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The Minister of Finance’s Mini-Budget

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, December 14th, 2017 - 88 comments
Categories: grant robertson, labour, Politics - Tags:

Today is a great test for our Labour-led government.

It’s the release of a mini-budget set well in advance of the main budget set for May 2018.

This advanced timing sets the government into a much faster pace of delivery than otherwise.

You will all have your own priorities, but the government’s ones have been well forecast is in the 100-day agreement.

Though you may be familiar with most of them, here they are again and how they are tracking.

The House will be sitting under urgency to crack on with them.

Some highlights from the coalition deal itself to remind us.

This government has all the following winds it could hope for: bulging surplus, strong economy, no major international crises, and a list designed to be do-able.

Let’s see how fast they can bank these first set of promises, so that they can then set themselves even more challenging policy goals.

88 comments on “The Minister of Finance’s Mini-Budget ”

  1. mauī 1

    Things are developing much quicker than I thought they would with this Labour government. Ban on foreign home owners, min. rental standards, first year fees free for students – major stuff on housing and education all inside 50 days of Government!

    Here’s a comparison with what National did in it’s first 100 days in 2008, there’s a strong focus on crime and employment:
    http://salient.org.nz/2009/03/nationals-first-100-days/

    • dv 1.1

      Thats good to have Maui

    • red-blooded 1.2

      Hey we’re not even half way through the first 100 days of this government. There’s some really good stuff happening, and groundwork being laid for other good developments. Great to see Chris Hipkins announcing the review of NCEA, for example.

      And any financial holes seem to be taking the form of unbudgetted-for spending commitments made by the last government but not appearing in the PREFU because they hadn’t actually set aside the money. No wonder outside experts couldn’t see that hole, Messers Joyce and English!

      • cleangreen 1.2.1

        100% RB.

        yes labour coalition is just less than eight weeks into the 100 days so we were very happy to see them moving so quickly now, even though national’s ‘dirty politics’ npolicy of throwing over 6000 questions at the incominng government in an attempt to slow them down, failed to work for national in their attempt to slow labour coalition down but instead made them “energised ” to complete their 100 day pledge good for them they need our praise for this.

        national need a big greasy stick, and be tarred and ridiculed for their continual “dirty politics”

    • alwyn 1.3

      “major stuff on housing”
      What have they done on housing?
      They even seem to have abandoned the non-resident ownership principle for anyone from Australia or Singapore and don’t seem to have a plan for any other country either.

      • mauī 1.3.1

        Major stuff on housing like the two policies I mentioned.

        It obviously excludes Australians and Singaporeans due to existing agreements with those countries. Are they supposed to have renegotiated complex agreements with those countries inside 50 days too? Meanwhile they’ve got a housing a crisis to sort.

        • alwyn 1.3.1.1

          I don’t really think that “min rental standards”, is a major advance.
          The also haven’t banned ANY foreign buyers of houses yet.
          They are still just talking about it.

          • marty mars 1.3.1.1.1

            rwnj doesn’t like labour cos yawn.

          • tracey 1.3.1.1.2

            Your question was

            ” What have they done on housing? ”

            You were told and didnt like the answer.

            Gosh still drafting the legislation after 2 months. The bastards.

            Remember in GFC when the answer to job losses was a job summit which wasnt held til 2018. You must have been apoplectic about the slowness of it all.

    • + 1 yep all going well so far

  2. tracey 2

    How many “experts” will be interviewed for news bulletins versus English and Joyces reckons?

    • alwyn 2.1

      They might put some of the bank economists on the TV programs.
      They seemed to be almost unanimous that Labour would have to borrow much more than they had claimed.
      What would they know of course. They are merely professionals at the subject.
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/98870648/Economists-see-Government-debt-rising-billions-more-than-Labours-plan
      Stick to listening to Morning Report. Nothing will be said there.

      • Johan 2.1.1

        “They seemed to be almost unanimous that Labour would have to borrow much more than they had claimed.”
        A definite sign that National had been underfunding gov’t departments under its watch?

      • What would they know of course. They are merely professionals at the subject.

        Good question. These are the same people who caused the GFC while telling us that everything was hunky-dory.

        So, chances are, probably nothing worth knowing.

        • cleangreen 2.1.2.1

          Oh Draco we also heard national lying at the same time as they ‘grossly underfunded’ our ‘essential services’ while at the same time then they were saying “we have a rockstar economy” – bloody lairs all!!!!!

      • SpaceMonkey 2.1.3

        What would they know? They’re debt pimps… of course they’re going to talk about borrowing. Debt is the only game they know.

      • Macro 2.1.4

        “bank economists” lol
        know nothing idiots who talk ideology and live in a bubble completely devoid of reality.
        Definition of experts – x is the unknown quantity, and a spurt is a drip under pressure.

      • peterh 2.1.5

        Well who cares if they borrow more, just stick it on the end of the $80.000.000 the last bunch of wankers borrowed ,HELLO for what tax cuts

      • tracey 2.1.6

        Looks like Farrar is first off the rank for Tracy Watkins… at least she finally remembers Key and English ran 2 zero budgets which Joyce and English suddenly became scornful of during the election.

        “Compared with some recent budgets – like the infamous zero budgets under John Key and Bill English – that might seem like money to burn. “

      • tracey 2.1.7

        Riiiight after the holes National left were revealled. You angry about Nationals incompetence or deceit on that alwyn or reserving it all for the new Govt?

  3. cleangreen 3

    Yes thanks for the ‘refresher.’

    We have reminded government about the new importance of getting started on regional rail restoration after national party wrecking machine went in 9 yrs ago and ruined our rail system pushing most freight onto our roads which have now become so dangerous that every bloody day someone dies on them as did this morning again when there was a truck and car fatal collision in Otago again we have many cases of proof that freight cannot all be carried on our single lane narrow hilly winding roads so we say to the Labour coalition bring back rail soon and save lives on our roads please now ‘lets do this’.

    Public COMMUNITY letter;
    14th December 2017.

    TO; Ministers,

    At the ‘One Planet Climate Change Summit’ this week in Paris 12-15th December 2017.

    NZ is cited as investors in our ‘Superfund’ among big investors pressuring climate polluters.

    NZ Government must now use Rail freight as it will greatly reduce our use and dependence on fossil fuels that cause climate change, and will save our cost of paying for “carbon credits” also.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/arctic-climate-change-report-sea-temperature-rise-melting-ice-caps-polar-environment-global-warming-a8106161.html
    1. Environment
    ‘Arctic climate ‘report card’ reveals ‘rapid and dramatic changes’ to the polar environment.’
    The latest warnings on this link above must be taken seriously now as time is short for saving our planet.

    Please respond to our request for rail freight transport coverage, as government is close to shutting down for two months shortly please

    • alwyn 3.1

      I suppose you will tell us that railways are totally safe.
      No-one ever gets killed there.
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/98560326/three-dead-after-separate-train-collisions-in-auckland-and-christchurch-in-one-night

      For your information there were a total of 65 deaths on New Zealand roads in 2016 for accidents involving a truck, (latest available).
      There were 111 in 1970 when rail was at its peak.
      Not really one a day is it?
      http://www.transport.govt.nz/research/roadcrashstatistics/motorvehiclecrashesinnewzealand/motor-vehicle-crashes-in-new-zealand-2016/

      • cleangreen 3.1.1

        We are not buying your national party bullshit any more Alwyn,

        Todays outburst shows you have clearly now shown that you hate rail.

        You seem to want trucks to take all freight on our roads, by the way you are attempting to run down all of the rail value, so come clean now and say it isn’t so now.

        Read the facts in the newly found rail report that labour found that national ordered and then when they read how important rail is hid it 18 months ago.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1711/S00309/study-highlights-rails-value-to-new-zealand.htm

        “Rail also means heavy vehicles such as trucks are on the roads for 11 million fewer hours each year – the equivalent of 30,000 trucks driving for an hour every day.

        “Using rail cuts New Zealand’s carbon emissions by 488,000 tonnes a year. That is the equivalent of taking 87,000 cars off the road, saving millions of dollars. Rail freight has 66% fewer carbon emissions than heavy road freight which is useful for New Zealand reaching its ambitious climate change targets.

        “New Zealand has a road toll issue with deaths on the road rising markedly since 2013. Taking trucks and cars off the road makes for a safer New Zealand with EY estimating that because we have a rail network, there are 271 fewer fatalities and injuries on the roads.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.1

          “shown that you hate rail”.

          You really sound tired and emotional.
          I don’t “hate” trucks. As I have explained to you at length on previous occasions I approve of train travel where it makes economic sense.
          To repeat what I have told you before, since you don’t seemed to have read, or remembered it previously..
          Freight transport makes sense on the following routes. Auckland/Hamilton/Tauranga triangle. Main Trunk from Auckland to Wellington.
          Christchurch West Coast link. Possibly Picton/Christchurch line unless all the freight is really Auckland/Christchurch in which case use coastal shipping.
          The only passenger transport that makes any sense is the Wellington urban transport lines from Wellington to Waikanae and Wellington to Upper Hutt.

          Nothing else. I particular not the Napier Gisborne route that wouldn’t load a train a week and would require millions per year to maintain the line in unstable country.

          Trains made a lot of sense in New Zealand prior to about 1960. There is very little need for them now.

          • alwyn 3.1.1.1.1

            Bloody typo’s.
            Repeat 50 times. It shouldn’t be ‘I don’t “hate” trucks’
            Should say ‘I don’t “hate” trains’.
            Why do I always see these things after the 10 minutes is up?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Why do I always see these things after the 10 minutes is up?

              Sometimes it takes me that long to spot mine. I put it down to inattention. Coincidentally, “inattention” could be used as an excuse for your entire political philosophy 😛

            • dv 3.1.1.1.1.2

              You really sound tired and emotional Alwyn.

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        How many of those were the fault of the train?

        Probably zero. How many people do trains hit a year? What, a tenth or a hundreth of the number killed by trucks?

        Although your link definitely indicates that truck-related injuries are daily, anyway.

        • cleangreen 3.1.2.1

          Yes Mcflock,

          Rail is shown as safer for passengers and others than trucks are.

          When a truck hits someone no-one lives through it, and theere are 200 000 truck trips around the country every year while rail would be less than 7% of that figure.

          If one train carries 50 to 60 truck loads of freight that means only one vehicle is used on rail compared to 50 or 60 truck movements.

          Using a rail line is choosing to travel on another track to where trucks, cars and other vehicles travel.

          So it is a no brainer here; – Rail freight is safer than truck freight on roads for other vehicle users and pedestrians.

        • alwyn 3.1.2.2

          Quick Google search gives the following.

          Deaths at level crossings were 53 between 2000 and 2016. Average of about 3 per year.
          Deaths of people trespassing on the tracks. 204 between 1994 and 2012. Average of about 11/year.
          That is around 14/year which is a great deal more than the Hundredth you talk about.

          Why don’t you do a little research before you start sounding off with made up numbers? You just look silly at the moment with your rubbish claims.

          • Patricia 3.1.2.2.1

            Alwyn – do you expect trains to give way to all vehicles at level crossings ? And stop when trespassers thinking they are immortal wander across tracks ?

            Travel to smaller towns and see the poor condition the roads are in – unable to accommodate the huge trucks that now speed around the country.

            • alwyn 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Do I expect trains to give way?
              Of course not. The can’t stop the way a car, or a truck for that matter, can.
              I understand it takes about 1.5 kilometres to stop one.
              It isn’t surprising that so many people get killed at level crossings is it?
              The train can’t stop and can’t swerve to avoid you.

              What I was pointing out of course is not that the train should stop. I was pointing out that, in spite of some people her saying that trains are much safer than trucks it simply isn’t true.
              I’m afraid that “cleangreen” is simply living in his own little world where trains are like the little red engine of children’s books.
              Safe and friendly as all heck.

              I’m not surprised that ‘cleangreen’ and ‘McFlock’ have retired for the night.
              They can’t answer my arguments because my statements are true and theirs aren’t.

          • gsays 3.1.2.2.2

            Gotta say alwyn, in respect to rubbish claims, spouting off and looking silly, that would describe your contribution to the discussion.

            • alwyn 3.1.2.2.2.1

              I suggest you look at my reply to McFlock’s comment just below.
              Trucks are safer than trains you see.
              Now why don’t you just give up. You are simply making yourself look really, really dumb.

          • McFlock 3.1.2.2.3

            Right, so that’s 14 vs 65, and those 14 are almost exclusively the fault of carelessness or suicidal intent on the part of the people who died.

            Whereas those 65 include people who were simply cycling to work and died through no fault of their own. Do you include them in your calculations of “economic sense”?

            • alwyn 3.1.2.2.3.1

              I suggest you look at these numbers.
              They give the amount of freight carried by road and by rail.
              http://www.transport.govt.nz/ourwork/tmif/freighttransportindustry/ft007/
              The number of ton-km carried on the road by trucks and trailers is, in a typical recent year about 5,3 times the number carried by rail.
              The deaths are about 4.6 times as many.
              On that basis the number of deaths in accidents involving trucks is LESS than the number of deaths in those involving trains when looked at as deaths per ton-km of freight.
              Thus trucks are SAFER than trains aren’t they?

              Any more foolish statements from you on the subject?
              Most people killed in accidents on the road are caused by carelessness, apart that is from people who grossly overindulge in alcohol and then drive.
              That is why I hope we get AVs promptly and cut down on all deaths involving road vehicles.

              • McFlock

                Keep polishing that trucking turd in glitter – the trains don’t cause the accidents. The drivers and pedestrians do. And in many cases the pedestrians have to deliberately go out of their way to have the collision (whether the collision was intended or not).

                Unlike trucks.

                BTW, when comparing freight levels you might want to read the wee notes about data quality. But I suppose you’d only do that when you don’t think the data supports your assumptions.

                • alwyn

                  ” the trains don’t cause the accidents”.
                  Wow, what a genius you are.
                  I suppose you would also tell us that the trucks don’t cause the accidents either?
                  And, as you are probably a member of the NRA you will tell us that the firearms don’t kill people either..

                  As for the freight levels. I presume you actually have some evidence, other than your fevered imagination, that backs up your own claims?
                  No? Why am I not surprised?

                  • cleangreen

                    Alwyn is either a truck driver or is part of the road freight industry we think Mc Flock.

                    Alwyn; – be a hero for a change and read this and learn the truth “for all our sakes”.

                    http://www.noted.co.nz/money/the-great-rail-revival-why-its-time-to-get-rail-back-on-track/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=LISTENER_newsletter_14-12-2017&utm_term=list_nzlistener_newsletter

                    The Roads of National Significance are built to the highest safety standards. But Sam Warburton, a research fellow with think tank the New Zealand Initiative and a former Ministry of Transport analyst, says they are “relatively lightly travelled compared to the cost incurred in constructing them”. With the road toll rising steadily since 2013, he says, some of the billions spent on these highways may have been better invested in targeted local improvements and risky black spots. He cites Ministry of Transport advice to this effect, which noted road safety improvements with high benefit-cost ratios were going unfunded.
                    At the same time as the funding hurdle was lowered for big highway projects, the Land Transport Management Act – the sector’s guiding legislation – was amended in 2013 to remove the explicit requirement for sustainability to be considered.
                    Rail advocates say these changes have effectively served as a subsidy for the trucking industry and added to the difficulties KiwiRail faces in competing for freight business even in the context of rising concern about climate change and an increasing awareness of the potential role of rail in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
                    Whereas the rail network carries 16% of freight (by tonne-kilometres), it generates only 0.2% of national emissions. In a 2016 report, the Royal Society of New Zealand noted that a tonne of freight moved by diesel-powered rail produces a third of the emissions the same tonnage going by truck would yield. It identified shifting more freight from road to rail or coastal shipping as a major opportunity for carbon dioxide reduction.

                    • alwyn

                      “Alwyn is either a truck driver or is part of the road freight industry we think “.
                      Neither actually, although I don’t suppose you will remember that any more than you remember previous occasions I have said it.
                      Do you suffer from repeated memory loss or do you simply ignore anything I say?
                      I have never had anything to do with the trucking industry.
                      I have also never had any licence except for a motor cycle in addition to one for a private car.
                      So stop speculating. You are no better at it than you are at economics.

                  • McFlock

                    Oh, trucks might cause some of the accidents. But trains can’t swerve across lanes, and always have right of way. So any collision between any person or vehicle cannot be the fault of the train driver, with pretty much the sole exception of ignoring signal lights and hitting another train.

                    But then you’ve never been riding a motorbike when the driver of a double trailer truck decides they decides want to change lanes, I guess.

                    • alwyn

                      I’ve never ridden a motorbike since one of my relatives was killed on one. A long, long, long time ago.
                      I gave up being a member of the “Break a leg instead of a fender” fraternity as our American cousins describe it.
                      I just kept the licence to ride one for nostalgic reasons.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, [insert vehicle here]. They can all be squashed by a heavy truck, through no fault of their own.

                      Whereas the only way to be hit by a train is to be on the tracks when you shouldn’t.

  4. Ad 4

    88,000 New Zealand children out of poverty by 2021:

    “Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021.*

    “Our priorities are different from the previous Government. We are targeting spending at the early years to invest at the time in life where the evidence shows it makes a difference.

    “Boosts to Working for Families, the introduction of Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment, reinstating the Independent Earner Tax Credit and continuing with the recent Accommodation Supplement changes will greatly help struggling families to access the basics which all New Zealanders should have.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1712/S00142/government-will-deliver-for-all-new-zealanders.htm

    • This is looking good. I like the increase in working for families – that will help. The focus on a clear target for the number of children lifted from poverty is also welcome – no matter how much we may quibble about the actual numbers or definitions. It is setting clear intentions – now the delivery of all this is next.

  5. Ad 5

    Changes occurring from July 1st 2018:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1712/S00149/children-and-families-gain-under-governments-policies.htm

    “As part of improvements to Working for Families, the Family Tax Credit rates will be simplified to a single eldest child rate and a single subsequent child rate – with substantial increases,” says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

    “The eldest child rate will increase to $5,878. At present it is $5,303 if the eldest child is aged 16-18, and $4,822 if the eldest child is aged 0-15.

    “The Orphan’s Benefit, Unsupported Child’s Benefit and Foster Care Allowance will also be increased by $20.31 a week. This means they receive the same increase as those getting the eldest child Family Tax Credit for children aged 0-15.

    “While Working for Families payments currently reduce once a family earns over $36,350 a year before tax, from 1 July 2018 a family can earn up to $42,700 before the payment begins to abate,” says Carmel Sepuloni.

    “The Government is also introducing a Best Start payment of $3,120 per child ($60 a week) for the first year, providing extra help to the parents of the estimated 65,000 newborns each year. For low- and middle-income earners, that support will continue until their child turns three,” says Tracey Martin.

    The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

    “These are affordable because we have rejected National’s tax cuts, which would give $440 million a year to the top 10 per cent of income earners while children and their families missed out,” says Carmel Sepuloni.

  6. Kay 6

    Ok, this “Winter energy payment” for all people on core benefits sounds promising. I will believe it only when it happens, but $450 would remove the fear of turning on the heater over the worst of winter which can only be a good thing.

    Given Lab/NZ1 have no desire to increase benefit rates I suppose it’s better than nothing, but the cynic in me sees this as a “look at us we DO care about beneficiaries” gesture. Like hell they do. Now wait for the bashers to have a field day over this one, and completely ignore the bit about nearly all of the extra payments going to pensioners (but that’s ok, they’re DESERVING of heat….)

    • tracey 6.1

      Maybe it should go to people’s nominated energy company?

      • SPC 6.1.1

        Does not work well with people changing power companies based on better deals from time to time. Or those buying wood for their wood burner etc.

        • tracey 6.1.1.1

          Understood. Was kind of pre empting the “but how do we know they will spend it on power” brigade… who ignore that people wantvto be warm but for the financial means to get warm.

          • SPC 6.1.1.1.1

            If one looks at it as a temporary increase in income for when their (energy) costs are at their highest, it makes a lot of sense.

          • Kay 6.1.1.1.2

            Tracey, that’s the crowd I’m waiting for, so about to go on a media blackout for a while. Not up for supplementary bashing at the moment. But to throw them a bit of raw meat- maybe I’ll be really naughty and use some of it towards getting some desperately needed new glasses, or something luxurious like that….

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.2

        “Maybe it should go to people’s nominated energy company?”

        Or firewood supplier?

  7. millsy 7

    I hope the winter fuel payment is delivered by an agency other than WINZ.

    • Ad 7.1

      Straight from IRD would be better

      • millsy 7.1.1

        I would set up a new agency.

        • Ad 7.1.1.1

          In the 7 months to July 2018? Winter’s coming.

          IRD already has all their accounts.

          • tracey 7.1.1.1.1

            Does IRD have all the accounts of those not paying their child financial obligations? How well do they administer that?

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes.

              They are undergoing a full rebuild of their computer architecture and operations at the moment.

              I hear that this particular task is not going to be an issue.

              • tracey

                Good cos it has been since I first became involved in it in 1988. Low priority from all govts since then as opposed to hounding beneficiaries which in tge same time has developed into a national sport. Even half tgat fervour on deducting payments from tge wages would go a long way.

  8. SPC 8

    I have always preferred a funding mechanism for the Super Fund that did not require a budget surplus (or borrowing) to finance. Thus was constant and affordable.

    One option was/is to surtax the wages of older workers.

    That said, the government pays $4B pa (and rising) in super payments to those over 65 still working. Stop that and there is the $2.7B for the super fund contributions right there.

  9. McFlock 9

    Cautiously optimistic. I also hadn’t picked up that the govt has ruled out a ppp for the dunedin hospital rebuild, which is another big step.

    • cleangreen 9.1

      Good work labour coalition, 100%

      But the opposition National party is hoping mad that there windfall tax cut has gone up in smoke; oh gosh; – sorry didims.!!!!

    • tracey 9.2

      Especially as organising a PPP there seemed to be taking the last govt over 9 years…

  10. Bill 11

    Us undeserving don’t even get mentioned in the part of this mini-budget that might actually have an effect on us

    From Labour’s Fact Sheet.

    Superannuitants and students will also benefit. Approximately 710,000 superannuitants will benefit from the introduction of the Winter Energy Payment (WEP) in 2018. Approximately 41,000 students are expected to benefit from increases in the Accommodation Benefit.

    Says it all really.

    • tracey 11.1

      Those who have been taxed and those who will soon be taxed matter most Bill… for re election.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        And more on the undeserving poor front. (supposed increase to Accommodation Supplement)

        https://www.workingforfamilies.govt.nz/calculators/

        If you’re getting Temporary Additional Support, in most cases it will decrease if your Accommodation Supplement payments increase. The calculator doesn’t show the impact on Temporary Additional Support payments.

        Paper. Shuffling. Bastards.

        • red-blooded 11.1.1.1

          A quick look at the WINZ website suggests that Temporary Additional support has a lot of caveats around it – it seems to be a bit of a judgement call as to who might get it. If that’s the case, then surely an increase in the Accommodation Supplement (which is paid for as long as you need it and without so many hoops to jump through) is a good thing?

          • Bill 11.1.1.1.1

            More or less everyone I know claiming welfare entitlements receives some level of TAS.

            If you want to throw in the idea it’s kind of okay, because those not receiving TAS gain, then you have to also acknowledge that it’s the poorest of the poor –
            those struggling the most of all – who are gaining nothing at all.

            • red-blooded 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Have another look at what I actually said, Bill, rather than knocking down straw men.

              • Bill

                Seems you’re not aware that rent is a component of TAS.

                Giving with one hand (increased rent allowance) and taking away with the other (decreased TAS eligibility)

                Engage brain red-blooded. It’s just a renaming of labels with zero financial change (unless the person on TAS is already over the TAS limit).

      • Bill 11.1.2

        Last I looked, welfare entitlements were taxed tracey. Jist sayin’.

  11. Grey Area 12

    Meanwhile on Planet Key – the lead story on the Royal National Herald online edition is a car park in Auckland selling for $265,000. Trevett’s piece on the famillies package is currently item 20.

    They really are taking the proverbial.

  12. NZJester 13

    When the previous National Government came into power they could do all the spending on their promises thanks to the previous Labour Government who paid off our debts. The first thing they immediately did was borrow money to pay for a tax cut for the rich. Later on to help fund their tax cuts for the rich they did a tax swap of GST for PAYE putting a lot of the tax burden on the poor and working class as well as slowly under-funding essential services by failing to keep their budgets up to date with inflation.
    This Labour Govenment has inherited a country with all the essential services well under funded and a mountain of debt. They are having to do what they can with band aid solutions due to lack of money to try and fix the big problems left behind by National.
    Labour should seriously look at swapping the PAYE and GST taxes back around putting more buying power back in the average wage earners pocket.
    It would increase the tax intake while giving the average poor and working class people more buying power to put food on their table, cloths on their backs and some money to help keep their homes warm in the winter.

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    6 hours ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium
    Speech to Through the Maze: On the road to health New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium Mōrena koutou katoa, Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou, Kua tae mai nei me ngā kete matauranga hauora, E whai hononga ai tatau katoa, Ka nui te mihi! Thank you for the opportunity ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Govt to deliver lower card fees to business
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses approximately $74 million each year. “Pre COVID, EFTPOS has ...
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    8 hours ago
  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
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    1 day ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
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    1 day ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
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    2 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
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    2 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
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    3 days ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
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    3 days ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
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    3 days ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
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    4 days ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
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    4 days ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
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    5 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
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    5 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
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    5 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
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    5 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government gives households extra help to reduce their power bills
    Nine community energy education initiatives to help struggling New Zealanders with their power bills are being given government funding through the new Support for Energy Education in Communities (SEEC) Programme.   “Last year we committed nearly $8 million over four years to establish the SEEC Programme. This funding will help ...
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    5 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
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    6 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
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    6 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
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    6 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
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    6 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
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    6 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
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    6 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
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    6 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
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    6 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
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    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
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    6 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
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    6 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
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    7 days ago