Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, February 2nd, 2012 - 100 comments
Treasury has blown the dust off its 1980s economics textbooks and offered the same old failed prescription. Their moronic suggestion to cut education spending to finance tax cuts can be dismissed out of hand. But their suggestion of core Crown spending cuts has some merit; I know where we can get $75m that’s being spent on useless advice and incompetent forecasting.
Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, February 2nd, 2012 - 36 comments
It’s tough getting a job in the Key economy. There’s 80,000 more people wanting work since Key came to office and 43,000 fewer jobs. Fortunately, there’s always a do-nothing government job going … if you know the right people. Eh, Catherine Isaac? Sure she’s got no qualifications but the ACT leader-in-waiting needs an income.
Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, February 1st, 2012 - 6 comments
Embattled Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt was asked on Campbell Live last night if he is worth his $500K salary. He said it is the market rate (in fact, its 100K over the median) and he would do the job whether the pay “was 200K or a million”. Now, doesn’t that mean the market clearing price for his labour is $200K? The Council could do a lot with an extra $300K. When’s the pay cut coming?
Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, December 16th, 2011 - 16 comments
Brian Fellow wrote a piece in the Herald yesterday on how NZ has too many ministers. Hard not to agree. 28 ministers. Nearly half of the governing parties’ MPs. 90+ portfolios. Ministerial warrants are clearly being used to keep backbenchers and minor parties in line. Too many do nothing ministers on big salaries while the rest of us have to cut back.
Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, November 22nd, 2011 - 8 comments
Checking out data matches that show beneficiaries may have moved overseas and stopping their benefit if they have. That’s back-office work, eh? Exactly the kind of ‘unsexy’ jobs National has been cutting. Well, MSD stopped data matching because its resource were stretched too thin – and overpayments doubled to $19m. Heck of a job, National.
Written By: - Date published: 10:35 pm, October 13th, 2011 - 60 comments
Just me or is he developing a severe list? Could be in danger of breaking up.
Written By: - Date published: 10:04 am, September 2nd, 2011 - 17 comments
National promised to get tough ‘undeserving’ state house tenants. (always someone to get tough on when maintaining the privileges of the elite) The first targets were 3 women and their kids, judged guilty by association with their partners who were charged with burglary (the charges were dropped). 2 years and $1m wasted and the government has given up.
Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, August 24th, 2011 - 41 comments
During his disastrous campaign trip to Kapiti yesterday, John Key said the Kapiti Expressway would be paid for by asset sales. Labour will do neither. National won’t release the Expressway’s benefit-cost ratio but it will cost $500m ($30K per metre). To get it, we would have to sell half of Solid Energy, which has paid us $310m of dividends in the past 5 years.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, August 16th, 2011 - 34 comments
Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, July 28th, 2011 - 16 comments
The government has put out a new policy statement on transport. Total funding is unchanged. But cost of the RoNS is rising before they’re even built. So, it’s more money into white elephant highways. Less money for road safety, local roads, road policing, and public transport. Stupid myopic policy.
Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, June 3rd, 2011 - 13 comments
After intense criticism for using government-owned helicopters for personal trips, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has reimbursed the state for the cost of the flights. I look forward to John Key following Christie’s lead and repaying us for his flights to watch the V8s in Hamilton.
Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, May 10th, 2011 - 36 comments
It took National some weeks to get together a line on their multitudinous spending scandals. When they did, it was rather predictable: ‘Labour’s focused on the small things’. Pretty rich coming from corgi-boy Key. No defence of the actual excesses either. But, naturally, the Herald editorial has swallowed and regurgitated the line.
Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, May 9th, 2011 - 27 comments
Patrick Gower has more on the helicopter flight that John Key took in 2009 after opening a walkway that Key says was necessary because of mystery meetings that were supposedly arranged that afternoon. The flight cost us $2,000 when Key learned the helicopter was owned by the Velas.
Written By: - Date published: 2:08 pm, May 7th, 2011 - 28 comments
“We see you on TV a lot. What else do you do?” – schoolkid to John Key at yet another photo-op.
In other news, Key was lying when he said he doesn’t have any choice over his DPS entourage. Helen Clark dismissed her DPS cover for at least 73 days when on private holidays. Key spent $30K of our money taking the DPS to Hawaii.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 6th, 2011 - 13 comments
The out of touchness, she burns! In a few short replies, the Nats said so much this week. The stories of perk abuse have been rolling out almost too fast, in fact. Each needs following up, each minister needs to be hounded, but there are so many targets. The galling thing is in a fortnight the Nats will tell us ‘everyone has to tighten their belts’.
Written By: - Date published: 6:09 am, May 4th, 2011 - 24 comments
Cameron Slater has the inside word on Murray McCully’s $75,000 trip to Vanuatu on a New Zealand Air Force plane that involved flying the 126-seater there and back to drop him and seven staff off, then there and back again the next day to pick them up. This story gets worse the more details come out.
Written By: - Date published: 1:22 am, April 30th, 2011 - 63 comments
The government has spent $1 million so far on 350 campervans for Christchurch. One person stayed in them. For that money, better to put them up at Premier House and commute them by Iroquois. There is a massive housing need in Christchurch but the campervans were so shitty and expensive people preferred overcrowded or damaged houses.
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, April 21st, 2011 - 76 comments
Key’s helicopter rides. Huge waste of money for what? A V8 photo-op then a golf club dinner. Why are we paying this guy $7750 a week to do nothing but photo ops? Where’s the recovery package for the West Coast? Where’s the Chch plan? Where’ the brighter future? Sorry, PM’s been too busy playing race cars and eating fancy dinners.
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, April 20th, 2011 - 4 comments
The government’s books are tight. We shouldn’t borrow more, so there need to be reversals of the tax cuts and spending cuts. What matters is what is cut – all cuts are not the same. I’d like to see the $110 billion dollars of subsidies for greenhouse polluters under National’s Emissions Trading Scheme cut.
Written By: - Date published: 8:57 pm, April 17th, 2011 - 32 comments
This Herald story about spin doctor Brad Tattersfield was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Ministerial offices of the Prime Minister, Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, and the Chief Executive of the Department of Labour to “minimise scandal” is one example of the sort of back-room spending of public money I’d like to see cut.
Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, April 15th, 2011 - 49 comments
National pollster David Farrar reckons that its sweet for the elite to spend $100 a head on meals at the taxpayer’s expense. Same time as he’s sneering at a woman struggling to get by feeding four people on $200 a week. This is National’s New Zealand. The best for the elite. Cat food for the rest.
Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, April 11th, 2011 - 19 comments
The Crown BMWs are back in the news. One will have a $1000 underseat heater to keep a worthy’s arse toasty. Based in Dunedin. For “long-distance and long-duration movements”. Hmm. Who flies to Dunedin for a 3 hour drive to Dipton occasionally? Guess you need that heater against the Southern cold when you’re used to balmy Karori.
Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, April 6th, 2011 - 55 comments
Shivering in your earthquake-damaged home, wondering how you’ll come up with $190 a week for a campervan after your emergency benefit ends? Living on cat food because GST and price hikes put real food out of reach? Don’t worry, Pita Sharples to the rescue: he’s gifting 1.9 million taxpayer dollars to a hapu in his electorate to build an inflatable, plastic waka.
Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, March 30th, 2011 - 58 comments
Key and English are trying to soften us up for big public service cuts this budget. They tell us it’ll just be ‘nice to haves’ and that the private sector will step in to fill the gap when they cut too close to the bone. The important thing to realise is that every time the public service doesn’t provide us with something either we have to buy it out of our own pockets (usually at greater cost) or we don’t get it at all.
Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, February 19th, 2011 - 24 comments
The limo issue reveals everything wrong with the Key government in microcosm: greedy, elitist, hypocritical, liars. Against the background of the failing economy, it’s one hell of a bad look. But in monetary terms, it pales in to comparison beside their decision to cancel Cullen Fund contributions, which has now cost $334 million.
Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, February 16th, 2011 - 36 comments
Key says he didn’t know about the BMW purchase. Funny cause on Tuesday, English was taking responsibility: “we could go out and buy second-hand cars but one way or another cars need to be maintained”. The Nats try to blame Labour but the contract Labour signed says replacing the cars was optional without penalty.
Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, February 3rd, 2011 - 5 comments
Crushless Collins’ double-bunking money saver costing $2.6m.
Shock! Paying someone else to build and operate our schools won’t save money.
Nat-appointed public service chiefs paid to air-commute. Pay cuts for frontline.
Key smiles at launch of new science ministry, waves in $3m of science funding cuts.
Written By: - Date published: 6:19 am, December 14th, 2010 - 49 comments
Two years ago we had one of the best government balance sheets in the world. Key said we didn’t have a debt problem. Two years of him as PM, and we sure have one now. When we learn exactly how dire things are later today, remember that National brought this on us by borrowing $3 billion a year for tax cuts that no-one noticed.
Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, December 10th, 2010 - 8 comments
The sum Phil Heatley has so far spent trying to get three women and their families evicted from their state houses, an effort to look tough, is the equivalent to the cost of building two new state houses. Over half a million spent on an ultimately pointless exercise – one that’s far from finished.
Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, November 26th, 2010 - 224 comments
It’s pretty bloody late in his tenure to be saying it, but Police Commissioner Howard Broad has joined with every expert in telling politicians that their braindead, populist policy of increasing the number of crimes and ramping up prison sentences has to stop. It’s not a solution to crime, it’s making it worse.