SSTimes finds more $ in the pocket

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, November 2nd, 2008 - 22 comments
Categories: economy, election 2008 - Tags:

From this mornings SSTimes:

New research has revealed a dramatic reversal in financial fortunes for the average Kiwi family, which is now $60 better off each week than it was six months ago. Falling mortgage costs teamed with the government’s October 1 tax cuts and a beefed up Working for Families package are the main reasons for the windfall, with a slight drop in petrol prices also helping.

Pundits are divided on whether the reversal will boost Labour’s chances when voters go to the polls on Saturday, but say it will help our recovery from the global financial crisis.

So do we think it is going to make a difference to Saturday’s vote? We’ve moved on quite a long way since backpocket issues took on such prominance. Having a bit more money might not be at the forefront of people’s minds as a positive, but nor is the lack of it the irritant it once was.

22 comments on “SSTimes finds more $ in the pocket”

  1. burt 1

    Hands up how many people feel $60/Week better off?

    CAPTCHA: Dunne schoolroom

  2. Burt – I feel well off. Maybe you should take some personal responsibility and work harder if you’re feeling a bit poor…

  3. milo 3

    burt: it’s nonetheless very good news, even if it is largely due to petrol and interest rates. It does also show that tax cuts and self-correcting markets help out in the long term. 🙂

    Of course, much of it also is due to Working for Families, which I still object to due the inefficiency of delivery. Have a universal family benefit instead, paid for by reduced tax cuts at the upper end and administrative savings from the more efficient distributive system, I say.

  4. randal 4

    and did you read mathew hootons bitter rancid little diatribe too?

  5. Ari 5

    It does also show that tax cuts and self-correcting markets help out in the long term.

    The markets haven’t had time for self-corrective measures, especially seeing the necessary business bankruptcies are being prevented. Petrol is going down because investment (and thus oil speculation) is going down because the market is shivering in its little boots, and is only just considering whether it might like to go outside again and face the real world.

    Food prices are following petrol.

    If you can’t even understand capitalism, you have no right to be advocating it above some other alternative. (Not that we have any anti-capitalist parties in parliament anyway)

  6. Chris G 6

    “self-correcting markets help out in the long term”

    Where was the self correcting mechanism evident here? I saw things like OCR being cut… thats intervention, keynesian stuff, not self correcting stuff.

    The only evidence is of the market burning itself out.

  7. max@gmail.com 7

    Godamn it Burt – you ARE $60 a week better off OK.

    The gummint statistics told you so, just before the election. It must be true.

  8. maxq 8

    Godamn it Burt – you ARE $60 a week better off OK.

    The gummint statistics told you so, just before the election. It must be true.

  9. dave 9

    the average family is still worse off than at the same time last year before all the prices went up – even with tax cuts – due to increased power bills and food prices.

  10. Chris G 10

    Inflation is its name I think, dave.

    The Nats gonna make it/would have made it better though aye dave?

    Get real.

  11. milo 11

    Ari, Chris G – markets are volatile and follow cycles. That’s exactly what we are seeing. The Libor spiked and is now coming down. The Carry trade market peaked and is now unwinding. Confidence in oil price increases overshot and is now unwinding.

    “Markets clean up their own messes”. And they are. Markets are never “perfect”, but they still work.

  12. Ari 12

    Ari, Chris G – markets are volatile and follow cycles. That’s exactly what we are seeing. The Libor spiked and is now coming down. The Carry trade market peaked and is now unwinding. Confidence in oil price increases overshot and is now unwinding.

    Indeed they do. You seem to be under the illusion, however, that these cycles resolve quickly and can be talked about in terms of days or even weeks. That is not the case.

    “Markets clean up their own messes’. And they are. Markets are never “perfect’, but they still work.

    No, the governments of the world are underwriting and bailing out as fast as they can. Government assistance is external to the market as you well know. Unless you’re going to take the ridiculous line that our interventionism is having no effect, (and any economist with half a brain will clobber you for trying THAT) you need to acknowledge that the turn around is artificial to the market system.

    A market that worked would not need government interference to stop it from crashing. It would have low points, that we accept, and governments would often try to interfere in those, (as they should) but that is fundamentally different to the massive confidence crisis we are seeing here. Why are we seeing it? Because the USA encouraged bad credit and didn’t regulate lending sufficiently. Which means what? That the market failed to fix its own mess satisfactorily.

  13. Chris G 13

    “markets are volatile and follow cycles. That’s exactly what we are seeing”

    Where are you looking? Your eyes must be looking a different way to mine. Government intervention happening the world over to choke inflation and sort shit out, eg. OCR being cut 2 or 3 times in last few months.

    reality check: The market and its cycles are detrimental to everyone and your a mad man for thinking otherwise and just accepting it in your ‘matter of fact’ style.

    ” It does also show that tax cuts and self-correcting markets help out in the long term”

    Of course self-correction is a mechanism in the market, but it is very rarely left to its own accord nowadays for self-correction to occur. Government intervention and Keynesian economics post-depression are all evidence of that. To suggest that they ‘help out’ in the long term. Your ignoring that they also ‘screw shit up’ in the long and short term.

  14. dave 14

    The Nats gonna make it/would have made it better though aye dave?

    No. And I’m well aware of how inflation works, thanks.

  15. Chris G 15

    Sure, just checking.

    captcha: $3,299,544,601 Fark!!! maybe it knew you said inflation

  16. Felix 16

    I think milo might be taking the piss a little to spark an argument. No-one is really that naive. (burt probably bought it but no-one else would.)

    As for who feels rich? I feel like I’m quite well off even though I don’t have much money. I don’t seem to need much these days.

    Does anyone feel like they’re doing it really hard?

  17. Chris G 17

    I feel fine, and I’m meant to be a poor student.

    Loved it on FOX the other week and some dimwit said: “How does Obama honestly think that a family on $250K income (!!!!) aren’t feeling it right now” re: No tax cut for those on that ridiculous amount of money.

    Well f**k me! if they are feeling the pinch, their either buying one too many chandeliers… or if its genuine: The other 95% of us are Dead!

    Maybe thats why Johnny Friendly is giving them a bigger tax cut than Labour and giving less to middle-low income earners? wait… that isnt starting to make sense.

  18. I reckon we have been more prosperous under Labour in terms of our kids finding jobs, having decent food on the table, petrol in the tank, regular outings, holidays each year and opportunities to make a bit of extra, than most NZers have experienced for many decades.

    It seems to me that either most people were asleep for 20 years up ’til 1999 or they suffer from amnesia.

    I had 3 sons unemployed in the 1990s. Within two years of Labour coming to power all 3 were working and not just work but work with a future. All have got good jobs now thanks to apprenticeships bought in by Labour and the mentoring of small business schemes.

    You can say what you like but I am bloody grateful to Clark and co.

  19. Rex Widerstrom 19

    We’ve moved on quite a long way since backpocket issues took on such prominance.

    I disagree. Where once we could creditably look to our political leaders for… well, leadership; and inspiration and a sense of our place in the world and a lot of other attributes which would influence our choices, their collective behaviour over the last few decades means there’s only one meaure left on which we can creditably rate them — whether they’ve left us personally better off than we were before.

    I don’t see the same sense of avarice amongst NZers as I do amongst many Australians, where they’d consciously exclude other factors and vote for any party that offered them more money. I just think NZers are left with no faith or trust in their politicians and have to resort to empirical measures to differentiate. Their personal economic wellbeing is an easily grasped empirical measure.

    So I think Labour can probably take some considerable comfort from this news as it relates to their chances at the polls.

  20. burt 20

    Rex

    Labour finally shows signs of agreeing with the two most significant items National campaign on – taxes are too high and interest rates are also too high.

    I think a dose of National party policy from Labour just in time for the election is going to remind voters why they want a change of govt.

  21. Rex Widerstrom 21

    You may be right, burt. But I’ve been talking on the phone to a lot of people back in NZ today.

    The majority have had a gutsful of this government but aren’t especially enamoured of the alternatives. More people than I’ve ever encountered are wondering whether they’ll even bother to vote (not something I’ve encouraged, in fact I’ve done what I can to suggest they ought to bite the bullet).

    In contrast, the left know they’re in serious jeopardy and none will stay home.

    I’ll be particularly interested to see the number for those who don’t cast a vote this election. I hope it will be small, but I suspect it may not. And I also suspect those who don’t vote will be those who, if they had, would have voted for an option other than Labour.

  22. “burt
    Hands up how many people feel $60/Week better off? ”

    This is kind of the point of what a lot of people have been trying to say. How you “feel” is actually a pretty crap measure of anything. All its really used for is deciding who to vote for (though for some, I’d argue that how they feel is effected by who they vote for, always looking for the worst in National or Labour for example).

    People take what is going on in their immediate surroundings, the major events in their friends and families immediate surroundings, and what they see, read and hear in the media, then go and try and make a generalization about the whole country from it.

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