Where is National’s economic plan?

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, July 21st, 2010 - 105 comments
Categories: Economy, national - Tags: , ,

I’ve been talking to a few jokers in political circles since the Government’s spectacular u-turn over mining, and the question everyone seems to be asking is “where is National’s economic plan?”

After all, this is a party that came into power promising to bring about a “step-change” in economic growth and close the wage gap with Australia. A party that relentlessly attacked Clark and Cullen’s management of the economy and promised a brighter future and fatter wage packets. But these were promises born out of vague ambition and empty phrases that tested well on focus groups. There wasn’t any plan, as such, in National’s manifesto.

We saw an insight into this at the Job Summit, where John Key announced that his response to the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression was to build a cycleway the length of the country. This would create 4000 jobs over two years, he promised. To date there are only 70 jobs, just 10km of track.

But joke projects aside, it became increasingly clear as this year wore on that National’s longer-term economic plan, such as they had one, could be summed up as “tax cuts and mining”. The tax cuts, according to the right’s voodoo economics, would improve incentives and liberate the private sector, while the mining would unleash a bonanza of billions and kickstart New Zealand’s economic growth.

With mining in national parks now out of the picture, you’ve got to ask. Is National’s plan now limited to trying to grow the economy by cutting taxes and slashing public spending? Perhaps John Key’s planned employment relations reforms are the key. Does National think making people less secure in their jobs and giving the unions another kicking is going to create an economic “step-change” and lift our wages to Australian levels?

Honestly, I’m baffled. Over to you. Does anyone else know what National’s economic plan is?

105 comments on “Where is National’s economic plan?”

  1. Honestly, I’m baffled. Over to you. Does anyone else know what National’s economic plan is?

    pass…NEXT

    • Bored 1.1

      Polly, no dissing the cycleway…OK?

      • pollywog 1.1.1

        hah…sweet 🙂

        so was the cycleway a PM economic initiative or a tourist minister initiative and what exactly has the smiling waving one done in his tourism portfolio since sweeping to power ?

        apart from putting people off from coming here for thinking our national parks are gonna become open cast mines and fucking up the rugby world cup party central buzz …anything positive ?

    • ZombieBusiness 1.2

      National are not a business party.

      National believe Doctors are agents of the state who are willing to
      act as employment police.

      So lets just deconstruct this for a moment to get an idea of
      Nationals policy for growth.

      Workers feel ill and instead of burdening their boss and
      co-workers with the lurgi, they put their hand in their pocket
      and go pay for a doctors visit where they frankly tell their
      doctor what ails them. Now because a few workers help
      a mate out build their own home on their sick day off, the
      National party want to force workers to be pay for themselves
      to have them ‘certified’ sick! Workers worried that that they
      won’t get a sick certificate, having forked out for a doctors
      visit, and having the risk of losing the sick day off pay,
      are forced into possible emblemishments of their ill health!

      Way to go. So here’s where the money gets made, as more
      people have to go to their doctor, or will go into work sick and
      force people there to take sick days! Thus whichever way
      Doctors get more visits and get lied too more. Thus Doctor
      more likely misdiagnose, and wonders of wonders Doctors
      get more work. All because National increase inefficiency
      of Doctors, of Employees, and of Employers.

      And those skilled workers who want to be treated like Human
      beings book the next flight to a country with worker protections.
      Hello OZ.

      The best way to deal with sickness is to have Doctors
      say they saw their patient, not if they were sick or not.
      This way, employers would know workers had to spend
      the sick day off pay on the doctor, and the workers have
      to do the run around to cover themselves.

      I think its dangerous to push financial pressure on patients
      and motivate them to embellish their health. Especially when
      they the patients are paying for the service!

      National are a financial party, if activity goes up they are
      happy, even if that activity harms the economy short-term
      or long term.

      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        “want to force workers to be pay for themselves
        to have them ‘certified’ sick!”

        Actually the policy suggested by National is that a doctor’s certificated requested when the staff member was away for fewer than 3 days would be paid for by the employer. Whether or not this is what happens in practice is another question.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Marty, I think you are being deliberately disingenuous.

    While National has ruled out mining on a very small amount of S4 land, they are still very keen on looking at the remainder of DOC land for mining opportunities, as the various news items have made very clear. That still gives plenty of scope for NZ to benefit greatly out of mining.

    So, do you agree that your article above is completely flawed.

    • tsmithfield 2.1

      For some reason the link I gave isn’t going directly to the article. You can find it under “National” and the article is called “Regions welcome mining plans”.

    • Juan Manuel Santos 2.2

      So you’re arguing it’s still mining and tax cuts, just with less mining?

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        Juan, I am just showing how logically inaccurate Marty’s article is. There will only be slightly less mining as a result. In fact the government is organising an aerial magnetic survey of the rest of the country. The article I pointed to opened with the following comment:

        Mining in lower-value conservation areas could tap into more than $20 billion in minerals in Northland alone.

        So there is plenty of scope for mining still and the government is still keen to take advantage of the opportunities.

        • Janice 2.2.1.1

          TS .. you are being the illogical one. What is 1% of 20 billion? (What we will get if we are lucky). Also I heard that they are only going to do a magnetic survey of Northland and the West Coast, where did you get the rest of country going to be done from? Blue dreams again? To much inspiration and asperation?

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.2.1.2

          We’ve got minerals and we can mine them. In a lot of cases thats a good idea. But you’re talking about a 10-15 year time frame, hardly likely to have much effect on the current situation.

    • TS

      I think you are the one being disingenuous.

      We have been promised a lot of things by this Government. 9 day working weeks, financial hubs, cycleways, mining but after a long process where the actual reality of the proposals have been investigated we are left with … sweet FA.

      The mining of the remainder of the DOC land that you refer to is a CT fallback position to try and show that this is a retreat as opposed to a complete capitulation.

      We were promised pay parity with Australia and financial growth by this bunch. They clearly have no idea of what to do next.

      I want my money back.

      • Carol 2.3.1

        Key promised us an economy like Ireland’s. He may be well on his way to achieving that.

      • tsmithfield 2.3.2

        Read my comment above, Mickey.

        What part of “20 billion in minerals in Northland alone” don’t you understand.

        • lprent 2.3.2.1

          I understand that they are likely to be more bullshit numbers from the Minister of Bullshit – Gerry Brownlee.

          To date the comedian hasn’t managed to show that any of his numbers for anything are even remotely credible. I guess you’re the sucker that just wants to believe… Either that or you’re being silly.

          What part of that don’t you understand?

          • tsmithfield 2.3.2.1.1

            The premise of Marty’s post above is:

            S4 exclusion = no more mining anywhere.

            The premise is clearly wrong.

            • lprent 2.3.2.1.1.1

              The other thing that Brownlee has failed to establish is how much economic benefit NZ gets from mining. It isn’t the amount of value extracted that is of interest – it is how much benefit it brings to the economy that is important.

              So far the numbers look pretty pathetic, mere 10’s of millions of royalties per year, most of the high paid jobs going to overseas workers, and almost all plant and equipment being brought in rather than sourced locally. Brownlee blithely ignores those revenue aspects and just talks ‘sale value’ numbers. You’d think that this idiot has never run a business (…. and he hasn’t).

              On the other hand it is pretty easy to make a case that mining can cause damage to other industries like tourism and farming, or can cause very expensive to rectify environmental damage water tables and water courses. Of course Brownlee has never bothered to estimate any of those.

              He is a fool.

              • tsmithfield

                But you’re digressing.

                Do you agree that the point Marty was making is logically incoherent.

                The basis of his entire article is that National’s economic agenda has gone completely off the rails because of the S4 exclusion. However, that view is patently wrong because the government is still very keen on investigating mining in a lot of other areas. So National is still very much on track with its mining agenda despite the S4 exclusion.

                • lprent

                  Ah no… Have you read the post? The first paragraph is the traditional place to explain what a post is for.. You know where it says at the end of the final sentence

                  ….and the question everyone seems to be asking is “where is National’s economic plan?’

                  The last paragraph is the traditional place for the summing up…

                  Honestly, I’m baffled. Over to you. Does anyone else know what National’s economic plan is?

                  The point I’m making (and Marty was as well) is that the government appears to be incapable of making an economic case that mining is going to be good for the overall economy. Certainly they haven’t been capable of showing the pros and cons for the overall economy. That is why there was no support (except amongst the ideologically stupid) for mining in high value tourist areas like S4, and why there will be little support for mining in many areas.

                  At best you could argue that Marty should have added that with mining proving to be of little economic value – how are the idiots from National planning to boost the economy in the way that they claimed they could? That is what the post was about…

                  • tsmithfield

                    Iprent, I stand by my argument.

                    Mary also said:

                    With mining in national parks now out of the picture, you’ve got to ask. Is National’s plan now limited to trying to grow the economy by cutting taxes and slashing public spending?

                    The logic of this statement is:
                    1. No more mining in national parks.
                    2. Therefore ONLY tax cuts and slashing public spending.

                    Marty’s argument as set out above is clearly that the ONLY options left for National are tax cuts and slashing public spending. For the logic to follow it requires that Nationals mining plans are completely eliminated in all areas.

                    However, it is clear that the exclusion of S4 land was only a slight reduction in Nationals mining plans not a complete elimination of them. Therefore the logic does not follow because National still has mining options alongside tax cuts and slashing public spending.

                    • Ed

                      Mining was always a longer term objective of National’s – they don’t know what minerals are there to be mined, let alone ready to let any company even start the process of setting up a mine; and contributions to a recovery from that source were always unlikely. I find it bizarre that National seem to be saying that the objections to mining on section 4 land amount to an enthusiastic endorsement of mining on other conservation land, and they have given no good reason for spending a very large amount of money ostensibly to survey land for private companies to then be invited to plunder – but that is getting somewhat away from the initial article that asked just what National’s plan is to economic recovery.

                    • Akldnut

                      Brownlee said in the house today during general discussion that only schedule 4 is off the table (my words) which I take to mean mining the rest is still on the table.

                    • lprent

                      What I’m saying is that

                      1. I can’t see that much mining going ahead anyway because the deposit sizes aren’t that economic. Frankly Brownlee (and the Nats generally) were living in some kind of ridiculous fantasy of bullshit numbers that simply aren’t backed up by anything of substance.
                      2. There will rightly be objection from the surrounding existing economic entities that they will affect, which when you look at their overall economic return to the country give a far higher overall return than mining. This isn’t aussie where mining largely takes place on land useless for all other economic purposes.The only way that the Nats would be able to get most mining projects is to stifle those objections with fast tracking and stacking the relevant tribunals and boards. In other words what they are doing in Canterbury with ECan.
                      3. The debate on Schedule 4 lands highlighted this vacant hole in Nationals ‘thinking’. That mining in NZ doesn’t make the economy much money still hasn’t penetrated their skulls (obviously protected by a thick layer of ideological stupidity).
                      4. National do not appear to have any other plans apart from trying some old Labour laws that failed miserably in the 1990’s to raise either the economy or wages.

                      Basically you’re nitpicking that Marty didn’t add a few more words – probably because you’re as bereft of ideas as the Nats are.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Thats fine if that is what Marty actually is arguing, not that I necessarily agree.

                      However, I think you are having to read between the lines an awful lot to get your interpretation from what Marty actually posted. Here is what you said above:

                      The point I’m making (and Marty was as well) is that the government appears to be incapable of making an economic case that mining is going to be good for the overall economy.

                      Yet I can’t see anything at all in Marty’s article that is at all critical or otherwise of the case for mining as you seem to think he has. He has a go at some of Nationals other policies, but certainly not mining other than mentioning National abandoning plans to mine S4 land.

                      It seems to me that you are trying to read Marty’s mind about what he actually means, or interpreting what he has said through the filter of your own views on the matter. However, feel free to point me to a quote above where Marty is critical of Nationals more general plans for mining.

                      I am just pointing out the logical inconsistencies in what Marty actually has said. When it comes to applying the rules of logic that is usually the best way.

                    • lprent []

                      Martys post was about the lack of any workable ideas from national.

                      Your comments were about mining.

                      My comments were about your apparent inability to read the post, and that you preferred not to avoid dealing with the point of the post, instead nitpicking on a minor detail. I commented on your point about mining, and then tried to get you to deal with the point of the post.

                      I guess you’re too much into avoidance. Why is that? I guess ideological stupidity makes people thick?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Because this is the first time marty has mentioned mining, we have to read his mind to know what else he thinks about it.

                      Except it isn’t, so we don’t.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Unless he’s changed his mind since last time he wrote about it. Which we don’t know.

                      Better for him to say explicitly what he means. Makes it a bit easier for us thick righties. 🙂

                    • felix

                      I suppose if you’re the kind of fuckwit who has inconsistent views and wildly contradictory reasoning from moment to moment depending on what particular govt bullshit you’re pushing or defending at a given time then that might make sense to you TS/TK/Tony/Timmeh/whateveryou’recallingyourselftoday.

                      But don’t project your workplace dilemmas onto the rest of us.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Taken awhile to comment here Felix. Just woken up?

                    • Puddleglum

                      TS, perhaps my memory is failing me but, as I recall, the rhetoric went something like this:

                      National claim that mining’s contribution to the economy will be turbo-charged by allowing exploitation of a limited number of very high potential mining sites that happen to be designated as S4 lands. Labour, being wimpy, half-hearted hostages of the greenies didn’t suggest this and so could not have reaped the turbo-charged promised land of benefits from mining that National – like Moses – will lead us into by opening up S4 land. It was a VERY big point they made that the S4 land they had hand-picked had particularly huge potential.

                      However, when the proverbial hits the fan with the public’s reaction, National highlight to the public the fact that Labour allowed numerous mines and mining enterprises on conservation land, reminding all and sundry that, under Labour, 90% of such applications were approved.

                      Meanwhile, Gerry provides astronomical numbers in defence of the need to open up S4 land. (Note that his arguments were not about unlocking land which was not locked up in the first place.)

                      In short, the rhetoric was all about how, by opening up S4 land with its high-value mining potential as compared to elsewhere in NZ, National would unleash New Zealand’s true potential as an economic tiger. Remember, simply allowing mining elsewhere in NZ as Labour routinely did was not the ‘step change’ aspect of National’s plans for mining. Saying now that, apparently, that’s what they really meant and the S4 debacle represented some minor aspect of their plans was not how they pitched it to the public. Not as I remember it.

                      So, if that’s how they played it, Marty has simply called them on their own rhetoric.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Puddlegum, my understanding is that the only reason that S4 has attracted so much attention is because mining has been prohibited up until now. Therefore the public debate around this has obviously taken much more focus and attention. This doesn’t minimise the opportunities elsewhere where there is not the same controversy.

                    • Puddleglum

                      Actually TS, my memory was not too bad. Here’s a line from the Tourism Industry Associations summary of the Government’s discussion document ‘Maximising our Mineral Potential: Stocktake of Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act and beyond’.

                      “About 40% of New Zealand’s known mineral potential is estimated to be in Schedule 4 areas1. Schedule 4 land areas total about 40% of public conservation land or 13% of New Zealand’s total land area.”

                      The whole point being made in the discussion document was that the literal mineral ‘gems’ in New Zealand’s potential for mining was ‘locked up’ in S4 land.

                      Sorry, sometimes my memory works.

                    • felix

                      We don’t all have 24hrs a day to troll the blogs like you and your many aliases TS.

                    • tsmithfield

                      I really get under your skin, don’t I felix. Just watch that anger. 🙂

                    • tsmithfield

                      Puddlegum, I think the original consideration was for approx 400000 hectares of S4 which the government pruned down to 7000 hectares. So, if that 40% was in respect to the 400000 hectares, the percentage of total minerals in the 7000 hectares under consideration would be quite a bit less. So, I don’t think it is quite accurate to claim it was central to the governments plans. Also, implied by your own figures, 60%, a significant majority, is outside S4.

                    • felix

                      It’s pity, Tim. If I were frustrated or angry you’d know it by the little pretend smiley faces.

                    • BLiP

                      And another thread fucked up by TS – he really is a waste of pixels.

                • Puddleglum

                  Oh dear.

                  TS, The 60% outside of S4 land is potentially accessible and was so under Labour. No turbo-charged ‘step change’ in that, I’m afraid. That’s business as usual.

                  The 7000 hectares were pivotal to the ‘step change’ and, importantly, would have established a principle for National: That, in the national economic interest, valuable minerals in S4 land could be accessed to turbo-charge economic growth. That 7000 hectares represented the highest potential value sites (i.e., the best return on mining dollars invested), according to National. That is, despite being a small amount of land (and % of S4 land) these were the opportunities that would start the ‘milk and honey’ flowing most rapidly (they’d be ‘gushers’).

                  In terms of economic ‘turbo-charging’ this, in National’s own rhetorical terms, was the place to start. (I should add that at no time in the public debate did the government say that there would be a permanent moratorium on mining placed on all other S4 land.)

                  If 7000 hectares can be exploited in the national interest because it represents the best return then, once that is exhausted, there will be some other area of S4 land that steps up to be the next ‘most highly valuable’ mining land (basic economics – supply/demand, etc.).

                  How could NOT opening up the 7000 hectares of greatest potential mining value (and highest likely return on investment) – along with establishing the principle that all other areas of high potential value currently in S4 land could be opened up for economic reasons – lead to your conclusion that it is still possible to have economic boom times from the remaining 60% that is already a lot more accessible (legally) than the most valuable opportunities?

                  You see, mining is all about ‘striking it rich’ by finding that particular little bit of land that has the ‘gold’ in it. The ‘gold’ (I’m using ‘gold’ as a proxy for valuable minerals) clusters in particular geological formations. The richest ‘veins’, as it were, are thought to be in S4 land (or so National has told us). How can we have a ‘boom’ without exploiting those veins?

                  Your argument just isn’t making sense. The point was not that no mining can happen outside of S4 land at present (clearly it can and does and is consistently given approval) but, rather, that ‘locking up’ (in S4 land) the BEST opportunities there was for mining prevented NZ from gaining the turbo-charged benefits.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    But gerry is now really excited by all the lignite and peat up in Northland, (via ts’ link). We are still going to emulate Ireland, to be sure, but it’s the 19th century version, we’ll be copying.

                    Diddle de dee, diddle de dee, potaters.

                    Meanwhile in the real world, the plan was alsways about unlocking the potential of s4 minerals. A plan which has been abandoned. Not even the media are giving the govt’s spin much shrift. So I wish them luck with it in convincing the punters.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Puddlegum, I do realise that the 7000 hectares was going to be the most productive. I also realise that the government would very much liked to have accessed some of that. However, even within that 7000 hectres I am sure they realised their would be no-go zones so the 7000 would have been pruned back even further.

                    However, now plan A has been canned, they have moved on to plan B which is to try and uncover as much wealth as possible in less contentious areas. Hence the magnetic aerial survey etc. The magnetic survey is going to enable mining efforts to be highly targeted on areas that appear to offer the greatest opportunities. Notice that the mining industry is very pleased about this sort of endeavour.

                    While these areas have been open to mining, there has not been the governmental enthusiasm to explore those areas as there is now for quite some time.

                    So, what do you think the government should have done puddlegum and pascal? Ignored public opinion and pressed ahead anyway?

                    • tsmithfield

                      felix: “It’s pity, Tim. If I were frustrated or angry you’d know it by the little pretend smiley faces.”

                      Yep. Just as I thought. You’ll be throwing your toys around soon.

                    • tsmithfield

                      BLiP “And another thread fucked up by TS he really is a waste of pixels.”

                      I guess if engendering a lot of discussion and exchange of ideas is fucking up a thread then yep, I’ve fucked it up.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      So, what do you think the government should have done puddlegum and pascal? Ignored public opinion and pressed ahead anyway?

                      Ooh I dunno.

                      Not suggested the fucking stupid idea in the first place?

                      Alternatively, how about the idea that governments come up with the best policies they can think of, get elected on them, and then put them into place? How does that sound?

                      Sounds better to me than coming up with soundbites to get elected, and then floundering around in government for policy ideas to back up those soundbites and back away from them when they threaten re-election.

                      The simple fact is that either they thought this plan was good policy, or they didn’t.

                      If they didn’t, then they shouldn’t have suggested it, and should have instead suggested the policies they actually think are good. Policies that can back up those soundbites they got elected on.

                      If they did think this was the policy to back up those soundbites, then not doing it to preserve their re-election chances is what?

                      Putting their electoral fortunes ahead of what they think is best for the country. That’s what.

                      But carry on making a virtue out of what was a political necessity. It’s an arguable position afterall.

                    • felix

                      Tim,

                      You’re not engendering an exchange of ideas – you’re just wallpapering the thread – as per usual. Little more than spam. Everything you’ve written is summed up here:

                      “However, now plan A has been canned, they have moved on to plan B which is to try and uncover as much wealth as possible in less contentious areas.”

                      So exactly as before, no “step-change”, plan b is business as usual.

                      Pudd’s analysis is spot on and you haven’t countered anything he wrote. You’ve just been repeating the same thing over and over and totally ignored all the quotes, links and analysis which disprove your contention that ‘s4 was never that big a deal to the govt’.

                      The result is that anyone casually skimming the thread gets the impression of a two-sided discussion but anyone reading it in detail can see it’s actually several people throwing verifiable facts at a metaphorical brick wall. You’ve mentioned before that you primarily ‘write for the lurkers’ so this comes as no surprise to long time readers.

                      Like BLiP says, you’ve fucked another thread. And that’s exactly what you’re here to do, all day, every day.

                    • Bored

                      Morning Felix, see you have one of those under the skin complaints that might even drive your doctor to distraction. Seems to me however many times we lance the offending subaceous cyst it just keeps on coming back, sort of an annoying waste of time. Ii think we might just fire the occasional medicine at it, after all there have been medical miracles in the past, even Damascene moments…I dont hold out much hope.

  3. fraser 3

    step 1 – steal underpants
    step 2 –
    step 3 – profit!!!

  4. bbfloyd 4

    they have an ingenious plan to finally catch the aussies. we’re going to become a modern day prison colony! it’s brilliant in it’s simplicity. stage one; create a large pool of disaffected and desperate people. stage two; build some shiny new jails to house them when the pressure to survive breaks them. making sure to build enough spare capacity to be able to profit by importing prisoners from overcrowded jails overseas. stage three; contract out all that latent talent/labour languishing in said prisons at bargain prices. ought to be able to induce nike or adidas at least to relocate here.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Works for the US: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8289

      “For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.”

      “According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people.”

      “[Former] Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix recently urged Nike to cut its production in Indonesia and bring it to his state, telling the shoe manufacturer that “there won’t be any transportation costs; we’re offering you competitive prison labor (here).”

      This truly is America’s return to slavery, and the reason the War on Drugs will never end.

  5. comedy 5

    I think they borrowed parts of this peace plan from the US

  6. peter 6

    They haven’t got a bloody clue…. Can we borrow Lee Kwan Yew for a couple of years ??

    Singapore is doing very nicely thank you, and they don’t have any mining !

    • loota 6.1

      Let’s not forget that now, Singapore’s per capita income – adjusted for purchasing power – is higher than Australia’s.

      And as Peter said, not a mine or a lamb chop in sight. Just planning and follow through.

      (Issues of democracy and single party rule aside, ahem)

      captcha: restricting

  7. Bored 7

    Gwoaf, gwoaf, gwoaf we need gwoaf my precious…..actually Nact are not unique in the pillock brained pursuit of growth. Lets face it we can do growth, buy more baubles and drink more binge booze, burn a bit of rubber…its good for us. Means we have an excuse to wreck the environment, poison more rivers, kill off the ocean ecosystem by acidifying carbon emissions, heat the planet up, build decks for our homes out of Orangs homes…..and that is the crux of the whole thing, why the F do we need growth?

  8. TightyRighty 8

    If the numbers on the cycle way are correct marty, you could be left eating your hat. If there was a cycle way the length of the country, then it would have created 11,200 jobs at that rate. which is almost three times original estimates, which would make it a resounding success.

    • pollywog 8.1

      …just wondering where the money to pay for these 11,200 people comes from ?

      • Rosy 8.1.1

        … and how it has helped employment during the recession…

      • Lanthanide 8.1.2

        The $50m for 4,000 jobs only came out to $12,500 each, assuming 100% of the money is spent on labour and 0% on materials, equipment or actually earthmoving machinery etc.

        $12,500 works out to about 24 weeks worth of employment at minimum wage of $12.75/hr.

        So even if it did create “4000 jobs”, they would be low-paid and short-lived.

        Basically, TR, your maths are complete bollocks, but I suspect you know that.

        • Roger 8.1.2.1

          They would all be on trial periods so you could pay for the equiptment and fire them all before the 90 days! Now it all makes sense.

      • Roger 8.1.3

        It would cost just under $102 million in wages if they were all hired full time on minimum wage and fired on day 89 of their trial period. See, its all coming together. Provided everyone brings their own tools.

        • Ed 8.1.3.1

          I suspect reality is more like continuing 50 jobs that were already there and adding (at best) another 50, including the public servants in Wellington with the task of making the cycleway work. Great for those local areas that were previously funding projects themselves, but hardly a great boost to the economy – even in another 3 years time.

    • bbfloyd 8.2

      @T.R. which ,of course, brings into disrepute the original costings. and of course,shows up the utter lack of any serious intent to follow through on what was really, just another one of ron(key)’s clever? little pr stunts

    • Craig Glen Eden 8.3

      “If the numbers on the cycle way are correct marty”, Marty could jump over small buildings and rid the world of poverty and wars. Ha hahahaaaaaaaaaa you are so silly Tighty you do make us laugh.

      “Which would make it a resounding success” Haaa Oh stop it Tighty

      a few words come to mind when someone talks about National and the economy moving forward ,
      PiSS UP and BREWERY enough said I think..

  9. bbfloyd 9

    @martyG. on the subject of the Mcjonno memorial cycleway. have ther been any figures published on what has been spent so far on it? it has been suggested to me that the money allocated in the 2009 budget may well have ended up somewhere else. i would hate to make any claims of misappropriation, but i am curious none the less.

  10. Carol 10

    Ha! Key can’t get his patsy question right to Chris Finlayson, on the Foreshore & Seabed ammendments. Fluffed his lines just now.

  11. National’s Plan (diagramatically) 🙂

    (shit) >-(Govt)-< (fan)

    However, since they are naturally inclined towards laissez-faire…

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 13

    In some ways I feel sorry for English becoming Finance Minister when the economic climate is least suited to his skewed sense of economic priorities, then I see that he has no cognisance of the wider picture (falling private sector growth but large private sector debt), in which he tries to blame too much government spending for low growth. Even if he did try to spend more to help economic growth now, I suspect it will be many years before we can get out of the Japanese death spiral (low growth, low interest rates, low inflation) since business and individuals will use the money to pay down debt and spin off effects will be minimal.

    I was under the impression, however that the duty of the government was to balance and help the ECONOMY, not some formulaic measures of government spending ( ie look after the first and the other will look after itself not the other way round) and considering private debt is the problem- why not try and do something about that first.

    What does seem inevitable however is that the next period of economic growth will be 2-5 years away when China, India, Africa, South America start demanding education, high tech and luxury items. I would have thought now is the time for government to put the effort in so we can benefit from this by investing in our education, energy efficient technology, health care, science and productivity like a lot of other countries are doing. Instead we are getting dis-investment (as well as unhealthy drain of skilled workers to Australia) on the flimsy premise that the free market gods are going to punish us if we can’t chest beat about our government/private sector GDP ratio.

  13. Bill 14

    A cabal out to rip off doesn’t need an economic plan.

    It needs a plan that will allow it to rifle pockets, rip assets and get away with it.

    And it need a front.

    In the 80s the front was that affable but not too smart Lange. Today it’s Key. Maybe not so affable. And the liberal social policy cards can’t be laid down as a nice vacuous distraction for the plebs – they all got played last time.

    But then, there is still that financial meltdown that just might be a good enough smoke screen to cover the mad dash for the loot.

    Anyway. Economic plan? Meaning; ‘How will the spoils be spent?’ Is that what’s meant by the question? That would be telling and I doubt anybody is going to be doing any of that any time soon.

    Meanwhile we might want apply ourselves to uncovering really existing plan(s) rather than fretting over the absence of a non-existent economic one.

  14. Nick C 15

    If we want to create jobs then perhaps we should ban the import of cars? This would mean cars would need to be made in NZ, creating potentially thousands of jobs, and it wouldnt cost the government a cent!

    • loota 15.1

      Or if you look at Cuba, we could have an entire industry dedicated to keeping 25 (50 in Cuba’s case!) year old cars on the road and no new car industry!

      • bbfloyd 15.1.1

        @loota. and this is relevant to us? could you explain that for us please?

        • loota 15.1.1.1

          direct comment on Nick C’s (presumably jokey) idea that we ban the import of cars. Hence the relevance of Cuba. Where they can’t import cars. And despite the ban do not make new cars either, but rely on repairing their old cars. For decades if need be.

    • bbfloyd 15.2

      @nick C; i agree with you totally on the concept. allowing unfettered imports of used cars has also had the effect of making maintainence on cars massively expensive. having to widen the range of required engine parts alone has removed the bargaining power of parts importers, leading to much higher costs to the motorist. and, of course, difficulties in finding exactly the right parts for their wonderfully unique vehicles

      • Lanthanide 15.2.1

        My sister’s boyfriend recently wrote off his motorbike. The replacement engine would cost more than an entire brand new bike. That’s not including labour to fit it, either.

  15. David Cunliffe is giving the tories hell in Parliament.

    My favourite line “rolling maul of soundbites”.

  16. Carol 17

    Cunliffe was just on fire speaking about NATCs lack of an economic plan. He identitfied:
    “Brownlee’s Law of Holes: when in one, stop digging – and you better have a plan B. Brownlee didn’t have one.”

  17. Carol 18

    I’m getting sick of the Nats claiming they are the democratic party that listens to the public and their concerns & that the last Labour-led government was undemocratic and authoritarian, in the House today.

    They mention Clark’s control of cabinet and the “undemocratic” electoral finance act that the public objected to.

    Well, Key HAD little choice but listen to the public on mining schedule 4, or they wouLd be in danger of haemoraging votes & popular support. Did 50,000 people march against the Electoral Refom Act? How many written submissions opposed it?

    Have NACT listened to Aucklanders on the Supercity organisation in any significant way? Ecan?

    What a load of double-talking BS-mongers!

  18. Akldnut 19

    as I said above Goff and Cunliffe were on fire – Brownlee went down the hole a bit further lol

    • Carol 19.1

      Yes. AK, couldn’t reply to your point/question on another thread about if Brownlee was planning to mine other areas. yes, and other conservation areas too I understand. he was asked today why, before he looked at Scedule 4 land for mining, he didn’t explore mining Northland & the other area he was now planning to investigate. He said it wasn’t on the agenda at that point, or some such weak answer.

  19. Irascible 20

    The rest of the NACT economic plan is simple: Sell the state assets acting on the broking advice of Douglas & Hide Investments then invest the capital in a reputable finance company like Blue-Chip cos that is the Party colour.

  20. Ed 21

    We should not of course forget the late 2008 /early 2009 initiative of large tax cuts for the highest paid – which was supposed to flood our economy with increased demand for business services – and when the reality of the food banks that were getting higher demand was pointed out, John Key made an impassioned plea to those getting the big tax cuts to increase their donations to charity – with all such tax deductions being tax deductible. Have you noticed charities suddenly having more funds to spend?

    Their support for business has resulted in Brian Gaynor decrying the reality that companies are not able to raise capital in New Zealand; that trust in the sharemarket is at a low, with no hope in sight for any reversal of that trend, and an increasing trend for New Zealanders to sell out to foreign investors. Many small businesses now believe that the government does not have the right answers, and that we will not see any significant recovery this year. So businesses are not employing people, and assistance for the unemployed is being reduced. The government’s response is to impose political decisions on water allocations to encourage foreign owned expansion in dairy, to reduce the capacity of most New Zealanders to save, to increase costs to businesses for ACC, to reduce tourism through higher GST.

  21. more_ben 22

    the question everyone seems to be asking is “where is National’s economic plan?’

    I’ll say everyone is asking that question. Everyone, that is, except everybody. In which case nobody is asking that.

    Because everybody outside Standard HQ knows the government spends a ton of money on things that either don’t make any sense, or would be better organised without the government doing it. Everybody also knows National has no willingness to undo (almost) any of that ridiculous spending. Whatever Labour did in its 9 years, however many times National voted against those new regulations and spending, National isn’t going to undo any of it.

    And the Standard’s prescription is actually what’s needed is even more government. As if 46% of the economy, among the top of the OECD, isn’t enough.

    • loota 22.1

      I think more_ben’s criticisms of The Standard has just reconfirmed the validity of the question – where is National’s economic plan?” since if they had one, he would have said.

    • Pascal's bookie 22.2

      The people that actually want to radically shrink the government and undo all of that stuff, ben , have parties to vote for. Those parties get between them, less votes than the Greens.

      I don’t think you know much about everyone reckons. For example, there was a recent TV3 poll on privatisation of state owned assets. 80 percent against, 12 for.

      “everybody outside Standard HQ knows the government spends a ton of money on things that either don’t make any sense, or would be better organised without the government doing it.”

      pfffft. You think you are the majority when you are not within a bulls roar of the centre.

  22. uroskin 23

    Isn’t “Economic Plan” a Stalinist relic?

  23. purplescottie 24

    So what is this “step change”?

    While I appreciate your idea Fraser, I don’t think that’s quite it.

    • fraser 24.1

      neither do i – its more of an underpants change to the economy 🙂

      beautiful in its simplicity though

      (actually its a Sth Park reference)

      • just saying 24.1.1

        More like turning the old ones inside out and putting them back on.

        • fraser 24.1.1.1

          oooh – recycling.

          that takes care of the “balancing the economy with the environment” bit.

          next step – profit!

    • Pascal's bookie 24.2

      So what is this “step change’?

      I understand this is the approved meme-onic representation.

      • felix 24.2.1

        Oh that’s awful P’s b. Obviously intended to represent Key breaking his arm.

        And there’s a swastika suggested in the placement of the limbs which is highly offensive to right-wingers, supposedly because they’re all occasionally Jewish but really ‘cos they don’t like people making fun of teh nazis.

        Poor taste P’s b, poor taste.

  24. coolas 25

    Driving past ports in NZ and seeing all the logs being exported always makes me wonder: why don’t we do more value added timber products?

    And doesn’t all the aluminum from the Bluff go offshore in bulk, then come back as product?

    Clean Green food attracts a premium but we’re moving to a monoculture of cows.

    There’s so much opportunity to create jobs and wealth in NZ, but Capital, as ever, and now Politics are controlled by a pack of greedy, unimaginative, philistines who want fast profits.

    • loota 25.1

      controlled by a pack of greedy, unimaginative, philistines who want fast, easy profits

      Spot on the money coolas, as it were, just thought I’d clarify that a bit more

  25. Carol 27

    The government doesn’t have an economic plan, but they have a “game plan”. And that’s what it is to Key – a game. Remember one of his key strategies is a reliance on the forward moving power of the “rolling maul” of intitiatives. Did he ever say what the main goal was? He must have one – presumably to deliver as much as possible to big business.

    So, Brownlee is the brutish, forward thug, that pushes/pulls the maul as far as it will go, until stopped by the powerful counter-forces launched by the opposition, then, before they actually totally get stopped, it gets rolled off in another direction, eg to focus on mining non-schedule 4 areas.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/govt-still-ignoring-public-mining-greens-3665690

    And according to an item I heard on Nat Rad today, cabinet papers show the government backed-down on schedule 4 mining, because it was damaging the image of the mining industry.

    Well, maybe rugby has some lessons for us, because, the government’s strategy doesn’t rest on presenting logical (economic) arguments, but on pushing as far as they can – and using underhand tactics if they can get away with it, until the ref (public opinion?) signals otherwise. South Africa had a killer rolling maul last year, but the ABs have found a way to counter it. How exactly have they done that? Partly, I think, by pushing hard against the maul before it can get up a head of steam, and so that they prevent it rolling off in another direction successfully. It means keeping an eye on where the opposition is heading.

    And, according to Key’s game plan, anything’s fair if the ref doesn’t notice it, or it doesn’t get caught on camera.

  26. Draco T Bastard 28

    To have a viable economic plan you’d have to know how the economy works and National, ACT and the MP haven’t got a friggen clue. What they have is belief on how the economy works and that delusion tells them that it’s the rich people who make it work and the way to make it work more is to make those people richer at everyone else’s expense. This, of course, causes the economy to collapse as it did in the 19th century, the 1930s, 1970s, 1987 and 2007/8.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 28.1

      Add 1890 to that list- it was a bigger recession than the 1930’s one.
      If they lost the Milton Friedman handbook, they’d be lost. If things don’t go as planned, its because we didn’t follow the instructions closely enough.

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