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Surplus sunk

Written By: - Date published: 2:18 pm, December 16th, 2014 - 73 comments
Categories: debt / deficit, economy, national - Tags: , , ,

The Nats are going to miss the only target they ever cared about hitting:

Deficit a bitter pill for Government

The Government’s flagship economic promise has been holed and is in danger of sinking after Treasury forecast a deficit this year – and with doubts over a return to surplus even in 2016.

It must have been a bitter pill for John Key and Bill English to swallow, after running the promise since 2011 and even claiming on the election stump the books were back in surplus.

This is a short term fiasco. The damage caused by all the slashing and burning is so unnecessary. We would have been in surplus years ago without the Nats’ 1.5 billion dollar a year tax cuts for the rich.

This is a long term loss, as National have failed to “rebalance the economy“, leaving us far too dependent on international dairy price fluctuations.

Seven wasted years and counting…

(Moreu in the Timaru Herald:)

moreu-national's-targets copy

73 comments on “Surplus sunk ”

  1. Tracey 1

    “It must have been a bitter pill for John Key and Bill English to swallow, after running the promise since 2011 and even claiming on the election stump the books were back in surplus.”

    No it’s not, they knew they wouldn’t get a surplus. A simple scanning of those who actually did an analysis at the time shows it was at best brittle and at worst a lie.

    They talked it up and fiddled the books to use it as evidence of their so-called solid economic management. It worked and they got re-elected. Just another lie that apparently doesn’t matter.

    It’s irrelevant whether you are in the school that thanks a surplus is a good or irrelevant thing, what IS relevant is the cavalier fashion they twisted things to make an impression. A false impression, called on by some at the time (Christchurch accountant was one)…

    Apparently lying to then get what you call a “mandate” is cool in a democracy.

    And they will lie again about why it disappeared

    And most of those who think the lying is fine are parents, so we have another generation coming along with the same mindset.

  2. Tom Jackson 2

    Like a fart in an astronaut’s suit.

  3. Tracey 3

    “Wave goodbye to surplus in 2014/2015″

    It depends on what you mean by goodbye”.

    • BassGuy 3.1

      I can readily imagine Key announcing “It’s not gone, just delayed,” and then blaming the delay on the taxpayer not paying enough tax.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        drop in dairy prices, which aren’t his fault, but neither are the rises which he claimed as part of his prudent economic management

        • BassGuy 3.1.1.1

          Just as you said, they’re blaming lower dairy prices. They’ve also pushed back the surplus to 2015/2016

          From the ODT:

          “But Finance Minister Bill English was this morning still clinging to the hope Treasury is wrong and the Government’s books will indeed be back in black this year as promised for the last three years.”

          […]

          Treasury said softer outlook for economic drivers of the tax such as lower dairy prices and interest rates had seen the expected tax take for the year fall by $600 million.

          Treasury now expects the Obegal to return to a surplus of $565 million in 2015-16…”

          So, what does this mean for the 2017 tax cut they promised they might consider?

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            They might still consider mentioning it in the 2017 election – especially if it looks like they’re going to lose.

        • b waghorn 3.1.1.2

          That’s pretty standard management practice claim the good scapegoat the bad.
          The drop in fuel prices must start to effect the tax take if it go’s on to , more ammo for tightening up on us punters .

  4. greywarshark 4

    Perhaps this Jewish concept would provide an answer to our and the world’s debt woes and the darkness of the spirit that too little, and also, too much money can lead to.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-hart/shmitta-the-bibles-soluti_b_5895190.html
    Shmitta.
    Deuteronomy 15:1-6 reads:
    At the end of every seven years, you shall celebrate the year of release (shmitta). This is the release: every lender shall forgive any debt owed by his neighbor and brother when God’s shmitta year comes.

    How poignant that it has been seven years since the problems of the Great Recession began. Where are we now? Income disparity soars, student loans threaten to be the next subprime mortgages, and millions of Americans struggle daily to make ends meet. Unmanageable, crippling debt is still harming millions of American families……

    The Bible recognizes the critical role that debt plays in helping a society flourish: according to the great Medieval scholar Maimonides, the highest level of giving is to provide a loan so that a person can get back on his or her feet. At the same time, the Bible recognizes that debt can spiral out of control and have deeply negative consequences on those lost in its grip.

    According to the Jewish calendar, the next shmitta year begins now — September 2014 through September 2015. In shmitta’s spirit, this is the time for faith-led and faith-supported nationwide efforts to help release millions of Americans from the bonds of personal debt.

  5. Iron Sky 5

    Yippy, we will soon crack the $100,000,000,000

    Oh, hang on wait a minute, thats not good is it.

    Must get job in bank, must get job in bank, particularly Auzzie bank.

    New Zealand Debt Clock: NZ$ 93,514,914,425

    Source: NZ Treasury. Gross sovereign‐issued debt excluding settlement cash and Reserve Bank bills.

    Comment: The Net core Crown debt excluding student loans and other advances at 30/04/14 was NZ$ 70,814 000 000. Net debt may fluctuate during the year largely reflecting the timing of tax receipt

    Interest per year: NZ$4,531,673,877
    Population: 4,532,299
    GDP: NZ$242,730,139,540
    Interest per second: NZ$144
    Citizen’s Share: NZ$20,633
    Debt as % of GDP: 38.53%

    • dave 5.1

      try total debt its an even better figure 503 billion dollars talk about maxing out the credit card

  6. Ad 6

    And in order to achieve this surplus – with no meaning other than as a media echo – our public health services are failing.

    The District Health Boards are seeking $500m extra per year, Treasury are proposing $200. And at the same time, several hundred catering jobs will be lost, immunization rates will be tested, outpatient therapy cut, and the support that the health system should provide for us cracks, and cracks, and cracks again.

    • tc 6.1

      Health’s been a ticking bomb since they wilfully ignored that it runs at about 10% CPI before you factor in population growth and rising illness as a result of leaky homes, poverty etc.

      Ryall did as told then shot through at the GE leaving someone else to front the known funding gap looming.

      They’ve done nothing to effect any real change in health by dismantling the top heavy self serving layers in the DHB’s but then it’s full of their mates so no surprises really.

      • stever 6.1.1

        And my local PHO has just announced they are stopping diabetes clinics for all patients…for financial reasons.

        Short-termism…and not even for a gain!!!

        • tc 6.1.1.1

          Exactly, cuts to frontline services whilst the waste at the top gets worse.

          Ryall screwed over a system that needed the same techniques graeme hart uses which isn’t hard…..remove the ineffective management layers who just play games with each other.

        • tricledrown 6.1.1.2

          Financial terrorism Stever.
          National cut Diabetes and obesity negation programs in 2009.
          rather than a continual decrease these cheap top of the cliff solutions.
          National have damaged many people’s health as well as Costing taxpayers by burdening our health system with preventable disease,s!
          Healthy foods in schools primary health care initiatives gone,Ryall and National are responable for this debacle.
          Criminal Neglect I say.

  7. i find it quite amusing/interesting how english is showing all the symptoms of clinical-denial..

    ..a half a billion dollars worth..

    ..it seems his approach to this epic-fail on his/this govts’ part….is to stuff his fists in his ears..and go..’i’m not listening..!’

    (i mean..that was the only fucken economic-carrot they were dangling on the end of a stick..that was their ‘mark’ of claimed economic-competence..f.f.s..!..what have they got left now..?..)

    ..they are presiding over a country that is being shamed in so many international-forums etc..

    ..our world-breaking rates of poverty/inequality..and their doing nothing meaningful to fix that..and with only words promised for the future..

    ..those same three words so redolent of their underlying ideologies/fuck-the-poor!-beliefs..

    ..’arbeit machr frei!’..

    ..that’s it..that’s all they’ve fucken got to offer..

    ..they are selling us out on the tpp..

    ..they have opened up our pristine-wilderness areas/oceans/coasts to the miners/drillers..

    ..greenhouse gas emissions..under their plan/policies..will increase by 50% in/by the not to distant future..(that will come with a whopping/eye-watering bill from the international community/global-warming-fighting consensus..

    ..they are turning us into pariahs..on multiple levels..to be pointed at with an accompanying ‘ew!’..and of course the sad irony is..that we used to lead the world on so much..

    ..and key is jonesing to be an armchair warrior..to be a spear-carrier for american-lunacies/imperial-madness..

    .and will send new zealanders to kill and be killed..

    ..and in the process will paint a big bullseye on nz…as an easy/soft-target..

    ..now..does anyone else see anything wrong with that picture..that summary of where we are at..and where we are heading..?

    ..who were the fucken idiots who voted for them..?

    ..i wasn’t one of them..

    ..were you..?

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/commentwhoar-we-used-to-lead-the-world-in-so-much-w-t-f-happened/

    • and it seems that english ..as a church-going/card-carrying catholic..takes that same stuffed-fists-in-ears approach to the dictates from his pope/spiritual-leader to those in power..

      ..on the subject/topic of poverty/inequality..

  8. greywarshark 8

    .and will send new zealanders to kill and be killed.. phillip u
    And apart from the cost in blood and wellbeing of the armed forces involved and their families, how much will it cost us, net? There may be some sort of payment for part, but I am sure that there will be a residue of cost for taking part in this war, which is o.n.g.o.i.n.g!.

  9. This is all to convenient for Key and English.

    We can see leading into the next election, another empty promise of tax cuts just to try and buy votes again.
    I don’t think for one minute they care about creating a surplus, they just want to use the voting public to further their own agenda.

    Better get used to rising prices and no raising of incomes for another three years.
    Just more of the same from these mongrels.

    • NZJester 9.1

      “We can see leading into the next election, another empty promise of tax cuts just to try and buy votes again.”

      They have already made that empty promise in advance of the next election.
      The big National Party announcement about the tax cuts at the previous election was they would look at tax cuts in the lead up to the next election.
      They left it so very vague that it was really a big announcement about nothing at all because they may or my not offer actual tax cuts in 3 years time.

  10. Ch-ch Chiquita 10

    Since National are, according to their supporters, running the country as a business (since they are such excellent business people), isn’t this a good enough evidence to send them home? They are not delivering what they were hired to do, which is, in my opinion as an employer, a reason to terminate the contract.
    I’m expecting National supporters to blame, again, the previous Labour government (can someone remind them when the last one was), working for families (of course, and not a word about tax cuts to the rich) dairy prices, the fact that the earth orbits around the sun… Anything apart from saying they haven’t got a clue what they are doing, shamefully admitting it and resigning.

  11. greywarshark 11

    National would say that we are unreasonably petulant about their performance. They have been asked to perform their magicians tricks, we haven’t paid for entrance to the show so what’s our whinge?

    So the lady got sawn in half gruesomely, but we haven’t lost out personally have we? Well the relatives of the lady did, but that is just unavoidable collateral damage. Unfortunately in this country there are only about four degrees of separation, so actually most of us are affected, and feel the lack of commitment to magical expertise in some shape or form.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 12

    Why is the Left so keen on surpluses? In a country which runs a chronic current account deficit, if the government doesn’t run deficits, the private sector will be forced to. For households, sole traders and small businesses, that means a reduction in income and savings.

    Yes wealthy individuals, capital and large corporates should be taxed more. But all that income should be spent back into creating jobs, services and infrastructure for the people, not hoarded into spreadsheet surpluses.

    • Tracey 12.1

      which is why my point was about the lying and manipulating regardless of what you think of surplus economics.

    • @ c.r..

      ..it is also symptomatic of what a clusterfuck in general they are..

      ..and especially as how they have heaped so much freight on that promise..

      ..using it to justify pretty much anything they chose..

      ..that is why it so grates on a visceral level..

    • Ad 12.3

      A good government makes money in order to:

      – run good public services
      – keep the infrastructure kept up
      and
      – pay off debt at the rate that current and future generations pay evenly for the benefits that debt obtains

      Essentially Cullen banked the last boom, and some of that paid us through the GFC in benefits, much else paid for some of the Chch rebuild, and some was wasted on motorways. It’s the regressive GST and income taxes that really bother me most.

      I simply don’t see financial leadership from this government. Not even a shade of the innovations that the Clark-Cullen government produced.

      • greywarshark 12.3.1

        We have been recently traversing the role that government has in funding research and development and infrastructure which gets tapped into and built on by private industry which then advances the whole country’s enterprise and income.

        This is important for NZ, not just attending to basics enabling us to survive. And there is no reason why we cannot have some loan money that we use to expand the operation of government where that offers future employment and meets planned goals.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.2

        A good government makes money in order to:

        – run good public services
        – keep the infrastructure kept up
        and
        – pay off debt at the rate that current and future generations pay evenly for the benefits that debt obtains

        Bollocks. Can do all of that and not go into debt. Basically, the government doesn’t need to raise money to command the use of the countries resources. It only has to create the money ex-nihilo and then spend it into the economy. This has the effect of commanding that the countries resources be used.

        Taxes are then used to decrease the money in circulation so as to decrease the demand upon the countries resources. This is done so as to a) keep inflation down and b) so that we can actually be sustainable. The latter being rather important.

        I simply don’t see financial leadership from this government.

        This government is only interested in shifting the countries wealth into the hands of the rich.

  13. NZJester 13

    “The Nats are going to miss the only target they ever cared about hitting”
    Are we talking about the same Nats here as the ones currently governing NZ?
    Because I’m sure that they never even cared about hitting that target!
    They are only worried that the fudging of the books is no longer working to hide the amounts of money they have lost from the New Zealand treasury.

    The only targets they worry about and have done a great job in meeting are the targets for their wealthy National donors to get more money in their pockets at the expense of everyone else in New Zealand.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      “…lost…”

      Hardly: it’s quite clear who profited.

      • NZJester 13.1.1

        Oh yes your quite right it is not lost. We know it is sitting in those big Aussie banks earning them and the National Party sponsors lots of interest while enhancing the Australian economy and stagnating our New Zealand economy.

  14. Paul 14

    ‘During the election campaign Prime Minister John Key said repeatedly “we’re in surplus” based on Treasury’s former forecasts.’

    And sadly 1 million people believed his lines.
    More fool them.

    ‘http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/64200479/Government-surplus-in-doubt

  15. Paul 15

    Key is spinning already.

    Opposition parties say new Treasury forecasts that the Crown’s books will not return to surplus this year as promised by the Government are an embarrassment, but Prime Minister John Key says his Government’s misfortune means good news for household budgets.

    ‘”For one thing inflation is running at a much lower level than was anticipated. That affects the Crown’s revenue. That’s actually a good news story for New Zealanders because it means their dollars are going further and their pay rises are more meaningful but it does have an impact on our income.”

    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said
    “How can people say Bill English is a good economic manager when his decisions are leading to led to seven consecutive deficits?”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11375090

  16. BLiP 16

    The National Ltd™ Cult of John Key has been lying about the surplus for years. The details of how it was attempting to manufacture a surplus were spelled out by David Cunliffe back on May 28, 2013, in his fabulous “funny money, rubber numbers” speech in the Budget Debate.

    Specifically, the 2013/14 National Ltd™ Cult of John Key Budget based the surplus on . . .

    – a $700 million ACC rip off of New Zealanders that officials had advised be returned

    – $900 million in increased petrol tax

    – an imaginary item called “Tax Loss Off-Sets” of $400 million which appears from no where and is then never seen again

    – a miraculous jump in Employees compensation from $500 million to $1.1 billion for the year before tailing off again

    – a one-off spectacular rise in corporate profits from $300 million to $1.1 billion before dropping back to $200 million for the following year

    – the complete omission of $1.1 billion previously budgeted for the upgrade of the IRS computer system

    . . . why news of the failure to reach a surplus is taking some by surprise is a mystery. As David Cunliffe said in his speech the budget ” . . . is not wafer thin, it comes only from massaging the numbers to an extent that I have never seen in my time in Parliament.” If the MSM had been doing its job, John Key and his sidekick Blinglish would have been hammered on this fantasy aspect of its 2014 election campaign.

    Then again, perhaps the surprise being expressed is feigned, in which case, there is no mystery, just more evidence of collusion between the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key and the MSM.

    • NZJester 16.1

      National biggest Day 1 lie has to be the condition of the books when they took over from Labour. Sure there was no surplus, but only because Labour had to spend a lot of money to dig this country out of the Debt run up from the National Government before them. The books where balanced running a 0 surplus and a decreasing debt level.
      If not for that big tax break for the rich that National gave after that election the income from tax and the assets they have since partly sold off would have kept the books well balanced.
      How did National ride out the big financial crisis, they used the extremely low debt level from Labour to borrow lots of money to pay for the tax cut we could not afford.
      This country is not a business that needs to run a surplus, it is more like a non profit that needs to run a balanced set of books with no surplus.

  17. Paul 17

    Two track Crosby Textor tactics occurring with surplus.

    It’s a blow to Bill English.
    ‘Since 2011 Finance Minister Bill English has promised to return the books to black in 2014-15 after six straight deficits through the global financial crisis and the aftermath of the Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes.’

    While Key gets mentioned in the following way when he quoted.
    “”For one thing inflation is running at a much lower level than was anticipated. That affects the Crown’s revenue. That’s actually a good news story for New Zealanders because it means their dollars are going further and their pay rises are more meaningful but it does have an impact on our income.”

    English is the incompetent one.
    Key cares about ordinary Kiwis.

    And our compliant corporate media allows his spin merchants to frame their stories in this way.

    The cult of the dear leader. Immune from the incompetence and dirty dealings of his underlings. A friend of the people. In what type of political structures has this promotion of the cult of leader been used before?

  18. dave 18

    John key promised a brighter future ,John key promised pay parity with Australia ,where is the rock star economy ? where are the pay rises for the workers and the affordable homes in line with income ?John key has delivered jack shit and should be run out of dodge

    • NZJester 18.1

      Actually I think we do have a “Rock Star Economy”.
      Lets look at what some rock stars do with their money.

      Some of them spend more money than they have earned by getting advances from their record companies.
      (National borrowed lots of money from overseas)

      If their records fail to sell as well as they had hoped to cover their lavish wasting of money they sink further and further into debt.
      (The financial crisis caused a much lower tax intake than National expected)

      They sell off some of the rights to their songs to help pay back the mounting debt losing a lot of future revenue from their songs.
      (National partly sold off some of our most profitable assets loosing a lot of the future revenue from them.)

      They end up broke and living on the streets.
      (That is what is happening to a lot of Kiwis thanks to National)

      So when you say “Where is the rock star economy?”, I say unfortunately we are living it.

    • Iron Sky 18.2

      dave:

      You asked: where is the rock star economy ?

      According to dip shit backed she from the “AN not NZ bank” its now a “happy campers” economy. All brought to you by RNZ, the NATIONAL, National RaDIO

      What a bunch of Fxxken knobs……..

      Trying to get the best one liner in.

      NZ is sunk like a skunk

  19. b waghorn 19

    Please sir/madam how the could it be a surplus any way when we are in debt for 90 odd billion.?
    My bank account is in the black most of the time but I’ve still got a mortgage.

  20. McFlock 20

    I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you.

    These motherfuckers have looted the country and delivered the coup de grace to execute the classless society, completing a process that began in the mid1980s.

    Lying all the way.

    We never were going to have a surplus – it was just a handy ruse for the criminals to delay people figuring out the con.

    • dave 20.1

      i remember fuken roger Douglas telling us within 10 years we would be dancing in the streets 30 years latter there on the fucken streets or in garages or sheds those neoliberal mother fuckers sold us out stole the wealth of the country national passed there employment contract same labour laws advocated by the Chicago school of economic gangsters and used to loot south America new Zealand is no more than a banana economy John key and his neoliberal mates should be hanging from the leafy trees fuck iam angry !oh thanks baby boomer’s you really fucked up the future

      • McFlock 20.1.1

        The phrase “intergenerational theft” really needs more air-time.

        Although the trees line was a bit far.

        • Once wasTim 20.1.1.1

          ….. well only if he’s seriously advocating it, not if it’s merely an observation of the similarities evident in recent history (like like like as in political figures strung up on lamp posts for various betrayals).
          Don’t get me wrong, I’m just making the observation that in times past, the elite thought they’d be protected by being in control of superior might. Today they think they have an added advantage of things like the gated-community – except that the guards eventually have family doing it tough, and at its most extreme, the guards end up doing it tuff themselves when it all comes time to ‘cash up’
          ….. just saying

  21. Lloyd 21

    I am still struggling to comprehend that Bill English cannot understand that inequality causes an economic drag on an economy.

    • dave 21.1

      he understands al-right but like any neolibleral fucker he choose head down arse up approach and for all you wankers that voted national I hope you are happy tonight

      • tc 21.1.1

        Why wouldn’t you when MSM sock puppets step aside so you get away with it.

        He could attribute it to moon cycles and they’d laud him as a genius.

  22. redfred 22

    I wonder if treasury forecast has taken into account NZ Superfund exposure to Shale /Oil /Energy investments, like the March $200 million investment in KKR Energy.

    • Brutus Iscariot 22.1

      Those aren’t part of the government’s operating balance, they’re a separate investment bucket – P&L of the Super Fund is totally independent from the rest of the government’s books.

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