Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, March 25th, 2011 - 24 comments
As we brace for this year’s budget it’s important to remember that no change is a cut. A dollar today buys nearly 5% less than it did a year ago and there are 1% more New Zealanders. This is the most subtle and insidious way that the Right can undermine public services, by letting inflation and population growth do the work for them.
Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, March 23rd, 2011 - 9 comments
Turia’s learning the price of loyalty. Her Whanau Ora is getting cuts. Key knows she’ll roll over and vote for any budget to keep her seat in the limo. Hide’s 2025 Taskforce is for the chop too. Key says it’s not worth the money. Never was. 300K down the drain. Brash off the gravy train; back to corned beef and peas. Bet Key’s silly cycleway won’t be cut.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, March 23rd, 2011 - 41 comments
The Nats want us to believe there is no other option than massive cuts to government spending. Roughly, a third of the cuts covers the earthquake rebuilding, another third covers the Nats’ tax cuts for the rich, and the last third covers the revenue loss from this neverending recession. So, how come the Nats can afford another round of tax cuts for the rich?
Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, March 22nd, 2011 - 29 comments
John Armstrong’s contacts in National are telling him that Working for Families and student loans are the targets for cuts in this year’s budget. He also reveals the real reason for National opposing the widely-supported earthquake levy: putting on a tax would be an admission that tax cuts for the rich were a mistake in the first place.
Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, March 22nd, 2011 - 71 comments
“The worldwide recession is not your fault… You are being softened up for cuts in social spending… It’s easy to see the people this government is looking after. If you are a bank boss on $5.6million, helping cause a recession, you get an extra five thousand a week. If you are on the minimum wage – you get an extra 25 cents an hour.”
Written By: - Date published: 10:41 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 91 comments
John Key says there’ll be no new money in the Budget. The health, education, and other locked-in increases plus the Christchurch rebuild will come from cuts elsewhere. Cuts of up to 32%. It doesn’t have to be that way. The rebuild and the shortfall can be easily covered if Key wanted to. If he chooses to slash and burn, it’s because he wants to.
Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, March 21st, 2011 - 41 comments
There was already going to be too little money in Budget 2011 for maintenance of public services. Now what little there was is being further slashed in the name of Christchurch. An Earthquake Levy is not an option, rather we’ll all pay through increased borrowing and 25% cuts in services like police, transport, justice and social services.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, February 16th, 2011 - 26 comments
As you know, National has been trying to justify selling off our assets and cutting our public services to pay for tax cuts for the rich by saying that debt is at dangerous levels and we risk a credit downgrade. Numerous commentators have shown that’s false. Now, the final nail in the coffin has come from credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.
Written By: - Date published: 10:54 pm, February 8th, 2011 - 68 comments
John Key’s government is just two years old but it is already clearly bereft of ideas. His lacklustre speech showed no innovative thinking. There was just his usual bile directed at Labour and the same old failed National formula: asset sales, welfare cuts, and public service cuts masked by restructuring to fund tax cuts for the rich elite.
Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, February 1st, 2011 - 23 comments
Today is the day that Anne Tolley’s $400 million dollar cut to early childhood education bites. A sector which delivers $13 value for every $1 invested is really going to hurt. Centres themselves are having different responses: 90% of centres are definitely raising fees – between $2 – $80 per week, with an average of […]
Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, February 1st, 2011 - 26 comments
The early childhood education cuts have hit – families will face an average $20-$45 a week increase in the cost of sending a kid to kindy. And Anne Tolley is signaling more to come. But it’s not just the education of the next generation that’s for the chop as National seeks to balance the books after its tax cuts for the rich binge.
Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, January 18th, 2011 - 11 comments
The Tertiary Education Union’s new National President, Sandra Grey, joins us for a guest post on the challenges facing tertiary education as the government cuts funding and institutions are ‘rationalised’ to focus on economic values alone. Tertiary education can be so much more than that.
Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, January 16th, 2011 - 22 comments
Since it came to office, National has cut the Conservation budget in real terms by 2% and the cuts are going to get deeper. Now, we learn that DoC is looking at contracting out camping areas on the conservation estate to be run for a profit. Coincidence? I think not. It’s privatisation by stealth.
Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, December 8th, 2010 - 16 comments
One of the features of the neoliberal revolution has been the outsourcing of public service delivery, usually to not-for-profits, sometimes to profit-making entities like private hospitals. Whanau Ora is an extension of this. Two recent stories have exemplified the risks of this model – corruption and cuts by stealth.
Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, October 15th, 2010 - 19 comments
The government is refusing to step up to save IHC providers that are insolvent due to a recent court case that resulted in IHC carers being awarded hundreds of millions in back wages. The government is washing its hands, even though it is the primary funder of the services. Will the Nats let IHC collapse or will they use this to bring in their corporate mates?
Written By: - Date published: 11:16 am, October 3rd, 2010 - 23 comments
Early childhood education is great stuff. Those first few years shape a child’s future more than any other. Getting into learning and into socialising early on leads to huge rewards later in life. Parents can go back to work if they want or need too. For every dollar spent on ECE, society gets 13 back in benefits.
Written By: - Date published: 9:17 am, September 1st, 2010 - 7 comments
Key says that teachers are “disconnected from the real world” for wanting a pay rise that will barely beat inflation. This from the same guy who promised higher wages. The same guy chucked half a billion dollars this year alone on the taxpayer credit card for tax cuts for the rich. The only people disconnected from the real world are those who think skimping on education and health will take this country forward.
Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, June 8th, 2010 - 24 comments
According to a new report: “New Zealand is a great place for children if their parents have a good income, live in a warm dry house and are well educated.” However if you’re not born into a privileged household, then death and disease “is worse than that of all but two [developed] countries, Mexico and Turkey.”
Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, June 1st, 2010 - 19 comments
You’ve got to hand it to John Key. He’s so good at distraction he could be a rodeo clown. Yesterday, a classic case in point. Asked about his government’s cuts to early childhood education, Key talked about getting the cruelest cut instead. The journos were so surprised they forgot their questions. Mission accomplished. But we can still examine what the Nats are cutting.
Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, April 23rd, 2009 - 18 comments
On the impending job losses at the IRD, TVNZ reporter Catherine Loft ended her report with: “Anyone who once thought that they were safe working for our government really needs to think again”. I wonder how on earth they could have got that idea?