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What will Labour do?

Written By: - Date published: 2:26 pm, May 17th, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: budget 2011, david cunliffe, labour - Tags:

Good speech here from David Cunliffe to the Manufacturers and Exporters Association last night. He and David Parker both spoke and I understand their message was very well received by the audience. He outlines the principles for a good budget, and then answers the question about what would Labour do. There is another one to Business New Zealand today. On the components of a good budget, Cunliffe says:

The key messages we want you to take away today are simple:

  • A good Budget would have to rebuild and reorient our economy towards exports and sustainable high-value production and employment;
  • A good Budget would rebuild savings and redirect investment to its most productive uses, not see it drain offshore or be wasted on property speculation;
  • A good Budget would lift living standards for all New Zealanders and not just a few, and would provide some urgent relief to the acute cost of living pressures being felt by many;
  • And a good Budget must reduce debt over the medium term to ensure that we are living within our fiscal means, which means being real about priorities and the need for everyone to pay their fair share…

And above all else, given the magnitude of the debt mountain in front of us and the depth of the rut our real economy is stuck in, now is the time for boldness, not tinkering.  It is a time for fixing the structural problems, not slapping on a coat of paint or spin.  It is a time for tough decisions, not lollies.

An on what Labour will do, after acknowledging the reality of the need for fiscal prudence, (such as demonstrated by Michael Cullen), he says:

Labour will build a strong export economy with more good jobs.  It will do so with an aggressive programme of economic development, innovation and monetary reform that will unleash the potential of the real economy.  My colleague David Parker will provide more on this shortly.

Labour will help all Kiwis to own their own future through increased savings and appropriate protection of strategic New Zealand assets.

Labour will not strip KiwiSaver but will build on it and broaden it into an even more effective vehicle to lift New Zealand’s crucial savings rate while providing every Kiwi family with the opportunity to secure their future.

Labour will stop the sale of state owned enterprises.  We will prevent the indiscriminate sale of farmland of more than 5ha.

Labour will ensure the sustainability of New Zealand superannuation by resuming prefunding through contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund.

And Labour will work to put owning your own home back within reach of average income-earners.

Labour will help all Kiwis to get ahead by lifting living standards, giving real relief from the rising cost of living, and introducing a fair tax plan.

Labour will carefully review key utility markets, including worrying signs of monopoly rents in electricity markets.  We will review the Government’s misguided broadband plan and will repeal the ridiculous and globally unique 10-year regulatory holiday on broadband fibre.

Labour will bring down a fair tax package that will ensure a broad and sustainable tax base, and will contribute to aligning the economic incentives with New Zealand’s strategic economic needs. A good Budget would be fair to all – giving every New Zealander a fair go – the opportunity to do better, but also expecting everyone to play their part in the rebuilding of our battered economy.

That includes, frankly, paying a fair share of the tax burden rather than – for some – structuring businesses that do not show income, sheltering income in trusts, or pretending not to trade property after buying and selling a dozen rentals.  Those folks have fair warning that we are all in this together and that they too will pay their fair share.

Labour will bring to the 2011 general election a responsible, fully-costed policy budget package.

Details to come obviously, but a good start nonetheless.

40 comments on “What will Labour do? ”

  1. r0b 1

    Labour will bring to the 2011 general election a responsible, fully-costed policy budget package.

    I’d expect nothing less. Emphasis on fully-costed.

    A good start indeed!

  2. PeteG 2

    Generally sounds like a good start, and good to see some detail promised, but I’m a bit skeptical of statements like “build a strong export economy with more good jobs” and pledging to stop tax sheltering – I feel I’ve heard it all before.

    It will be interesting to see the costings – there are increases in expenditure and the only potential increase in revenue looks to be “a fair tax package” and hoping for a better future.

    I wonder if “expecting everyone to play their part in the rebuilding of our battered economy” means those who effectively pay no tax now would start paying (or receiving less credits).

    • RobC 2.1

      Pete, what do you think of these statements?

      So our plan is simple, and always has been.

      It’s about creating conditions which allow New Zealand to focus on what it is good at – and where it can create sustainable jobs and higher incomes.

      It’s about making sure we have a tax system that encourages work and savings, rather than providing incentives to shelter income.

      It’s about having an efficient public sector that doesn’t crowd out the internationally-competitive parts of the economy.

      It’s about limiting government debt, to reduce our reliance on foreign lenders and to give us a buffer against future economic shocks.

      It’s about regulation that encourages enterprise and flexibility.

      It’s about an education system that is producing skilled workers, and those workers knowing they have a successful future here in New Zealand.

      It seems simple, but it’s very easy to get off track, as we have seen.

      • PeteG 2.1.1

        Sounds fine to me, albeit a bit idealistic as indicated by the last item, governments have been getting off the simple track since democracy began.

        This wish list could easily be claimed by both Labour and National, I can see them both imagining that would make a good pledge card (minus the last one).

        • Pascal's bookie

          The National party should get in behind Labour then and stop being so divisive.

        • Robert Atack

          Yeah they are all the same, it goes back years
          «The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.»

          – Adolph Hitler, My New World Order
          Proclamation to the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933

  3. side show bob 3

    What a load of horseshit, it’s the same old crap trotted out by the same old tied politicians. The answer lies with a flat tax rate , that will bring real growth and everyone will PAY THEIR SHARE. But you won’t get Labour voters let alone the National Socialists going down that road, it’s all about political power and keeping the voters dumb and envious.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      If your flat tax was 0% with a 20-25% consumption tax and a capital gains tax, I might agree with you.

      • Robert Atack 3.1.1

        I think the Mana Party are going with a 1-2% transaction tax ……. and no other tax, or the tax department etc etc . saving the economy billions, and getting the leaches of the backs of the average kiwi. ….. Now that would be to much like treating us like adults.

        • Lanthanide

          How are they going to collect tax without a tax department?

          Also, a rate of 1-2% is so stupidly punishing that all it will do is shift people to avoid it through any means possible. Eg, being paid under the table in cash, alternate currencies being set up, etc etc.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Only way to implement a transaction tax is electronically.

            • Robert Atack

              Yeah Bastard, you have it, the tax is collected by the banks electronically each time money moves, at midnight each night there is a deposit made into the govt bank account. Could it be any easier?
              Some things are just to simple for people.

  4. Tanz 4

    LabNational. There really is not much difference any more.

    Key an every man, much the same as Goff.

  5. PeteG 5

    Labour will bring to the 2011 general election a responsible, fully-costed policy budget package.

    I hope Cunliffe adds up the budget costings better than his online poll.

    How did the National-Act Budget affect your family?

    Better off (83%, 144 Votes)
    Worse off (16%, 27 Votes)
    No change (1%, 6 Votes)

    Total Voters: 174

    The votes aren’t totaled correctly, and none of the percentages are correct.
    It’s a government budget, which presumably includes Dunne and the Maori Party.
    And the budget isn’t public for two more days.

    Otherwise it looks accurate – he spelt “family” right.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Works out right on my calculator taking into account inevitable rounding errors. Perhaps the problem is that you haven’t passed your National Standards yet?

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        You need a calculator for that? And you can’t use it properly anyway.
        If you understood simple maths the errors would be obvious.

        144+27+6=177, no rounding involved.
        6/174 is nowhere near rounding to 1%, it’s 3% (rounded from 3.45)

    • The Voice of Reason 5.2

      It’s about the budget that hasn’t been released yet, right? So how do 144 people know they are better off? Could it be because they work for NACT?

      • PeteG 5.2.1

        You could ask the same question of all the people commenting on the budget before it’s been released. The vote has gone up overnight:

        Better off (88%, 423 Votes)
        Worse off (10%, 48 Votes)
        No change (2%, 11 Votes)

        Total Voters: 479

        423 people don’t know if they “are better off”, but they know Cunliffe would have been better off not putting up a poll two days early.

        A loaded question poll on a politician’s own page is not going to prove anything anyway, it was a pointless premature attempt at propaganda.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Well, not 423 people, Pete. Half a dozen C/T drones with multiple id’s perhaps?
          But you’re right, no point putting that poll question up prior to the budget.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    ‘Labour will build a strong export economy with more good jobs. It will do so with an aggressive programme of economic development, innovation and monetary reform that will unleash the potential of the real economy.’

    What a load of drivel. These people really are off the planet! It would be amusing if it were not so sad.

    David Parker should be tried for gross negligence (perhaps even treason) for his appalling performance as energy minister … ensuring this nation sleepwalked into the second biggest disaster in history (peak oil and the collapse of the globalised economy) and pushing ahead with the longer term agenda of exacerbating the biggest disaster in history (abrupt climate change and planetary meltdown).

    Pity the next genration. They stand no chance at all with such idiots still being praised for gross incompetence.

    • Don’t forget our mates ‘Not until 2037’ Mallard http://oilcrash.com/new_zlnd.htm
      And stand by the IEA Pete http://oilcrash.com/articles/hodgson.htm … until the IEA started saying “peak has happened and we face a 9% decline”
      Do nothing Parker was just like all the ministers of energy since Peak Oil was made known to them, they didn’t want to know about the big bad boogie man, so now we face the nightmare with our eyes wide shut. Even Brownlee was still backing the IEA in June 2010 (obviously never actually reads their stuff??) as saying peak in 2030 or beyond.
      In the end they are all just politicians, who are incapable of acting to prevent a catastrophe, and would rather react after any event, and as we see in Christchurch not so bloody well.
      I wonder if any policy analyst will read this report http://oilcrash.com/articles/wake_up2.htm
      – Parliamentary support Research papers THE NEXT OIL SHOCK? October 2010 – then factor it into their election BS?
      Do the Australians get paid more than us because their government doesn’t treat them like total morons This clip from the ABC Catalyst Peak Oil Report 28-04-2011 would be to much for our little brains http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaNz3qS5WAo
      Ba ba

      • I am writing from Kapiti just north of Wellington where some of you probably know we are faced with one of the roads of national significance being bulldozed through our district despite a more logical, less expensive and community-friendly alternative.

        We are holding a rally at Parliament on Wednesday 6 July midday.

        Alan Preston from ‘The Way Forward’ website had the idea that those of you who can’t make it to Wellington may be willing to be part of a ‘national day of action’ and could organise something locally within your own region – perhaps a group outside your national MP’s office or outside your local council.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Debt Crisis, Peak Oil, & Hyperinflation
        Part 1
        Part 2

        Our “economy” is FUBAR’d but we can’t really expect anything else when the whole economic theory we slave under is predicated upon false assumptions, revolves around the theoretical movement of money and doesn’t relate to reality in any way, shape or form.

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.3

        …“peak has happened and we face a 9% decline”

        We’re doomed! Human civilisation couldn’t exist without oil! Oh, wait…

        • Robert Atack

          Human civilisation couldn’t exist without oil!
          Homosapiens have done fine over the past 40,000 years that is for sure, it has only been the last 150 – 200 years we have been using fossil fuels, if we could go back to planet Earth circa 1800 when it had trees, lots of undeveloped potential farm land/minerals, lots of fish etc, and a population of about 500 million, then sure ‘civilisation’ could exist. Not sure where slavery falls into ‘civilisation? But it was one of the main drivers of economies for centuries, we just swapped human slaves for fossil fuel slaves.
          So post crash, after the population plummets to the pre fossil fuel area numbers, things might pan out ok? …. Getting from here to there is the issue, and why I go on about it all the freaking time.
          Again ignoring the 400+ nuclear power plants, the 399 – 450 ppm CO2, the massive dead zones in the oceans, the ‘fact’ that New Zealand is the only 100% pure green country left … according to our dear leader. (Which goes to show how fucked the rest of the planet is)

          It will take the planet maybe several tens if not hundreds of million years to get back to the 1800ish climate conditions, and what ever is around then will still be getting irradiate by us.

          But if your life depends on oil now, then yes you are doomed “put that light out Mr Mannering”

  7. PeteG 7

    Sleepwalking policy seems to be the theme of the day – the steady boring approach to politics gets good coverage by Bryce Edwards.

    He compiles articles suggesting that the cautious centrist approach by both National and Labour is simply a sign of the times.

    “revolutionary or ‘big bang’ approaches to changing society and economies are destined to failure, and what really works is non-ideological, incremental improvements based on evidence and trials. ”

    This by Chris Worthington is better than fast food for thought.
    Transformation by policy a pipe dream

    Grand idealistic dreams may be just for remnant frustrated party faithfuls.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      I love how PeteG wants to dissuade people from thinking that life could and should be much better than it is today.

      “revolutionary or ‘big bang’ approaches to changing society and economies are destined to failure, and what really works is non-ideological, incremental improvements based on evidence and trials. ”

      Horse shit. The laissez faire neo liberal capitalism trial must be ended. Its be playing experimental surgery on NZ for 25 years and it is a disaster for millions of us.

      So much so that 700,000 NZ born kiwis decided to flee this country and move to godawful Australia.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    Now that we are post peak oil and sliding down the depletion curve, now that fiat currencies are unravelling, and now that environmental degradation is accelerating rapidly, the nation’s course is charted.

    None of that will deter clowns who know nothing of signifiance writing drivel.

    And none of that will deter deceitful politicians making false promises to the uniformed masses.

    Nothing will change until the the uniformed masses figure they’ve been misled for decades. And that won’t happen until AFTER the present economic-political system has collasped…. probably around 2015, the way things are looking at the moment.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Still figure it’s going to take longer than that. I’m figuring about 2020. Things will start hurting in the five years with increasing resource wars (esp. in the ME and other high pop. locations) and bank collapses around the globe but the shit will really hit the fan in about a decade. At that point I figure everyone will realise that there’s no coming back to the BaU that they’re trying so hard to hold onto ATM.

    • johnm 8.2

      Hi AFKTT
      Thanks for your input which I think is probably true as the end of growth has now been reached re: Heinberg. Not only the end but due to oil depletion we will actually start a never ending process of contraction to much simpler levels of social organisation-call it collapse.
      just to note a spelling mistake of yours: the masses are “uninformed” not “uniformed” as you have written, if the latter happens we’ll be in a Fascist state probably! Spelling mistakes detract from the credibility of our message though the content is true-just human nature !

  9. infused 9

    Labour will not tell us where it’s going to get the money to do any of this.

    • Ben Clark 9.1

      “Labour will bring to the 2011 general election a responsible, fully-costed policy budget package.”

      What does fully-costed mean other than telling you where the money is coming from?

      • Robert Atack 9.1.1

        It also means what damage you will caus the environment and future generations ie the continued support of the growth dependent ponzi scam Kiwi Saver, for it to payout in 47 years time (to the 18 year old starting work today) means continued destruction of their environment, and massive escalating costs of everything. That is called exponential growth. Just to remind you earth is a finite planet, you can not have exponential growth in a closed system.
        Again Ben please watch this lecture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=related
        A prospective National Party candidate bought 50 copies from me before the last election, and gave them to his mates, maybe they use them as a Frisbee for their dog?
        You will be receiving a copy of this soon, as every politician is having this essay http://oilcrash.com/articles/wilson08.htm And this movie http://transitionculture.org/2008/11/26/film-review-blind-spot/ posted to them, I will get you on the list.
        Personally I think it is an utter wast of time … mind you so is typing on this blog, but it is nice to have a place to write I told you so 😉 … we all have egos after all.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Labour will not tell us where it’s going to get the money to do any of this.

      For starters Key can give back his $1000/wk tax cuts, and Bill English can give back his $400/wk tax cuts.

      You happy now buddy?

  10. The items in bullet points amount to “We will do good stuff to make things better.” Well, duh – what we’re interested in is the “how” part. How are you going to do this?

    The list of things lower down the post that are presumably the “how” part still includes various “do good stuff to make things better” items and the ones that are actually concrete things they would do seem to be predicated on us still being in the boom period pre-2008. Something about how these things are to happen when the govt’s already spending billions more than its earning would be a good start.

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