, end result public assets owned by all now owned by the rich. The rest of us carry the can.

  2. tc 2

    Robc that was always the plan along with resurrecting shills to the cause like banks in epsom in the hope jaffas will forget who screwed them over……nact.

  3. Peter 3

    The ball is now firmly in Goff’s court.

    • Peter Rabbit 3.1

      If Goff is the best NZ has to hope for then we’re damned.

      • Jim Nald 3.1.1

        He’s gotta step up to it for Nov 26.
        Or join the ranks of former Labour Party leaders.

        • Eddie

          since savage only one labour leader hasn’t become pm. Nordmeyer.

          On the other hand, there had never beena one term national government.

  4. Jim Nald 4

    No plan for NZ
    Got plane for OZ

  5. PeteG 5

    The sun rose this morning.
    Some cry too much.
    Some cry not enough.
    Some claim too tough.
    Some claim too limp.
    Some claim a grand plan.
    Some claim a gross plan.
    Some claim no plan at all.
    The sun rose this morning.

    • RobC 5.1

      In Dunedin? In May? You sure???

    • So what do you think PeteG?

      • RobC 5.2.1

        Who cares? 😀

      • PeteG 5.2.2

        It’s not a ground breaker.
        It probably won’t be a ball buster.

        Those with expectations that all their ideals will be met will be disappointed.
        Those that say that all their expectations have been proven will feign disappointment.

        It’s an unremarkable budget, big on assigning responsibility and deferring effects, small on real change.

        Overall it’s a cautious punt – all budgets have to punt on future projections, in this one there must be a fair bit of hope – that has aimed to disappoint as few as possible that matter.

        I’d rather have seen bold changes, for example to our overly complicated tax and benefit system, but I knew that wouldn’t be done, and probably won’t be done with this government. So it’s pretty much as I expected, it shouldn’t do much harm but probably won’t do much good unless they get lucky. Uninspired but unsurprised.

        After I’ve done my budget I think “thank God that’s over and done with” and get on with living as best I can. That’s what I think about this budget.

        I’m far more morose about the death on my local road yesterday, I had a long detour home last night and a short sharp reminder driving past the acccident scene this morning. A family has lost a life, they won’t give a toss about the budget.

        • wtl

          No, it’s a fucking piece of s**t. It makes a few cuts here and there on Kiwisaver, WFF and Student Loans. Not great, but nothing too extreme. But:

          – it also promises $1bn in cuts to public services without any ideas where that money is going to come from.
          – it banks $7bn from asset sales before these sales have been made, and without even providing detail on exactly what is to be sold
          – it relies on overly optimistic forecasts of growth to paint a rosy picture

          Talk about counting chickens before they are hatched. This budget seems to be airy fairy, with lots of numbers but all these numbers based on fantasy. How the f**k can a government be run like this? That is just beyond ridiculous, completely irresponsible and just shows how bloody incompetent this government is.

          • PeteG

            Talk about counting chickens before they are hatched

            Ah, that’s what budgets are for.

            Government level budgets are always fraught with unknowns and maybes and outside influences and want-to-does and hope-will-happens. This budget the Christchurch earthquakes are pretty much a known quantity, last budget no one had any idea they would be a factor.

            The one thing that did surprise me was the change to the ESCT in KiwiSaver – seems to be a stupid shuffling around with taxes/credits. They should have been up front and honest, and kept it simpler, and reduced the tax credit more.

            • wtl

              Yes, but this isn’t about the government dealing with future issues that have yet to arise. This is about the government dealing with things as they are. But they’re not. They’re just making s**t up and saying they are dealing with it.

            • Colonial Viper

              Government level budgets are always fraught with unknowns and maybes

              4% economic growth FORECAST . Woo-hooo! Due to the Christchurch earthquake rebuild and high commodity prices.

              Guess what we have had high commodity prices for the last 2-3 years now and that has not trickled down into wider economic growth beneficial to the wider community.

              Just to farmers who pay $1500 tax p.a.

              So the Governments hope for growth rest on…earthquakes. Just great.

  6. Adrian 6

    Let’s settle this Chch rebuild bullshit. The amount of money to be spent on the rebuild is a bloody small fraction of that that is being touted. Even PGC has already moved into an old car dealers yard and are settled there, and CTV are well housed. Chch people are obviously a lot more resilient than has been planned for, if only one person took up the offer of a campervan then where have the rest gone to, they aren’t in the small SI towns, most have gone back to Chch, it is after all, home. They may well have moved the family back with Mum and Dad and be in no hurry to take on more aggravation or just not have the money even after a payout to rebuild for quite a few years. Landlords of rental houses that used to return $250 a week are not going to spend $250-300K rebuilding for a return of 1%, and there are not that many commercial tenants to fill a rebuilt city which already had quite high vacancy rates. To bet the Budget on the benefits of the immediate Chch rebuild is stupid and dangerous.

    • lprent 6.1

      … if only one person took up the offer of a campervan then where have the rest gone to …

      More likely they looked at the cost of the camper vans and the size of their families and decided that anything else was a better alternative. For instance tents would give more room, probably better facilities, and would cost a whole lot less. Camper vans with such a high rent as emergency housing are ok if all you want to do bankrupt people (who still have to pay their mortgages on their house).

      As you say, they moved in with family and friends where they weren’t able to find cheaper rentals. But they aren’t going to be in a major hurry because they cannot afford to do anything before the payouts happen, and those appear to be glacial in progress.

      • Kevyn 6.1.1

        adrian clearly hasn’t taken the time to read Treasury’s Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2011. The economic boost isn’t going to come from rebuilding Christchurch – it is going to come from the injection of $10bn into the economy by global reinsurers. To benefit the economy it doesn’t matter where the building owners spend their insurance payouts as long as it is somewhere in NZ or, if the banks have their way, paying off mortgage money that the banks owe to their foreign parents.

        The government’s “generous” $5.5m contribution includes $500m for AMI, $5210m for CDEM expenses, $3239m “yet to be allocated”, and $1,162m for water infrastructure. The latter is contingent on CCC contributing $600m even though it’s annual rates revenue has been less than $250m a year. CCC also has to find $300m before NZTA will provide it’s $400m share of the road rebuild costs (NZTA receives $100m a year in fuel taxes and RUCs from traffic using CCC roads and is allowed to fund 90% of the cost of reinstatement).

        The $3239m could be used for “land reinstatement” as hinted at by Treasury or it could be used to buy the munted land and move the residents to “temporary” housing or new subdivisions to benefit the govt’s property developer mates. Cynical maybe, but it explains the govts opposition to Auckland’s non-sprawl spatial plan.


        • MrSmith

          The feeling I got on the ground in ChCh was the rebuild cost estimates are far to low, maybe by 2-3 times.

          Anyone trusting Treasuries figures to do business with would have gone broke long ago, Treasury are only telling you what has already happened.

  7. tsmithfield 7

    I am interested to see what Labour come up with this morning.

    I saw Cunliffe this morning on “Breakfast”.

    From what he was saying, it seems to me that there were three planks to Labour’s plan.

    1. A ten year plan. To me that seems to imply not returning to surplus for 10 years. If this is the case, it means borrowing for longer.
    2. Increasing taxes.
    3. Programs for boosting business etc. That implies spending more.

    Consequently, it seems to me that Labour’s plan involves increasing borrowing and taxation, and spending more. Borrow, tax and spend is pretty much what I would expect from Labour, so it would surprise me if this is the “plan”.

    • MrSmith 7.1

      Well TS, thats 300% more ideas than the current lot have come up with in two and a half years.

      And TS it took then just a two and a half days.

    • millsy 7.2

      TS, Labour are going to burrow, tax and spend to BUILD THINGS UP, you know, thinks like SCHOOLS, HOSPITALS, STATE HOUSING, INFRASTRUCTURE, and they also want to ensure every New Zealander has a DECENT STANDARD OF LIVING.

      • PeteG 7.2.1

        Yes, money needs to be spent on things like that, and it would be good to be able to increase spending on them, but before you can do that, and to get a DECENT STANDARD OF LIVING, you have to have a DECENT AMOUNT OF INCOME.

        • millsy

          That is why Labour raised taxes on those on higher incomes back in 1999, because National closed hospitals around the country to be able to cut taxes.

        • Colonial Viper

          but before you can do that, and to get a DECENT STANDARD OF LIVING, you have to have a DECENT AMOUNT OF INCOME.

          Which National’s budget has no plan for. Its all cuts cuts cuts, and measures to increase employment, further dragging the economy down into the mire.

        • Peter Johansson

          Drop the idea of a “decent standard of living” and NZ will probably have a pretty good future. A “decent standard” for most people just means constant waste and excess. It’s a silly thing to aim for because it undermines real growth.

          • McFlock

            Firstly, all NZ can have a “decent” standard of living, anyway – just not if a few have an “orgasmically wonderful jetsetting Hawaii holiday mansion” standard of living.

            Secondly, fair enough about the waste and excess of developed/northern middle classes. Would you prefer “dignified”, or do you have some other term that means that if you have a visitor you have tea and milk handy, means to heat the water, means to heat the room, and maybe a bikkie or piece of fruit? I.e. other than abject poverty – not luxury, just the dignified basics.

      • tsmithfield 7.2.2

        “Labour are going to burrow…”

        Yes they are. Burrow to get out of the public gaze and ridicule most likely.

      • burt 7.2.3

        Yes yes indeed, just like they said they would do in 1999. Remind me again how 9 years wasn’t enough for Labour but National have done stuff all in 2 1/2 years and that’s not good enough.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 7.3

      Its called investing in the future. When a business expands it borrows against increased earnings it will receive from that investment. Otherwise we might as well all pack up and move to Fiji. We will end up with the same type of economy.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        That’s the type of economy we already have – capitalism. The growth isn’t there to benefit society but the few people who “loan” the governments money that they print and charge interest on.

    • Colonial Viper 7.4

      3. Programs for boosting business etc. That implies spending more.

      Shit you Right Wingers suck at business.

      You want to make money, you got to spend money. In the right places. Education, innovation, R&D, breaks for small businesses and start up entrepreneurs.

      Labour gets this, whereas National thinks the deficit = the economy. Hopeless neoliberal viewpoint.

      • wtl 7.4.1

        And at least they are honest enough to admit they might need to increase taxes or borrowing rather than just pulling numbers out of the air and pretending that everything will be fine.

      • joe bloggs 7.4.2

        Let me guess, CV… in order to spend more Labour will tax rich pricks more? That seems to be your meme for the week

        • mickysavage

          Tax the wealthy more?  What about the same that they used to be back when we had a functioning economy and no net crown debt?

          • burt

            Micky everyone was being tax more then, not just the rich. Fiscal drag affected all income brackets about the median wage.

            The rich here were taxed less than the rich in Aussie and the poor here were taxed more than the poor in Aussie. I know you are going to defend Labour for keeping it this way for 9 years, but hey lets move on from defending the fiscal policy – it failed.

            • mickysavage

              Um Burt Labour did increase the tax paid by the top tier.  Are you advocating that Labour should have gone further?  I agree with you.

              • burt

                Yes micky, once in 1999. Where was the plan. Once they said they would target the top 5% then they just sat back and let it hit people creepiong over $38K and $60K for 9 years. 75% of teachers became classified as rich in the tax system under Labour – I wonder how rich they felt.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wow…NATs still trying to look backwards into history…definitely no sign of a plan from Bill and John for the future.

                  Hey Burt – if you are earning more than 2x the median full time income of $39K p.a. you ARE RICH – when compared to the 90-95% of NZ’ers who earn less than that.

      • tsmithfield 7.4.3

        I agree on spending on these sorts of things. The problem is that the pay-off is always somewhere in the never/never. So we can be continually spending for future pay-offs and going slowly broke as we do so. The books need to balance.

        • Draco T Bastard

          That’s been the case ever since people realised that governments could borrow and would never default on the loans. At that point there, the rich suckered the governments into cutting taxes and borrowing more from them.

          Permanent income with no risk. Great for some but not everyone else.

          Time for the government to stop borrowing money and print it themselves (while stopping the private banks from printing it using the Fractional Reserve system).

    • Blighty 7.5

      “From what he was saying, it seems to me that there were three planks to Labour’s plan.

      1. A ten year plan. To me that seems to imply not returning to surplus for 10 years. If this is the case, it means borrowing for longer.”

      Please quote where Cunliffe said that Labour would take ten years to return to surplus.

      Or shut your lying fucken face.

      • McFlock 7.5.1

        bwahahahaha agree entirely 🙂

      • Akldnut 7.5.2

        Lol David Cunliffe on Good Morning for tsmithfield to review again.

        No pie in the sky, wishful thinking like the shit that English put forward disguised as a budget.

      • Puddleglum 7.5.3

        At about 4mins50secs into the video Cunliffe mentions his ‘fourth point’ – “a deficit reduction plan that is managed and phased in over a ten year period“.

        There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s more realistic/honest, less painful for all of us and will mean fewer people’s lives will be wrecked to the point that they have to call on government support. People matter and undermining that ‘resource’ is one of the biggest failings of right wing economic ideology.

        And, it has to be remembered that the deficit got this big because of the inability of the government to keep the economy going or, better yet, redesign the economy around lower consumption. The claim that major cuts are needed in a very short time-frame to address what is suspiciously like a strategic deficit is not a hook that Labour should swallow.

        I also want to add my concern that the welfare area – which was being trumpeted so strongly just before the earthquake in February and was meant to be one of the major platforms the government will act on this year and take into the election – is strangely awol in the budget.

  8. Herodotus 8

    At least Nat are looking after the many and not the few. 1/3 benefit from Kiwisaver, 100% contribute and subsidise the few.
    Also at least there are not queues at the petrol station this morning !!!!

  9. ianmac 9

    Katherine asked English this morning about the absence of Welfare Reforms declared in the Budget. She asked if the intentions would be announced before the Election so that people could vote on it. Bill to me sounded uncomfortable????
    I wonder if there will be some unpleasant things to come perhaps just before or just after the Election? “We have a mandate you know,” says Bill in December.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      He said they were starting to work on that issue now. In other words, 2012 budget.

    • millsy 9.2

      You watch, as I predicted on here back in Jan, there will be a mini budget after the election, and thats when the castor oil will be applied.

      • PeteG 9.2.1

        Unlikely. This government is criticised much more for it’s adherence to commitments (most of the time) than springing surprise policies without a mandate.

        • wtl

          It’s obvious that 2011 budget is all about winning the next election – they’re making numbers up to paint a rosy picture so as not to scare anybody. If National does win the election, all bets are off.

          • Puddleglum

            Yes, this is very much an election year budget – in contrast to the meme that, unusually, this is not an election year budget.

            Given the global economy’s fragility, they will, in short order, have any number of excuses that people like PeteG should be able to push as to why harsh things suddenly have to be done (e.g., in the welfare area) – and how any reasonable, non-oppositional, non-paranoid person would see the need.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Unlikely. This government is criticised much more for it’s adherence to commitments (most of the time) than springing surprise policies without a mandate.

          This term they are pete.

          What are they doing next term?:

          when the magic 4% gdp bean fails to sprout,

          and the 5% wage growth doesn’t show up,

          and the projected growth in govt revenue ( $58b in the 2011/2012 —-> $66b by 2012/2013 and $75b by 2014/2015) therefore turns into a massive hole and S&P start actually cutting our ratings (which are still on a negative watch, BTW)?

          They’ve signalled the direction and will claim that’s the mandate when the projections turn out to be utterly ridiculous.

          It’s almost like that’s the plan.

          • PeteG

            What are they doing next term?:

            If they are consistent they will continue similarly, cautious with no big surprises.

            Of course you can worry that they will suddenly change and operate differently, but that’s based on nothing, it’s either scaremongering or paranoia.

            We could also worry that if Labour get in they will do completely different things to what they campaign on, you know, like nationalise all monopolies and duopolies because the Manarxist Party anti-captitalists are a cunning set-up by the Labour Party to use as an excuse to rush the country into total socialism. But that would just be scaremongering or paranoia from a different slant.

            • wtl

              No, it’s based on sound reasoning, not scaremongering. The point you are still missing is the this year’s budget is basically deferring tough decisions until after the election by pretending everything is going to ok. They can’t afford to keep doing that forever, so there will have to be increases in borrowing, increased taxes, or big cuts. No brainer, really.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Of course you can worry that they will suddenly change and operate differently, but that’s based on nothing, it’s either scaremongering or paranoia.

              No GST increases.
              No changes to Kiwisaver
              We’ll be coming out of recession any day now due to massive tax cuts for the rich.

              No PeteG, it’s based upon observing what Nact have been doing and saying – neither of which has ever truly related to the other.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 9.3

      Excellent point. They ask for a mandate for $1-2 cuts to’public services’ (define that as you wish) without telling you what that involves. If they want my vote they are going to need to provide a little more detail than that.

    • Olwyn 9.4

      John Key said recently that he had the same overall aims as Don Brash, but preferred different means. I see this budget as something of a con trick. For one thing, we do not know what the unspecified cuts to the public service will amount to, since they are unspecified. For another, cuts that affect the middle classes will make the cries from NACT’s hirelings of “those bludgers have had it far too easy for too long” all the more acceptable when the time comes, whether that is sooner or later. As to a plan, the only plan that has been in evidence from the outset is to (1) Remain electable, so as to (2) reward NACTs rich backers. Meanwhile, those without significant ties or duties bugger off, while the rest look glumly into an increasingly empty fridge.

  10. ianmac 10

    Private Debt. Just where is the private debt? Yet it is far greater than Government Debt. Anyone know?

    • RobC 10.1

      i saw some figures but cant remember where. A big chunk (maybe close to half?) is in household debt (i.e. mortgages) , a reasonable bit is rural debt (farms) … so basically, land and property

  11. Lanthanide 11

    Goff gave an interview on Morning Report this morning, about 8:10am. My boyfriend was listening to it on the way home from his work and said that Goff sounded like he had real fire in his belly, and actually sounded like a human being instead of a wooden statue.
    The interview was a good solid 7-8 minutes long and didn’t cut off like a lot of Morning Report interviews do. Well-worth listening to.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1

      Yes he’s starting to sound a little more focussed. Has he got some new advisors? Its the them versus us mantra.

      • ianmac 11.1.1

        I have always thought that Phil had to bide his time. The real punch has to be in the months just before the Election. Peak too soon and you have no chance. And as more and more people ask what Labour would do if they were in (and they are now), then the more ripe will be for credible vision and plan. Optimism you see.

      • pollywog 11.1.2

        For all the bullshit about the election being fought on the economy, Key’s reply to Goff’s speech made it clear it he will try to make it about cults of personality.

        Key laid down the challenge for Goff to take up and play the man, not the ball, but if Goff plays the team game by letting Cunliffe off the leash to attack English on his piss poor economic track record, while Brash and Winnie run interference and Hone takes out the Maori party.

        Then all Goff has to do is run his policy lines and draw the smarmy brat out of Key in the public arena for everyone to see, as he does so often in parliament, and it’s team red FTW !!!

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Pretty sure that will be the plan. Keep bringing up the tax cuts and the deficit ad nausem, stick to the script, stick to the script. Then bring up the BMWs, the helicopters, Key’s wealth and wait for the bully boy to start shooting his mouth off. Worked a treat for Paul Keating- is Phil up to the task?

        • Colonial Viper

          Time for Labour to team tackle Jonky

          • neoleftie

            Time for Goff and the labour heavy wieghts to step up and give what the public want – direction, conviction, courage and a voice. We want meaningful answers and direction to a very challenging economic period. Cunliffe and Robertson must be let loose soon.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.3

        Well, he did drop the Pagani fellow who’d advised him to be more like National.

    • Akldnut 11.2

      This the one Lanth? Good to listen too, way to go Goff!!!

      Goff on Radio NZ this a.m.

  12. randal 12

    the plan is to lull us all into a sense of security and squabbling over nuthin much while they prepare the sale documents for the country’s assets.

  13. Craig Glen Eden 13

    Give planking ago MR Key, I have a few suggestions on where you could start.

  14. Fat Uncle 14

    If everyone sells their house, everyone will be rich!

  15. Treetop 15

    Good question: So where’s the plan?

    13 % of business pay 50 % of the tax and this is why Key rewarded them. From my side of the fence 13 % is not a high number of voters.

    I have confidence in Goff, he gave a good response in the House on the budget yesterday.

  16. Well the Nats may well have pulled off a very clever con . Most policy has been postponed until after the next election . The majority of people will not realise what is happening until too late .So Labour is going to have a hard job convincing people to have a change of Government. the media will not help Labour and the ACT/Nats will have a ton of money from Brash’s well heeled friends. Labour must get out and about and spread the message . The alternative is the crushing of working people and the sell up of Aotearoa. That’s not what I want, so Lefties, whichever party you are in refrain from attacking each other and attack the real,enemy National , ACT and their allies. ie.Employers Fed, Chamber of Commerce and you know them all.

    • marsman 16.1

      Right on. Tooth and nail to save our country and our people!

    • Neoleftie 16.2

      All good points there PP but at least the tricky wee blighter hasn’t done ‘a roger’on us and sold out our future. Key has stated all along that he would get a mandate before any asset sales. Roll on november and hopefully bye bye extreme right wing Tories power block.

    • ianmac 16.3

      Will there be a particular indicator(s) which will be a particular signal to electors of pass/fail before the Election, or will we drop over the cliff in ignorance until the harsh landing next year?

      • Colonial Viper 16.3.1

        Harsh landing will be this year. Economic shocks out of the US and EU expected, particularly with the echo of Fukushima roiling global supply chains.

        • ianmac

          But CV. Will it give a clear enough signal that Key has gambled and lost?

          • Colonial Viper

            I heard a few days ago that RWC ticket sales were 500,000 behind plan. That’s just the start.

  17. Treetop 17

    The plan for labour has to be earning from exporting fresh, canned and packaged produce. This week in China they had the exploding watermelons due to growth exhilarant. The toxins and pesticides being used in China are excessive. The Chinese government have food regulations but they are not being enforced. (People in China have reverted to growing their own food). I have got to the stage where I avoid buying food from China.

    NZ needs another Watties and to go global like Fonterra. Did I hear this in the budget yesterday?

    Could those who got burnt with finance companies not invest in producing fresh, canned and packaged NZ produce. This is a far better alternative to selling off energy shares.

    • Neoleftie 17.1

      I say follow Australia’s lead and ring fence a few key stakeholders so they cannot be sold off to overseas interest…kiwibank / postbank must be allowed to grow. Why not morph postbank into a Govt Telco.

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      1. The growth accelerant is legal
      2. The levels used are not dangerous to health
      3. The variety of watermelon that is being grown in thin-skin, and susceptible to bursting. In fact it’s colloquial name is something like ‘burstmelon’.
      4. The growth accelerant was applied too late in the growing cycle. If it had been applied earlier, there wouldn’t have been any problems.

      • Colonial Viper 17.2.1

        1. The growth accelerant is legal
        2. The levels used are not dangerous to health

        Yeah, like spraying DDT on crops was “legal” and “not dangerous”.

        • Lanthanide

          DDT was mainly used to control various insects, rather than being directly sprayed on plants. It was sprayed on plants, but that wasn’t a major use of it.

          We’re talking about the 1940’s here. I think if DDT were invented today, there’s no way it would pass trials for it to be used broadly by the public, as it was.

          The growth accelerant being used on the watermelons is approved for use on kiwi fruit and grapes in the USA. So this isn’t some sort of dodgy unknown chemical that Chinese farmers are using because they got it cheap (see also: malamine).

          • Colonial Viper

            My point was that declaring something as being “legal” and “safe” may provide some kind of weak reassurance. But not much more than that because history has shown that there always remains cause to be skeptical.

            If you want a more contemporary example, just take a look at the artificial food/beverage colourings which were banned in the UK just three or four years ago.

            Right up until their time of banning they were also considered “legal” and “safe”.

            • Treetop

              CV and Lanthanide legal or not. Acceptable levels and monitoring of the amount being used is what I do not trust. Spraying crops is a very controversial issue.

      • Treetop 17.2.2

        Thanks for including the word accelerant.

        17.2 no 4. I heard that the sooner the early season water melons got to market the higher price was paid. No doubt weight equals a higher profit.

  18. Tony Parker 18

    With regards to the Public Service cuts one area where the government is going to save money is in their contribution to Public Service super funds such as the teacher one that I’m in. Currently my 3% gets matched by 3% from my employer the govt. The plan now is for the govt to stop paying into these schemes and for each govt department to provide the employer contribution from their budget which you can guarantee will not be adjusted accordingly. That’s not cutting the supposed fat from the Public Service backline but renegging on the superannuation contract I entered into with them. How these departments will find that money is anyone’s guess but you can bet staff cuts will happen. Bastards.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      I am hoping that the PSA / NZEI / PPTA get organised this year and push hard for their members to help elect a Left wing Government.

      National is selling off the economic and academic future of our children.

  19. Strefanash 19

    well, screwing the poor, the unemployed, and the worker is what National does.

    If you voted for them, and they did win the last election, I can really have no sympathy for you.

    I know that Labour had been in power too long and it had gone to Helen Clark’s head what with her arrogance, but even so, you don’t show your disapproval of a party gone bad by voting for one that is worse

    • Jum 19.1


      I’m sick of this ‘Helen was arrogant’ crap. She was probably getting worn down by the vicious garbage that was being flung at her and the lies that were being told and the fact that the media and many men were so hellbent on getting someone else in that was male and rich, I could certainly understand her being reticent about ‘putting her heart on her sleeve’.

      Key was arrogant from the moment he knew he had won and has got worse as the long years of his control have regressed. National and Act have been joined at the hip for some years now; their double act in the next term, if they win control of our country will turn this country into America – economically (what’s ours is theirs), humanitarily (zero humanity), medically (zero Pharmac), militarily and nuclear (where all our money will be pumped in).

      The public cannot be blamed for believing a bunch of lies from an immoral moneytrader who promised them something with the intention of doing the opposite.

      What I can blame the voter for is if they steal my children’s citizen-share of existing and future taxpayer owned SOE assets, by voting this scavenger and backers in again.

      Yes; National, Act, Maori, United Future voters will be responsible for stealing the SOE asset share of those voters that don’t vote for the rightwing, and because they’re inherently greedy, the rightwing probably don’t realise that even their share will disappear offshore or into the moneytrader’s mates’ pockets, because they won’t be able to afford to buy the shares or to keep them.

  20. georgecom 20

    Heres the plan:

    From budget 2010:
    “These tax reforms…contribute to stronger growth than previously forecast. The Treasury is now forecasting real GDP growth of 3.2 per cent in the year to March 2011 – a significant improvement on the 1.8 per cent forecast in the Budget last year. The projections now show fairly steady growth at about 3 per cent over the next four years. This includes expected extra growth from the Budget tax package.”

    From bernard Hickey in February 2011:
    “Deutsche Bank forecasted that the economy fell into a double-dip recession in the second half of last year. Key and English acknowledged this week that a double dip – defined as two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction – may have happened.”

    Budget 2011
    “This year’s operating deficit of $16.7 billion”.

    Remarkable success don’t you think.


    • burt 20.1

      It is remarkable success, it was a much smoother transition from a stalled economy than we experienced in 1990 – the previous time Labour managed to wreck so much havoc by fooling the people tax and spend would work for multiple terms.

      • Jum 20.1.1

        Yes Burt, I’ll be happy to agree with you that the thieving ‘fish and chips brigade’ Actoids masquerading as Labour people took NZers to the cleaners in the 80s with Rogernomics and hid with Ruthenasia in the 90s – couldn’t get traction with Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Jim Anderton stopping them in the new Century – now they’ve taken the mask off once again, to show a grinning hyena and a neo-religious nutter in charge of NAct.

        The rightwing and all the scum that sail in him; I hope they sink back to the depths where sharks and bottomfeeders belong. Bye Burt. Don’t forget your empty oxygen tanks.

  21. georgecom 21

    From http://www.interest.co.nz/news/52224/finance-minister-bill-english-says-budget-2011-be-themed-savings-and-investment

    Finance Minister Bill English today confirmed Budget 2011 will be delivered on Thursday, 19 May – focusing squarely on taking further measures to build New Zealand’s national savings and reducing vulnerability to foreign debt.

    “In our first Budget, the National-led Government steered the economy out of recession and the global financial crisis, and mapped a credible path back to budget surplus,” Mr English says.

    “In our second Budget last year, we made good progress in our six-point plan for faster economic growth – including the biggest tax reforms in 25 years.

    “The theme of Budget 2011…The Government has already indicated that it intends to borrow less in future than is currently forecast and get back to budget surplus sooner.”

    “Those options include the possibility of introducing the mixed-ownership model for four energy SOEs, where the Government retains a majority shareholding on behalf of taxpayers and offers a minority stake to Kiwi investors.


  22. randal 22

    their plan is to grab as much as they can and then split. (old beatnik word for pissoff)

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