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The tiniest rolling maul in the world

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , , ,

So the pressure is building for National to get specific about it’s plans for fighting the recession. Therese Arseneau complained on Q+A today that Key has “no action plan”. Even Phil O’Reilly from Business New Zealand seemed to agree there wasn’t a clear plan.

After all the money spent on National’s ‘Jobs Summit’ the extent of what we’ve seen so far is a half-baked idea for a cycleway and a nine day fortnight proposal that leaves many workers further out of pocket.

And it looks like workers aren’t the only ones with reservations about the scheme. Under questioning from Espiner Key has revealed  that so far only “one or two” companies have expressed an interest.

A scheme with no takers and a cycleway. That’s a pretty small rolling maul.

18 comments on “The tiniest rolling maul in the world ”

  1. Quoth the Raven 1

    A cycleway that probably won’t even go ahead anyway.

  2. trademark 2

    On Q+A, Key also optimistically predicted that in a years’ time NZ would be coming out of the recession. So there’s another thing that should be added to the list: optimism. Since when has a little speculation ever hurt anyone?

  3. bobo 3

    Optimism as an excuse to do nothing because it will all be ok in the end… Speculation as in property prices increase at 8% a year indefinitely 🙂

  4. SeaJay 4

    P.M to Nation: Back of the envelope: $50 million trans national cycleway.
    Monday morning, Morning Report: 6x that figure – not counting bridges, crossings etc.
    Great skills shown there by our Minister of Tourism/ex-Forex trading P.M.
    And now? Stay at home tourism,(static?) See New Zealand b4 you see the….what? Reality?
    You can lead a Johnkey to policy (retro-fitting chilly houses?) but you cannot make him think.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    But there is genius at work in Key’s plan. The cycleway is clearly a massive job creation scheme for miners and prospectors in Waihi, Otago and the West Coast.

    It is to be “paved with gold” (NZ Herald, today).

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Somewhat bemused about your criticism of the 9 day work plan due to only a few firms being interested. Surely that is a good thing that not many firms consider themselves in sufficient trouble to need to draw on the plan. In fact, it could be argued that the governments approach of not mortgaging the country up to the hilt with highly speculative interventions is completely justified given the apparent health of business as the low uptake of the 9 day plan suggests.

    • Felix 6.1

      Surely that is a good thing that not many firms consider themselves in sufficient trouble to need to draw on the plan.

      Or not many firms think it will help them or their employees.

      I also have a plan for how we can ride out the recession by having everyone walk backwards on Tuesdays (creating more work every Wednesday) and eat nothing but custard on the weekend (great boost for custard makers).

      Not many seem interested though, so I guess no-one’s too worried about the recession after all.

    • Low take up of the scheme could also have something to do with the fact that small businesses aren’t eligible, and are often likely to be the ones to feel the ‘rough edges’ of the recession, as Key calls them.

  7. Bill 7

    Noticed my neighbours in a panic the other day; shouting something or other about houses burning. Fools. The smoke smelled like normal wood smoke from a stove and went curling into the air in the same way as the smoke from my house. Although I hadn’t lit the stove that day I decided to do the prudent thing.

    “Bring it on” I thought, as I phoned around my friends until I found one willing to give up a few hours to re-lay my garden path. ( I gave him the rest of the day off to do whatever he wanted)

    The path is wide enough to take two abreast and the stones deep enough to allow a gentle divot to be formed that I can lie down in quite comfortably. A charred piece of tin some passing builders got from somewhere goes over the top to keep the rain out and is ingeniously placed so as to collect drinking water that collects in a gutter.

    It’s been a few days now and while some malcontents have remarked on my anger and physical well being, it’s obviously sour grapes on their part as they jealously confront the new leaner and meaner me.

  8. Ianmac 8

    Seajay: “You can lead a Johnkey to policy (retro-fitting chilly houses?) but you cannot make him think.”
    Clever pup. Heh.

    I understand the need to rush around saying “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!” but as an ordinary basic citizen, it would be good to think that there is a PLAN! I can’t see one unless it is leave well alone because Labour had done such a great job. They can’t therefore say Labour the Wreckers, and at the same time, Labour the great Planners and Preparers. John Key. Wherefore art though?

  9. RedLogix 9

    The word on the street here in ( insert medium sized provincial town) is that the crunch is starting to bite. Not too many job losses yet, but lots of business’s hanging on with underemployed people they don’t really want to loose if they can help it. And in most SME’s the owner understands that job losses overall simply hurt the total business climate anyhow.

    Tax time coming up, which will hit cash flow and/or working capital. This will force the hand of many of those holding on and hoping.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Felix “I also have a plan for how we can ride out the recession by having everyone walk backwards on Tuesdays (creating more work every Wednesday) and eat nothing but custard on the weekend (great boost for custard makers).”

    But that plan does not involve giving firms free money as the 9 day week plan does. Anything involving free money would surely be getting a quick uptake if lots of firms were needing it.

    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      Apart from the glaringly obvious fact that the government should not be privileging large businesses with free money and interfering in the market so egregiously to privilege said businesses. There are other matters as Cambell notes today:

      On RNZ this morning, business commentator Rod Oram gave a pretty good rundown on why the nine day work week was doomed from the outset. The government input was too small (only $20 million!), the costs to business too high (one executive told Oram they would be paying 9 and half days pay for nine days work), the training component was non existent and the conditions that the scheme would place on business were far too restrictive, in that any worker on the scheme could not be fired.

      Moreover, the scheme was ill-directed. Manufacturing, as Oram pointed out, was the sector most likely to join the scheme but job losses are occurring at the fastest rate in retailing, which was never likely to participate. In every respect, the scheme is a shambles. A turkey matched only by drum roll the national cycle way.

    • Felix 10.2

      Silly goose, it’s not free money. Think about it – what does a firm have to give up to get this money?

  11. Bill 11

    Remember how the WB and the IMF said there was no recession before grudgingly accepting as reality what most of the rest of already knew?

    Interestingly, their conservative, head under the blankets and hope for the best mentality seems to be crumbing.

    The IMF had been predicting a 0.5 contraction in the global economy before growth kicked in in 2010.

    Now it is predicting a 0.6 contraction before a 2010 rebound for everyone….except for the UK.

    Meanwhile, the World Bank is predicting a 1 – 2 % contraction and has no real hope pinned on 2010.

    Links here.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-will-be-only-nation-still-in-recession-next-year-1647356.html and http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/03/200932222917600684.html

    Jeez. And then I found this http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2009/03/20093204464077169.html where the IMF are now saying a 1.5% contraction. To be revised!

  12. tsmithfield 12

    Felix:”Silly goose, it’s not free money. Think about it – what does a firm have to give up to get this money?”

    If you mean that the firm is giving up the 10th day of productivity then I can’t agree with you. Presumably a firm would enter the scheme because they don’t have enough work for the full 10 days anyway. Thus, losing a day that is available for productive work is not actually a loss if the work is not there anyway. Hence, I stand by my claim that it is free money and would be very attractive to any firms who felt they needed it.

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