Stop me if you’ve already heard this one

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, May 21st, 2011 - 12 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2011, economy, making shit up, national - Tags: ,

Time for a bit of in depth analysis of some of the key phrases in Bill English’s budget speech:

This Budget restricts the increase in public debt to manageable levels. Treasury’s December forecasts showed a dramatic and indefinite rise in debt levels. This is unacceptable to this Government because we do not want to saddle future generations with the cost of short term policies.

We will initiate a programme to lift productivity, improve competitiveness and sharpen New Zealand’s future economic performance.

We will consolidate the Government’s fiscal position, keep debt under control and ensure that Crown finances are properly managed.

This Government came into office with a plan to lift New Zealand’s economic performance.

I move on to our plan to balance the Government’s books. … This Budget will begin to restore the Crown balance sheet to its previous health.

The measures I have outlined will form key elements of our strategy to ensure that New Zealand emerges from the downturn stronger than it entered it.

The Government is determined that future taxpayers will not be burdened with higher debt which is unmatched by increases in productive assets.

To achieve this, the Government has made some difficult decisions.

The measures outlined this afternoon, the expenditure restraint shown by this Government, deferment of the tax cuts and deferment of Super Fund contributions, will keep the increase in public debt within acceptable levels. …

[This Budget] marks a turning point for New Zealand. Ten years of economic growth and expansive appetites for debt and Government spending have ended. Today we have outlined the challenge to rebalance the economy from debt and consumption to investment and exports.

The Budget will improve New Zealand’s international competitiveness.

It will get our debt under control and turning down.

It starts to create a government sector that provides better services and delivers better value for taxpayers.

It will help create new and sustainable jobs.

It will begin to build a platform for a much more ambitious New Zealand.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.

Ooops – Dammit! Sorry, my mistake. Wrong speech. That’s the budget speech from 2009. This is the one I meant:

The worst of the global crisis has for now passed and the economy has begun to grow again. In fact, New Zealand has weathered the economic storm better than many other developed economies.

Government policy struck the right balance between blunting the sharp edges of recession and maintaining control of public finances.

The Government is committed to policies that will reduce our vulnerabilities by tilting our economy away from debt and consumption toward savings, investment and exports.

These policies underpin the updated Treasury forecasts showing steady growth of around 3 per cent over each of the next four years.

The forecasts also show that this growth will raise real incomes of the average household by about $7,000 over the next four years, and create 170,000 jobs.

I now turn to the Government’s fourth objective, that of maintaining firm control of the government’s finances, so we can return the budget to surplus and reduce our rising debt.

The fiscal outlook has improved from last year, due to the economy returning to growth and the positive impact of Budget 2009 decisions.

The projected operating deficit for the next financial year is $8.6 billion or 4.2 per cent of GDP.

It is projected to improve steadily in each subsequent year, and to reach surplus in 2015/16, three years ahead of last year’s projection.

As a result of this improved outlook the debt projections have also become more favourable

We now have our debt under control and unemployment is beginning to fall.

We will emerge as one of the countries that other nations aspire to be more like.

There are risks to the recovery. A mountain of debt hangs over a number of our export destinations, and will also influence the markets that lend to New Zealand.

We cannot take for granted the contribution that the Australian and Chinese economies have made to our growth.

However, we are on track to a position most developed economies will envy.

This includes more new jobs, falling unemployment, rising family incomes,
quality public services and sound public finances.

Mr Speaker, This Budget continues to build a platform for a much more ambitious New Zealand.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.

Oh My. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me today. That’s the wrong speech again! That was the 2010 speech. This is the 2011 speech. Really this time:

Today I introduce a Budget that will further strengthen the long-term performance of the economy.

It supports economic forecasts that show growth returning to its highest in over five years and 170,000 net new jobs being created by 2015.

Our main task remains to return New Zealand to sustained prosperity. The economy has been underperforming since before the global financial crisis. Indeed, per capita GDP has not grown since 2004.

The OECD, the Savings Working Group and others have pointed out that we need to make the economy more competitive and lift national savings.

Currently, most businesses and households have successfully lifted their own savings. While that has hurt retailers for now, in the long term it is a good thing.

The main sector not saving is the Government.

The deficit in 2010/11 will be large, at $16.7 billion or 8.4 per cent of GDP. This includes a range of one-off costs, including the earthquakes.

The measures announced in this Budget will put both the Government’s finances and the economy on a much sounder footing despite a series of adverse events and a slower economic recovery.

The projected operating deficit will fall dramatically over the next three years. It will be in significant surplus from 2014/15.

This is a year sooner than the position forecast last year.

Budget 2011 shows how, from the depths of the global financial crisis when a decade of red ink was in prospect, and despite the devastating Canterbury earthquakes and other setbacks, the Government has laid the basis for future prosperity.

It is within sight of budget surpluses and falling public debt.

It has funded reconstruction of Christchurch, our second largest city.

It has in prospect the strongest growth for a decade.

It has materially improved the tax system.

It has placed KiwiSaver onto a sounder, more sustainable footing, and instilled a culture built on savings rather than debt.

And it will provide future New Zealanders with real choices about further lowering taxes, adding quality public services, or both.

We set a path for responsible government spending from the start of our term, and we maintain that path in this Budget.

This Budget continues to build a platform for a much stronger, more ambitious New Zealand.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.

Sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it. Right down to the recycled prediction of 170,000 new jobs. Why are the promises and predictions of 2011 any more realistic or believable than the failed promises and predictions of 2010 and 2009? How can anyone listen to Bill English, John Key and the Nats making these abundantly meaningless claims time after time without laughing? Know what they say eh. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

12 comments on “Stop me if you’ve already heard this one”

  1. ianmac 1

    There are strong rumours around that Steven Joyce wrote or masterminded this Budget. Donald Rumsfield (stike through?) Steven Joyce can stay in the shadows and pull the strings whilst the less crafty front men trot out the amorphous statements that the general public trust and accept.
    Steven is laughing at us.

  2. logie97 2

    @ianmac
    In fairness to Double Dipton, apparently teachers, when it comes to reporting to parents, have difficulty rewording or reworking statements they and previous teachers have made about a particular child… to the unfamiliar it is intelligent but to the informed it is crap.

  3. tc 3

    Joyce is pissing himself with all those favors delivered to the likes of telecom, media works, the road makers etc all courtesy of the taxpayer.

    That smarmy grin is very real as the backers are all lining their pockets at NZ’s expense and he knows his future is sweet as be it in the nats or back bullying in private industry.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    A question to the Minister of Finance:
    Does he stand by his recent statement that the budget will cause the creation of 170,000 new jobs?

    A question to the Minister of Finance:
    Does he stand by his statement at the 2010 budget that the 2010 budget will cause the creation of 170,000 new jobs?

    Unfortunately he didn’t say it back in 2009, ’cause that’d make a very neat trifecta. One of the other repeated statements might work, but the job number is so simple, and so clearly not true, that it would’ve worked well.

    Hell, it could even potentially make a billboard.

    Unflattering picture of Bill English talking.
    Budget 2009: “170,000 new jobs”
    Budget 2010: “170,000 new jobs”
    Budget 2011: “170,000 new jobs”

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Driving home last night I was listening to National radio (around 6:45) and they had interviews with Bill English. There was talking and plates and cutlery in the background, so it might have been at the light lunch they serve during budget lockup.

    Anyway, he was asked if he was worried about the $4b difference between IRD and finance forecasts for tax revenue. He said it was a bit difficult, because although the GST rate had risen the actual collection had fallen because people were saving money, and that because of the recession it was difficult to know how many and what magnitude of losses would be carried forward by businesses into future tax years. He finished up by saying that given these circumstances, both IRD and treasury had made their “best guess”.

    Yes, he said “guess”. I sure that was mostly just a slip of the tongue – he probably wouldn’t have said it in a formal interview, but I think it might also illustrate the clear fantasy that is at work with this budget – even English knows it’s a pack of lies, and simply a setup for their 2012-2013 budgets to slash and burn even more.

  6. SHG 6

    The scariest bit about the Budget was Phil Goff’s reply to it in the House. He just looked totally wooden. Key absolutely EVISCERATED him in response, and Key ain’t the world’s greatest parliamentary speaker.

  7. randal 7

    i can hardly stop larfing and larfing and larfing

  8. Terry 8

    I thought Goff excelled himself in response to the Budget, but let himself down again by sending out a cliche ridden post Budget report (this morning). He ought to have waited for the Conference before saying anything. I suppose one can only laugh (rather than cry) at the pathetic Bill English. I must have cracked a rib for I find myself totally unable to laugh at him now, or at any other time.

  9. Macro 9

    I wonder who all the kiwis are who have the cash to rush out and buy up Air New Zealand shares? The man is completely out of touch with reality. If he wasn’t in Parliament ……..

  10. lprent 10

    Hey r0b, Sue Bradford likes your dry sense of humor

    And I simply don’t believe Bill English’s twice-repeated prediction – shown up with hilarious accuracy by the Standard blog last week – that 170,000 jobs are going to eventuate from both the 2010 and 2011 Budgets.

    Good article as well with some interesting links that I will have to look at when I get home.

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