Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, April 10th, 2018 - 245 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, assets, Economy, health, national, Politics, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: jonathan coleman
Steven Joyce’s $11.7 billion fiscal hole is becoming more and more of a reality although it is in hidden infrastructure costs that National had suppressed in search of the elusive surplus. Imagine tolerating shit leaking into the walls of a major hospital just so that you could claim the bragging rights of having a surplus, something the previous Labour Government managed to achieve every year it was in power.
And there are more shocks to come. And Labour is going to let everyone know about them. From Benedict Collins at Radio New Zealand:
The government is going to drip feed stories of public sector underfunding by the previous government in the run-up to next month’s Budget, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has indicated.
Ms Ardern is playing down expectations of a big spending budget next month saying her government did not realise how bad the under-investment in public services had been under National.
She said it was now clear National put budget surpluses ahead of the wellbeing of New Zealanders, and chronically short-changed public services.
“I’ve always said that from the beginning we thought it would be bad, we didn’t know it would be this bad.
“And the public is seeing just a snapshot of it now, the state of Middlemore Hospital I think is emblematic of what we’re seeing across the board.”
Ms Ardern said Budget 2018 would be a rebuilding budget.
“This Budget is reinvesting in core services – that’s what New Zealanders expect, that’s what we have to do.”
While she refused to give any details of what’s coming, Ms Ardern indicated the government would release stories of the public sector underfunding by the National government.
“What we are flagging is that as we’ve gone through this process we’ve uncovered things we didn’t expect. We want to build more transparency around that as we lead up to Budget day.
National is resorting to its Crosby Textor designed and patented reply to all claims response, there are always crises, they dealt with them successfully (although how tolerating shit leaks in a hospital for six years is classified as successful is beyond me), and we have a wonderful strong economy obviously not measured by the levels of homelessness and poverty. And Labour should just get on and govern. Remember the chorus of “nine long years” they used to say incessantly?
And the blame game is now happening over Counties Manukau Health Board’s problems. Jonathan Coleman burst into print last night on facebook and said that since Counties Manukau “through life” was so high he could not possibly have known about the problems. Counties Manukau’s figure was 11% indicating how much of its total life its buildings had experienced. The figure was by far the lowest in the country. But former Chair Lee Mathias elected to respond:
I do not know what the LTIP 2016 is but if it a reference to the Northern Region Health Plan 2016/17 there is this passage:
There are a number of facilities in our region that are not fit for purpose and require substantial investment. About 17% of our buildings are ranked ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. There are also buildings with seismic issues that still need to be addressed.
Coleman’s claim that he did not know about the problems is barley credible. No doubt as time goes by further significant and costly issues that occurred because of the last Government’s insistence on obtaining a surplus will occur.