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ToryAid: Wastewatch (4)

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, September 1st, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: national, slippery, spin, tax - Tags: ,

Because National has abandoned its wastewatch website, we keep track of the ‘waste’ National has promised to cut to pay for those magical, mysterious, cure-all tax cuts. Here’s what they’ve said they will cut:

1) Embassy in Sweden – approx $3 million capital, $3 million operating (why it’s not waste)
2) Badges about Te Reo for school kids – $56,000 (meh)
3) TPK hui – $240,000 (not waste, just veiled Tory racism)
4) The Sentencing Council and Criminal Justice Advisory Board – $3 million a year
Why it’s waste– under National a former currency speculator and a former junior commercial lawyer (neither of whom have any experience governing) wouldn’t need advice from anyone else on running the criminal justice system.
Why it’s not waste– These organisations provide specialist advice on improving the criminal justice system and sentencing.

Cumulative total of National-identified ‘waste’4 cents a week or, 2.8 grams of Mainland Mild cheese a week.

Hmm, they still seem a little way off paying for those tax cuts. But what if National could find some other way to raise money – something that wasn’t technically a tax, like tolls? OK, that still wouldn’t be enough, by the time they pay the private investors their profits, but that’s where the extra borrowing comes in. So, there’s the equation: a few cosmetic ‘waste’ cuts + tolls + borrowing = tax cuts for the rich.

20 comments on “ToryAid: Wastewatch (4) ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    SP I think you are risking a charge of hypocrisy by saying “a former currency speculator and a former junior commercial lawyer (neither of whom have any experience governing) wouldn’t need advice from anyone else on running the criminal justice system.”

    None of Labour’s Justice ministers in the last nine years have been lawyers. Phil Goff (a political scientist), Mark Burton (a former social worker), and Annette King (a dental nurse), none of whom even have law degrees, let alone were practising criminal lawyers.

  2. Um Tim – I think the point of the post is we need The Sentencing Council and Criminal Justice Advisory Board for just such reasons. Better luck next troll. Chump.

  3. Ben R 3

    “something that wasn’t technically a tax, like tolls?”

    “Popular wisdom may suggest that toll roads are unfair to the poor, but a new joint study by UCLA and USC researchers shows that these pay-as-you-go transportation options may actually be fairer to all income levels than paying for road improvements through sales taxes….

    While economists have long argued for “congestion tolls” on efficiency grounds, this groundbreaking new study suggests that such tolls may, surprisingly, increase equity in comparison to raising sales taxes to pay for transportation facilities.”


  4. Ben R 4

    Not sure how effective badges are, but good story about Rotorua Boys High School yesterday.

    “Despite trailing the statistical millstones of being both male and mostly Maori, the boys at RBHS are also generally outstripping their peers. In 2007, 50.4% of RBHS students passed the all-important Level 3 NCEA, compared to 37.4% at decile four boys’ schools nationally. Take into account that in all schools fewer than 20% of Maori students picked up that gong, and know that these boys are beating the odds. (More than 70 others are sitting the Cambridge International Examinations). RBHS students are also much less likely to take the tempting route of skipping NCEA exams – nationwide one in four students entered for a 2007 NCEA exam skipped it; at RBHS only one in seven did.

    Those who run Rotorua Boys’ are firm believers that boys do best in boys’ schools and they largely stick to the common wisdoms – an emphasis on strong school culture, structure and, of course, sport.”


  5. Tim Ellis 5

    That’s a good point robinsod, but I wasn’t trolling and there really isn’t any need for personal abuse.

  6. Daveski 6

    under National a former currency speculator and a former junior commercial lawyer (neither of whom have any experience governing)

    More self-fulfilling nonsense.

    How else can you get experience in governing? HC didn’t have any before she was elected (or rather her party was elected).

    A better question would be – who would be better at governing – a former currency speculator and a former junior commercial lawyer or an academic/university lecturer?

    In fact, given that this site was knocking how unrepresentative the Nats were, isn’t the education sector OVER represented in Labour’s list.

    I’m also getting bored with the ability of posters to accuse the Nats of racism at the drop of the hat without any attempt to qualify or moderate the comments. There’s no substance to support the comment but it passes here without any comment. Sad.

  7. Tim – don’t worry mate – ‘Sod’s abuse is never personal. He just can’t help himself, that’s all!

  8. Felix 8


    “A better question would be – who would be better at governing – a former currency speculator and a former junior commercial lawyer or an academic/university lecturer?”

    If you have an answer to this rather strange question I would love to hear it.

  9. Daveski 9

    Felix – I’m not sure what is strange about it.

    SP has implied on multiple occasions that the Nats don’t have the experience. Clearly, no one has experience of being a PM until they have done it so it’s a nonsensical statement.

    Secondly, SP and others have damned Key for being a currency trader. I could argue that someone who has had experience making financial decisions in the business world would be a better choice as PM than someone with purely academic experience.

    Alternatively, you could argue that job experience is irrelevant.

    Either way, SP’s comments are diversionary at best.

  10. Nick C 10

    Question: Do you agree with Helen Clarks claim that the SFO is secretly slipping information to National? And why not post about it, have you got something to hide?

    [lprent: Provide a links to a reasonably authoritative source. I wasn’t aware that she had. Just at present you look like a rather stupid troll trying to spread a rumour. Yeah looks like it from previous comments. ]

  11. Daveski 11

    Just taking a suck on own kumara … this was a stupid strategy by the Nats in the first case and that may explain why they’ve gone cold on it. Trying to identify “waste” is highly subjective at best which is not to say spending couldn’t be better used in places. What’s difficult is to identify and put a value to it.

  12. Matthew Pilott 12

    Nick C, that’s the worst example of logic I’ve seen on this site. The Standard have not posted on “The Dangers of Running Over A Snake In An Open-Topped Vehicle” lately – what about “The Dangers of Running Over A Snake In An Open-Topped Vehicle” do you think they’re hiding exactly? By your logic, they are hiding something, I’d be really keen to hear from you what you think it may be.

    And what on earth could this blog have to hide over Clark’s claim that the National party recieved information from the SFO? I realise that you’ve made a pathetic attempt at insinuation (at best), but I want to hear you say what you think it is that The Standard are hiding.

  13. BeShakey 13

    “Clearly, no one has experience of being a PM until they have done it so it’s a nonsensical statement.”

    Hopefully you’re missing the point willfully, rather than because of overwhelming stupidity. The experience people have is relevant to their ability to do a job. In case you were wondering thats why people want CVs and interviews when you apply for a job. Clark had buckets of relevant experience before becoming PM. Key has much less. For me it isn’t a clincher regarding whether Key would be an OK (or even good) PM, but its relevant.

    “…someone with purely academic experience”.

    And who would this imaginary person be? I’m not aware of any recent NZ PM that has been elected straight to PM, with only academic experience.

  14. Daveski. Of course, I’m refering to why National doesn’t think it needs advice on criminal justice, not saying only certain professions are the right experience to be PM.

    And, I’m just being a smart-arse but Clark almost certainly had been Acting PM back in 1990 when she was deputy PM.

  15. Quoth the Raven 15

    Helen Clark had been in parliament for eighteen years before she became PM. She was deputy PM and she had many different ministerial positions before that. Contrast that with John Key’s 6 years in parliamnet all of which has been in opposition and what activity in politics was he involved in before that? None. Helen Clark was politically active for years before she made it to parliament. I see they’re criticising John McCain’s running mate for not having enough experience and she’s been in politics for the last 16 years.

  16. Daveski 16

    SP agreed.

    I actually think you’ll get pretty large agreement on the right that HC is an effective leader (disregarding her policies). She has run a tight ship yet has tried for the large part to be transparent.

    All the more surprising that has cuddled up to Winston in the way she has.

    BeShakey – you’re missing my albeit pedantic point. Naturally HC had political experience before becoming PM.

    But if you want to fairly compare JK and HC, you need to do some on their experiences before politics given it is an impossibility for JK to have performed that role. To argue otherwise is nonsensical because as some stage HC wouldn’t have had the experience etc etc

  17. BeShakey 17

    “But if you want to fairly compare JK and HC, you need to do some on their experiences before politics given it is an impossibility for JK to have performed that role.”

    This is where your slippery argument falls down. The fact that no one can have experience of being PM before they get the job doesn’t mean they can’t have experience in politics before becoming PM. Check out Quoths post for some of HCs political experience. Key either can’t even remember his positions on the major political issues of his time, or changes his position depending on the circumstances(including on some issues that occurred while he was an MP).

  18. 240K on a freakin hui, no Steve thats not racism that is criminal.

    [on about a dozen hui involving thousands of individuals all up. munter. SP]

  19. Andy 19

    Getting rid of the Justice Advisory Board is a show of incredible arrogance by the National Party. While I agree with cutting back on bureacracy, this could be easily achieved in areas other than vitally important Ministry of Justice, one of the most complex ministries. The members of this board are incredibly experienced in a wide spectrum of areas. Judges, QCs, leaders of Victim Support and the Salvation Army. When John Key declares that National has all the ideas they need then they should announce them. This board allows input from outside parliament, an essential process in maintaining public confidence and solid democratic governance. I have lost a great deal of respect for National since Key’s justice speech.

    What is needed in this country is a realistic and determined approach toward a system of restorative justice.

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