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The Labour lite budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, May 25th, 2017 - 25 comments
Categories: budget 2017, child welfare, election 2017, housing, national/act government, parliamentary spending, Politics, Steven Joyce, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Today is budget day.

This afternoon the Government will with much fanfare release the 2017 budget.

Budget day is probably the most important day of the year for the Government. It is the day that they are able to spread the love around aka announce new spending and talk about what wonderful things they plan to do if re-elected.  The length of the post budget honeymoon is an important indicator of the Government’s popularity.

National will announce a budget surplus and their MPs will then stand up and clap. And Steven Joyce will also claim that the Government will pay off debt quicker and the MPs will again stand up and clap.

Surpluses are wonderful things. Unless the Government is a Labour Government. Then they are evidence of excessive taxation and too big government. And paying down Crown debt is also a wonderful thing unless you are a Labour Government then it is evidence that a tax cut should have been imposed instead.

And increasing crown debt from $10 billion to $93 billion is paradoxically a good thing. Sure this was to shelter the country from the effects of the Global Financial crisis (caused by rampant greed and Wall Street merchant bankers of which our previous Prime Minister was one) and the rebuild of our second largest city hit by two earthquakes but if it was a Labour Government who increased debt in this way it would be a terrible thing.

It is clear that National is willing to morph occasionally into a Labour lite party often as long as it retains power. This means the occasional spend that can be used to claim they are doing something about child poverty and the housing crisis.

It sounds like there will be an adjustment today to tax thresholds and to working for families to provide families with more income. There will also be an increase to the accommodation supplement which will cause rental inflation. But I cannot see how an increase to take home pay can be achieved and debt levels reduced unless the increase is minuscule.

Health will no doubt receive increased funding. Although if it will be enough to properly accommodate for an ageing and increasing population time will tell.

Multi year funding increases will be announced. This makes it sound like the Government is doing a great deal.

There may even be an increase in funding for Radio New Zealand, the first one in this Government’s term.

If you want an example of what will occur National’s recent announcement of 34,000 new houses (actually 26,000 after demolished houses are taken into account) was put up to oppose Labour’s announced policy of 50,000 affordable houses. Notice the difference?

Essentially the budget will give National MPs talking points for the election campaign where they can say they are doing things for ordinary people. But the big issues, such as climate change and how we are going to deal with finding over a billion dollars a year because this administration is refusing to do anything about our CO2 and methane output, will not be addressed.

Today’s budget will be a political exercise, not an attempt to address the country’s problems. Today’s budget will be a Labour lite budget. People will have the chance this year of voting for the real thing.

25 comments on “The Labour lite budget ”

  1. Keith 1

    To begin with;

    “The National Party is preparing to march straight into traditional Labour territory with Thursday’s Budget”, so says Jane Patterson of RNZ. Bullshit Jane!

    Since when do Labour cut taxes like that Jane?? It is just another tax cut we cannot afford, not unless we are satisfied that the lack of money that permeates every government department apart from the Spy agencies, is acceptable. Not acceptable unless we think shopkeepers are to blame for being robbed, beaten and demoralised because of the appalling fall out from lack of spending by government on social services and policing.

    And this “surplus”, Christ all mighty, what a myth. Any idiot can run a surplus in their own household if they cease spending money where they should and book the rest up to debt. Dear God I am over this so called “surplus” It is not, it is simply deferred spending. It is a lie, a myth, a vision, a phantom surplus.

    And finally any new so called extra spending needs to be scrutinised. It will consist of prior announcements, over 5 plus years but only if certain conditions are met. It will be a bigger version of Nationals fraudulent 34000 new homes crap.

    • NewsFlash 1.1

      Keith, your absolutely right in what you say, but, are Kiwi’s smart enough or concerned enough to give a dam.

      No western country that has cut taxation in the past, is in a better position socially today, nearly all have seen a fall in living standards, a higher rate of unemployment, a widening gap in inequality and an increase in petty crime.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Also copied from Scott Morrison’s leg side play just a few weeks back.

  3. tc 3

    Plays into labours hands then if they’re smart about it.

    Imitation is a form of praise so combine that with nacts intransigence and highlight how ineffective what they’re proposing is.

    Sheeple need to be shaken awake up to yet another con job from the hollowmen.

  4. adam 4

    So is the title an admission that the labour party, are nothing more than another liberal party which occupy the radical center of NZ politics?

    So this is the lite version, like all diet products, it leaves a rather sickly after taste in your mouth, and does nothing for your digestion. I get some people want a whole product, or the full cream option of liberal economics.

    But is it not time to change course? Or at least go for a social democratic option, which on the whole preformed better for the whole body politic rather than this insipid, and awful tasting option the radical center is offering…

  5. Ad 5

    Those changes to the tax thresholds are not as bold as I would have hoped, but they are exactly in the right direction.

    They should have done exactly that and more in the 2010 tax cuts.

    My major surprise is that they have spent so much on future infrastructure proprammes (including Kiwirail!) rather than go straight at Labour and roll out a massive house building programme. This would have neutered Labour’s only remaining campaign plank of any note.

    Overall it’s a strong Labour budget, but without campaign-electrifying promises.

    • mordecai 5.1

      The main difference between National’s housing plans and Labour’s is that National’s is achievable. Oh, and National is running an economy that makes the money available. That would be beyond Labour in any but the very best of global economic times.

      • Keith 5.1.1

        Nationals housing plans are achievable because in reality they so insipid. What is it in reality, 2000 houses over 10 years? That does not fix anything.

        And strangling government departments of money and racking up debt does make money more available but you end up spending it on the above problem so what is achieved again?

        • Wayne

          Rather forgetting the other 32,000 the govt is building in Auckland over the next ten years.

          • Barfly

            How many was National’s “Special Housing Areas” going to build you know Wayne the action trumpeted by Nick Smith?

            Turned out to be in the “lies, stories and songs they made up” category Didn’t it Wayne?

            Do you selectively forget things like this Wayne?

            You know – to make it easier to peddle the current batch of lies ,half-truths and misrepresentations?

          • Robert Guyton

            ” is building in Auckland over the next ten years.”

            Nonsense statement. “Is” – present tense

        • mordecai

          See Wayne’s comments below.
          As for ‘strangling government departments of money’…care to give some examples?
          And ‘racking up debt’, well our debt to GDP is low by international standards. I assume you wouldn’t approve of borrowing to re-build Canterbury, and shelter the most vulnerable through the GFC?

  6. Tuppence Shrewsbury 6

    This is what the voters want? So rather than bemoaning the fact it’s labour lite, why don’t they do same?

    Give a little to all and maintain the pragmatic centre. If that was the general policy approach from labour combined with Jacinda as leader they’d romp Home this election

  7. UpandComer 7

    Labour would be fine if they ever supported their own policies. They want to build houses. Why then have they held up Three Kings development for three years. Why are they helping the middle class NIMBY’s in Point England, taking it to the environment court to languish for years, so they can stop Iwi housing poor families on a fraction of public land. Why did they oppose Tamaki Development. Why did they oppose Britomart expansion and Transmission Gully. Why do they oppose RMA reform with Dunne. How can they possibly build 100000 houses if local construction is at capacity but we can’t import workers.

    I think Bill summed it up. They’re going to build 4 times or so as many houses as National, for much less, in less time, and they’re going to do it on land they don’t own.
    It’s just a dumb fairy tale.

  8. Policy Parrot 8

    National are at serious risk of being outflanked to the right by a well designed labour tax and income package te eutyvthat would deliver more cash into the hands of those who vote with their wallets.

  9. Policy Parrot 9

    National are at serious risk of being outflanked to the right by a well designed labour tax and income package that would deliver more cash into the hands of those who vote with their wallets.

    • Ad 9.1

      You are saying Labour would provide even greater tax relief to all strata of incomes than National did today?

      • Policy Parrot 9.1.1

        They could easily just push the first bracket out to $26k to generate another $5 per week. It gives hip pocket voters an unexpected choice and if jays match it they’ll be pilloried for not offering it in the first place. And that’s just a start.

  10. millsy 10

    Typical Howard-Clark-Blair strategem of shoveling out tax cuts and transfer payments to the middle class. By the time they come into effect, they would have been eaten up be higher interest rates and rent payments.

    The country’s landlords will be thinking “great, now I can put the rent up”.

  11. Michael 11

    It was a Labour-lite Budget, too, as there is little (no pun intended) Labour would have done differently had it been in government. Therein lies the problem: people have given up on Labour because it is indistinguishable from National (and they don’t trust it because of its record from 1984 onwards). What is to be done, as my old Uncle Vlad used to say?

  12. Slide like a snake , Joyce.

    Dildo Joyce.


    T. REX THE SLIDER – YouTube
    Video for the slider you tube▶ 3:36

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