Four Budget slides

May 16th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

welfare

I’ve grabbed these four slides from the presentation, as I think they show a powerful story. The first is that welfare reforms are working. Benefit costs are around a billion lower than forecast in 2010, and continue to drop.

currentaccount

Labour bang on about the current account deficit a lot. You’ll note how huge it was in 2008. Anyway in 2010 it was projected to hit 7% of GDP. In reality it has improved in the last two years and is still at a historically low level.

opallowance

This one is very powerful. You see how Labour were ramping up spending massively, and especially in 2008 they basically spent every dollar they could find. And then when the recession hit, we ended up with our structural deficit.

National has imposed considerable fiscal restraint. No, not cutting spending in absolute terms, but having very little extra spending in the first four years, and just modest increases since.

debt

 

And this is the key one. The settings inherited by National saw a structural deficit and debt ever increasing. In five years, it has been turned around. Labour and Greens complain about the increase in debt, while at the same time they bitched and moaned about every single decision to restrain spending.  This is the essence of their problems – no consistency. They think you can fool people by bitterly opposing spending restraint for five years, and also complaining about increased debt.

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69 Responses to “Four Budget slides”

  1. Harriet (4,505 comments) says:

    A picture tells a thousand words.

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  2. Kimbo (667 comments) says:

    A picture tells a thousand words.

    Indeed. So when do you join the return from the Kiwi Diaspora in the failed Republic of Queensland, Harriet?

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  3. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    The settings inherited by National saw a structural deficit and debt ever increasing.

    The settings inherited by National had a GFC render them unusable. And if Labour had won, Labour would have inherited settings that a GFC had rendered unusable.

    All your graph shows is that, if the incoming government in 2009 had decided to pretend the GFC hadn’t happened, we’d be in a world of shit right now. Funnily enough, the incoming government didn’t pretend the GFC hadn’t happened and we aren’t in a world of shit right now. You’re trying to make a case that noticing there was a GFC was a feat of awesome political governance that only National could have pulled off, which is kind of amusing but not in any sense something to be taken seriously.

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  4. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    There’s not much point talking about the benefit system if the discussion excludes National Superannuation (which costs us more than all of the other benefits combined).

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  5. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    That last slide should be put on the back of every bus in the country.

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  6. Ross12 (1,147 comments) says:

    PM

    If Labour/Greens had got in at the time of the GFC , their answer was printing money !!

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  7. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    These graphs just show how feckless a Labour Government is with public money. They spend like a drunken sailor when in office leaving unsustainable debt levels and spending commitments. The same scenario occurred in Australia and in Britain. In opposition they oppose every measure that is brought down to control spending and debt. If they ever get into office again they will embark on a spending binge and blow the books again. There must never again be a Labour Government unless you want another financial crisis on their leaving office. In the last 50 years they have never left public finances better than they found them.

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  8. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (785 comments) says:

    Psycho – if you are not happy with the situation, don’t and join the bunch of losers asking for more handouts outside the Skycity right now….

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  9. Kimbo (667 comments) says:

    You’re trying to make a case that noticing there was a GFC was a feat of awesome political governance that only National could have pulled off, which is kind of amusing but not in any sense something to be taken seriously.

    Nope.

    Remember when Key and English were holding steady on their promises for moderate tax-cuts and to maintain the level of social-spending through WFF and interest-free student loans? One one hand you had Roger Douglas like the Ghost of Christmas Past prophesying doom-and-gloom on election night 2008 because of it. THEN you also had Labour and the Greens for about the 3 years after saying we MUST immitate the Keynesian pump-priming that Australia indulged in as THEIR response to the GFC.

    It took political courage and fiscal wisdom to steer the path between both extremes. The art of genius: making the very difficult look simple.

    The borrowing for social-spending the Government locked into place, and the efficiencies they imposed on the public service maintained the social fabric. Which is why, even though wages and profits were low throughout the GFC, the big work is behind us. And the core health of NZ Inc is good. Contrast with Australia. What “value” did they get for their extra spend-up? They just delayed the inevitable. QAnd increased the cost they have to pay back.

    AND the Key Government had an earthquake in the nations’ 2nd biggest city to contend with!

    This is the BEST government I have ever seen in this country. Even better then the fourth Labour Government until Lange went wandering off the Reservation in search of his “cup of tea” in early 1988…

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  10. Judith (7,537 comments) says:

    @ Sir Cullen’s Sidekick (614 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    You have to admit, that John Key giving a speech in a building like Skycity, an icon, a symbol of the 1%ers, the day after he delivers a budget that has nothing in it for many New Zealanders, does seem a little like he is giving the birdie to some. Couple that with people offered a wage rise much lower than what he gave himself, then he is asking for trouble.

    Not one of his most wisest moves. It’s all very well supporting the people that will vote for you – but at 47% he is not secure and needs to be very careful about whose noses he chooses to rub in it. IMO of course.

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  11. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    thedavincimode. the problem with that is 99% of the population (including Labour/Green/Mana/NZ First politicans) wouldn’t understand the graph.

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  12. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Judith: You must be an ugly old hag with a chip on your shoulder . . . for God’s sake, JK is not responsible for how you look!

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  13. queenstfarmer (743 comments) says:

    Skycity, an icon, a symbol of the 1%ers

    On the few occasions I’ve ventured in there, it’s been more the domain of the middle-lower deciles.

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  14. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    “You see how Labour were ramping up spending massively, and especially in 2008 they basically spent every dollar they could find.”

    someone should be in jail for what they did.

    “a symbol of the 1%ers”

    lol yeah the casino is a symbol of the 1%ers. more like a symbol of people who probably shouldnt be blowing their cash gambling! its also a symbol of comp hotel rooms for left wing politicians like len and shane jones

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  15. David Farrar (1,853 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, again, misses the point. Yes National adjusted settings in relation to the GFC. They imposed spending restraint (and cancelled a further tranche of tax cuts). The issue is Labour bitterly fought that spending restraint. They argued for the exact opposite – much much much more spending. So for them to claim now that they would have got us back into surplus also is inconsistent. Their argument was to make the deficits bigger.

    Psycho Milt also displays a view that getting NZ back into surplus was really easy. Anyone could do it. except of course NZ is one of the few countries that has done it.

    Most of all he misses that the Government had a real balancing act. The left wanted to boost spending even more, calling for more fiscal stimulus. Many on the right wanted Key to do what Abbott has done – radical policy changes. They wanted spending cuts to get back into surplus within one or two years. The risk with that was both economic and political – it could have deepened the recession, and reduced confidence in the economic direction of the country.

    Basically Psycho’s entire argument is he has total faith that Labour in Government would have done the opposite of what they called for in opposition, and would have also imposed spending restraint. Such faith in them is touching.

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  16. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (785 comments) says:

    Judith (6,082 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Judith – if I remember correct, after every budget, the Finance Minister gives a breakfast speech to business in Wellington and the PM gives a lunch speech to business in Auckland and again from memory, it always has been at Skycity. Also common sense says that the business community would have fixed the venue and not the PM.

    Losers are always losers. Even if you pour billions, they won’t help themselves. You can only help those who want to be helped. Looking at the TV footage some of the protesters there don’t look like people in poverty. They look like Tuatara’s sisters to me.

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  17. david (2,535 comments) says:

    I can’t believe how stupid the Australian public make themselves look. Even before their budget they were polled as having turned against the Libs and yearning for the good old days of Gillard and the ear-wax muncher. Is it because Abbott has failed dismally to convince the public that the toxic Labor/Green Government had stuffed the economy with unconstrained spending? or are Australians so personally self-centred that they don’t give a flying one for the country as a whole as long as there is a handout for them?

    One thing you have to hand to Key is that he has quietly, and without appearing to deliberately do so, created an environment where increasing numbers are realising that they are largely the architects of their own future prosperity (or poverty) and can’t expect to get a living for nothing forever. He has done it consistently across the board in the welfare system with slow strangulation of access to benefits for bludgers, in the State Housing sector with regular reviews, subdivision of large sections and moving tenants into “more appropriate properties”, and he has delivered to teh Public Service a message that they need to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    Of course Labour and the Greens have fought a rearguard action trying to convince voters that Government is the solution to all problems but I detect that this is becoming a harder sell as time passes.

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  18. alloytoo (432 comments) says:

    @kimbo

    Excellent analysis.

    Labour (and the Greens) objections to any sort of spending restraint in the past 5 years belies any attempt PM can make to rewrite the past.

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  19. SPC (5,375 comments) says:

    The graphs say, benefit cost will fall back to the 2008 level once unemployment falls back to the level of 2008.
    The graphs say, the debt cost per GDP will fall to 20% GDP by 2020 – but they were 10% 5 years ago.

    As per spending in 2008, this was spending made without knowledge of the GFC and at the time we were already in a high OCR induced recession (to dampen a house bubble).

    Some governments react to recession by increased spending (a stimulus), others by allowing high deficits (because of falling revenue) till we come through the recession.

    IMO, a Kiwi build programme in the 2008-2011 years to increase housing stock in Auckland when private building consents fell would have been the optimum policy – a bit of both. Selling the homes meant no extra debt. The right (and well timed) job creation both reduces benefit cost and meets economic need for more housing supply. Also requiring rental landlords to invest in WOF upgrades 2008-2014 would also have been a good economic stimulus – the spending creating jobs, reducing benefit cost.

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  20. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, again, misses the point.

    I do not. You present that graph as though the red line represents what would have happened if a government other than National’s had been running things – but it doesn’t.

    The issue is Labour bitterly fought that spending restraint. They argued for the exact opposite – much much much more spending. So for them to claim now that they would have got us back into surplus also is inconsistent.

    Labour would have spent money on things National chose to cut, and would have cut things National chose to spend on – so? Speculation is free – maybe Labour would have spent more than National and clocked up a bigger deficit, maybe Labour wouldn’t have tortured the accounting rules nearly to death to get the books to show a black number by 2014, maybe Labour’s policies would have prompted more economic activity and brought us out of deficit sooner. “Maybe” counts for shit. Fact is, your graph doesn’t show what you want people to think it does.

    Most of all he misses that the Government had a real balancing act.

    I may come across as a dumbass, but the fact that government involves compromises, political horsetrading and dissatisfying large numbers of people who wanted something different isn’t news to me. Under MMP there’s no such thing as a government that doesn’t have a real balancing act.

    Basically Psycho’s entire argument is he has total faith that Labour in Government would have done the opposite of what they called for in opposition, and would have also imposed spending restraint.

    Nice straw man you’ve got there. I have no clue what a Labour government would have done, let alone ‘faith’ that it would have done any particular thing. It’s worth noting a couple of things about your premise, though:
    1. It assumes austerity is the only successful response to a downturn.
    2. It assumes that National largely maintaining Labour’s programme (WfF, interest-free student loans etc) constituted ‘fiscal restraint,’ something I suspect would be hotly disputed by many Kiwiblog commenters.

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  21. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    Serious question: Re graph #1 – what is defined as a benefit? Is it a strict interpretation from legislation such as the Social Security Act, or is it just an arbitrary word used by the government?

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  22. Paulus (2,496 comments) says:

    Judith

    You still here – get back to the Stranded.

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  23. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psycho

    You seem to have forgotten that NZ was in recession all by itself before the GFC thanks to Labour.

    If you can’t bring yourself to face this reality then why did National need to deliver a black budget in 1990 ?

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  24. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    These graphs just show how feckless a Labour Government is with public money. They spend like a drunken sailor when in office leaving unsustainable debt levels and spending commitments.

    Just for the record, seeing as it obviously needs repeating: the last Labour government recorded a surplus every year it was in office and paid public debt down close to zero.

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  25. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psych

    Also … the root cause of the GFC was the sub-prime mortgage collapse. Why did we have that issue – because social interventionist government put pressure on state lenders to extend mortgages to people who would not normally qualify – kind of like Labour/Green initiatives to help people who never save a deposit into a house of their own.

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  26. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    “IMO, a Kiwi build programme in the 2008-2011 years to increase housing stock in Auckland when private building consents fell would have been the optimum policy – a bit of both. Selling the homes meant no extra debt. The right (and well timed) job creation both reduces benefit cost and meets economic need for more housing supply. Also requiring rental landlords to invest in WOF upgrades 2008-2014 would also have been a good economic stimulus – the spending creating jobs, reducing benefit cost.”

    BAHAHAHA

    the way the left think is just retarded. that is all.

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  27. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    Also, ya know National has done a good job when the hard left stooges are saying “labour would have done the same thing” as opposed to all the other shit they really wanted to do. like tax hikes for the “rich”.

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  28. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psycho

    the last Labour government recorded a surplus every year it was in office and paid public debt down close to zero.

    And to do that personal debt went through the roof. People being taxed so hard they were borrowing to pay the power bill while the government paid off debt. Apparently that’s prudent government.

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  29. Ed Snack (1,734 comments) says:

    Judith, if you think the “1%” patronize Sky City then you are very badly deluded ! A few of this much reviled group might own shares in SC, but that would be the extent of their contact.

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  30. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    The debate between Psycho Milt and DPF centres around the issue that Labour say one thing, but would have done another (Milt); or Labour has been saying one thing and would have followed through on that (DPF).

    If you accept (as I do) that mostly the Labour Party in parliament are a bunch of liars then Milt wins this hands down.

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  31. SPC (5,375 comments) says:

    As to the miraculous performance of return to surplus

    1. our recession was caused by the high OCR, not the GFC.
    2. our markets were not harmed by the GFC, we had good terms of trade
    3. the earthquake, while increasing debt, results in activity leading the economy out of recession (some funded by offshore insurance funds).

    The issue was top rate tax cut or not. CGT or not. Labour would have had more funds for spending. More investment in economic activity or not. Labour would have been more pro-active.

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  32. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    And to do that personal debt went through the roof. People being taxed so hard they were borrowing to pay the power bill while the government paid off debt.

    Burt, I’m talking about the real, actually-existing New Zealand, not the one in your bizarre fantasy. In that real NZ, people were being taxed about as hard as they are now, and personal debt went through the roof because people were foolishly assuming the bubble would inflate indefinitely.

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  33. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psycho

    In that real NZ, people were being taxed about as hard as they are now

    Right, so you’ll never make comment about tax cuts being bad then because they …. didn’t actually happen…

    Of course people though the bubble would go on forever, the government spending was increasing faster than GDP so the leadership example was – spend more than you earn !

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  34. Judith (7,537 comments) says:

    @ Ed Snack (1,588 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    God lord Ed, what planet do you live on?

    Of course the 1% do not patronise Sky City, at least not the gambling areas, that is the ever hopeful lower 50%. The 1% are the business people that John Key was talking to at the Sky City Centre today.

    You can bet there were very few of the ‘bought young mothers’ among the audience. The young mothers who will be silly enough to think that paid parental leave will leave their little darlings secure for the rest of their lives. The same young mothers who in years to come, when they either still don’t own their own home, or are still paying off a massive mortgage, will see their little darlings unable to access tertiary education due to this governments cut backs (in order to give them their baby bribe). Mothers whose children will NEVER be able to own their own houses, improve their social position, because their mothers were happy to base their votes on a few more weeks paid leave, and free GP visits, (providing they can find a GP, because the Govt has failed to address that issue, as well).

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  35. Ed Snack (1,734 comments) says:

    SPC, but every extra $ spent came out of the economy in the first place and was recycled with an efficiency of a lot less than 1, so overall fewer $ would have been available. Possibly more employment in useless government positions, and gosh would we have been better off with those !

    But, on causes, one reason for the higher exchange rate was because of the GFC overseas, and because we didn’t debase our currency. The earthquake, maybe a few more and we’ll be rich ! That’s the old broken window falsity, the money spent on the rebuild is not available for spending elsewhere, whatever activity it generates displaces more activity elsewhere or we’d all be creating mass destruction for the benefit you think it brings.

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  36. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Judith

    I didn’t realise the government was the sole employer of GP’s ?

    Although guessing at the problem – did the last Labour government cap the amout a GP can earn in an effort to address inequality and in doing so put people off studying to become a Dr because being a social policy analyst at MSD pays better ?

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  37. Judith (7,537 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,188 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    What a childish answer Burt. The government’s policy is what drives education, and employment in this country. The shortage of GP’s is something they should have addressed – but they didn’t – instead they make doctors visits free to more people. Making the demand more.

    For how long are you going to keep addressing inadequacies in this Governments policies, by stating but Labour historically did this or that?
    Using Labours poor historical performance is not a ‘get out of jail’ card, for a government that has been in power for six years. That may have worked in the first three years, but not now – sooner or later National supporters have to grow up. You can’t blame your government’s shortfalls on Labour forever.

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  38. SPC (5,375 comments) says:

    Ed Snack, no one is claiming that the people of Christchurch are better off for it, nor even the economy over the entire period (the immediate impact was economic inactivity), but the fact is the governments books are based on economic activity and that activity funded by insurance pay outs is a driver of the forecast higher economic growth in years to come.

    Yes there were also different positions on our monetary policy and the course chosen led to a higher dollar value.

    As to quality of spending, investment by landlords in improving their properties to reduce energy demand and improve resident health, rather than bid up values by buying more would have been good. As would government build of new housing and on-sale into the market, when the private sector was inactive (leading to a shortage of supply).

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  39. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt (2,080 comments) says:

    “In that real NZ, people were being taxed about as hard as they are now”

    Milt they didn’t move the top tax rate bracket so more and more people ended up paying it. You CANNOT deny that. Also they pillaged the power companies for all they were worth meaning power prices rose significantly (by 75%). That in my mind is a tax by stealth. Want more examples?

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  40. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Judith

    The shortage of GP’s is something they should have addressed

    What, by handing out Bachelor of Medicine degrees in cornflakes packets ?

    How, in your social engineering is good world, should the government control/dictate what people study ?

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  41. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Right, so you’ll never make comment about tax cuts being bad then because they …. didn’t actually happen…

    They did happen, burt – for a few people. The rest just got a tax switch, in which they paid somewhat less income tax and somewhat more GST. If my memory is correct, I did make about $10 pw on the deal, but I’m way above the median. The people who got a real cut were… hmm, up at around MP/Cabinet Minister pay levels…

    As to whether they were ‘bad’ or not, well – they put something like a bil per annum on the public debt, so I guess whether they were bad or not depends on how favourably you regard the government borrowing money to pay the bills.

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  42. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psycho

    The biggest difference in tax wasn’t the reduction in tax on the wealthy, it was the reduction in tax on the middle earners. Remember under Labour at the start of 2008 75% of high school teachers were paying the top tax rate…. they were rich ….

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  43. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    Judith (6,084 comments) says:

    “You can’t blame your government’s shortfalls on Labour forever.”

    Why blame? Look at the graphs Judith. They make not be perfect but they are doing a pretty outstanding job and the stats back them up. The arguments from the left about this budget are just pathetic. They give a large amount of money to families and the left still says it is a budget that gives nothing to ordinary people! National’s strategy and performance is just blowing Labour to pieces. They continue to have no answer. And if you look at the speeches yesterday by Key vs Cunliffe you know its only going to get worse for them on the campaign trail.

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  44. Bogusnews (441 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, blaming it on the GFC is absolute crap. Our export sector went into technical recession in 2006, the general economy went massively into recession in the beginning of 2008, this was 8 months before the GFC hit the rest of the world.

    The simple fact is that under Labour we ended up spending an additional 16Bil a year on the state service, this was the amount over the gradual annual increase that had been happening under National for the previous 9 years. This was why Treasury was predicting never ending deficits.

    These points started being noticed by the bloggers about 2005. I still have a telling email from 2007 where an ex pat predicted that by 2008 the economy would be so bad that the journo’s would finally notice, and even some economists.

    Speaking of which, I listened to a not terribly bright economist speaking before the budget who said it would make no difference which party was in power as National and Labour had the same policies. Words fail me.

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  45. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Milt they didn’t move the top tax rate bracket so more and more people ended up paying it.

    Sure. And National moved it. Since then, National haven’t moved the top tax bracket so more and more people have ended up paying it. No doubt some future government will move it again. So what? I’m paying about the same amount of tax in the top bracket now as I was in the mid-2000s.

    Also they pillaged the power companies for all they were worth meaning power prices rose significantly (by 75%). That in my mind is a tax by stealth.

    The current government also practices many instances of what you would call ‘tax by stealth,’ including demanding dividends on its power company ownership. Whether it’s doing less of it than Labour did or not isn’t obvious. Certainly I doubt you’ll find anyone rejoicing that their power bill has fallen under National’s stewardship…

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  46. Judith (7,537 comments) says:

    @ Cunningham (783 comments) says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    What was the debt amount when National took over, and what is that debt amount now?

    If I tried to pass off the same argument as the government presented to us yesterday, in an effort to secure the banks backing for a loan, they would instantly reject – citing bad performance.

    The only thing the Government gets an A for, is illusion.

    When a government gives itself a 2.2% pay rise, but offers the workers only .5%, then how can anyone believe they are doing what is best for ‘all’ New Zealanders?

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  47. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, blaming it on the GFC is absolute crap. Our export sector went into technical recession in 2006, the general economy went massively into recession in the beginning of 2008, this was 8 months before the GFC hit the rest of the world.

    Sure, the recession hitting us early wasn’t the GFC, it was a consequence of monetary policy having only one blunt instrument at its disposal (gee, maybe a forward-thinking political party could address that problem), which meant an OCR at economy-crushing levels thanks to the housing bubble. The housing bubble could be called Labour’s fault, but it’s not like National has any better approach – they’ve done nothing and the next housing bubble is already pushing the OCR up.

    The simple fact is that we ended up spending an additional 16Bil a year on the state service, this was the amount over the gradual annual increase that had been happening under National for the previous 9 years.

    The fact is, the government spent according to its earnings – which were high enough to cover building the public sector back up again from the emaciated wreck National left behind in 1999, as well as paying down debt and recording budget surpluses. Post-GFC, the NACT government had to spend according to its earnings, which were a lot less. Life’s tough.

    …it would make no difference which party was in power as National and Labour had the same policies.

    Policies like paid parental leave, and free doctor’s visits for kids? Yeah, it can be hard to tell the difference between them sometimes.

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  48. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    Judith (6,086 comments) says:

    “What was the debt amount when National took over, and what is that debt amount now? ”

    Come on Judith, you can’t possibly be serious? You expect them to rack up no more debt even though we had a massive recession crap all over us? That is real dream land stuff. Imagine how much you would have complained if they tried to slash and burn to keep our debt levels down.

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  49. Bogusnews (441 comments) says:

    Psycho, again, absolute crap. To anyone with a basic understanding of economics the policies of the Clarke government were disastrous. It was a train wreck waiting to happen.

    As another example (and I’m happy to give plenty more), their policies meant personal productivity fell from 2.2 (highest on record) to .7 (lowest on record.) When you have a massive reduction in productivity followed by massive increases in wasteful Government spending you don’t need to be an Einstein to know what comes next.

    Left wing governments know how to spend, or more accurately, waste money, but they are clueless on how to make money. For example, I did a lot of work in the health service. Clarke boasted she had “rebuilt” the health service. She increased spending from 7.5Bil to 13Bil, yet at the same time, the waiting list increased from 100K to 180K! How? Very simple when a socialist is spending the money. We ended up with 14000 managers and administrators, one for every hospital bed.

    The same story was repeated in pretty much every govt department. When you see this massive cost for no benefit it’s easy to understand why we went into recession. It had nothing to do with the GFC and everything to do with a wasteful, totally incompetent Labour government.

    The list Key gave of the policies enacted by National which has helped reduce spending (and tellingly EVERY one was opposed by Labour) it tells a compelling story.

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  50. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @burt

    “How, in your social engineering is good world, should the government control/dictate what people study ?”

    ———————-

    That’s easy to answer. If the Government wants more doctors then it can increase the funding to ensure that more places are available at medical schools.

    There is no shortage of people who want to study medicine. The medical schools in Auckland and Dunedin turn down hundreds of applicants every year (since the medical schools have a limited number of places available).

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  51. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    “What, by handing out Bachelor of Medicine degrees in cornflakes packets ?

    How, in your social engineering is good world, should the government control/dictate what people study ?”

    my GP tells me they are moving towards having Nurses take over the role of the GP. they will be able to write scripts etc.

    GP’s arent paid enough IMHO. Nurses writing scripts and diagnosing people = death imho.

    Lucky im a 1%er. No nurse for Dime.

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  52. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    gump

    OK, so where will that extra funding come from ? What spending will we reduce so we can train more doctors ?

    Perhaps we could lower the standard of entry along with increasing the number of positions available so 99% of high school leavers can train to be a doctor – problem solved right ?

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  53. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @burt

    All Government spending is prioritised. If you want to fund the development of doctors then you take the funding from projects with a lower priority.

    And why would you need to lower the entry standards? The medical schools are already turning away scores of applicants that meet their standards (due to the limited number of available places).

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  54. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    gump

    Well they might be turning away a lot of applicants because people know that doctors get reasonably well paid. In a situation where 1 in 10 doctors was unemployed and pay rates have fallen – how many people would be applying ?

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  55. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @dime

    “GP’s arent paid enough IMHO. Nurses writing scripts and diagnosing people = death imho.”

    ————————

    Under the current regulations, it isn’t possible for a prescription to be valid for longer than three months.

    I take a medication that I will need to consume for the rest of my life. Are you seriously suggesting that I should have to visit my GP every three months to get the script renewed?

    That would be a wasteful and inefficient use of his time. It’s far better for me to get his nurse to do the renewals.

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  56. gump (1,474 comments) says:

    @burt

    “Well they might be turning away a lot of applicants because people know that doctors get reasonably well paid. In a situation where 1 in 10 doctors was unemployed and pay rates have fallen – how many people would be applying ?”

    —————————

    There is full employment for doctors in New Zealand and shortages in many regions (particularly rural areas).

    I can’t imagine a situation in which 10% of doctors would be unemployed given that the supply is doctors is constrained and demand for their services is growing with each passing year.

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  57. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    gump

    Nobody ever imagined that Architects would have low starting pay and trouble finding jobs 10 years ago…. But the number of grads increased quite significantly over the last 10 years and now many are saying …. why did I bother studying this shit when there are bugger all jobs and the starting pay is so crap !

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  58. dime (9,396 comments) says:

    “Under the current regulations, it isn’t possible for a prescription to be valid for longer than three months.

    I take a medication that I will need to consume for the rest of my life. Are you seriously suggesting that I should have to visit my GP every three months to get the script renewed?

    That would be a wasteful and inefficient use of his time. It’s far better for me to get his nurse to do the renewals.”

    YOU can do what you like. Dime deals with Doctors :) Dime likes to get some drugs every few months too. I see my doc and he does my blood pressure, listens to my heart etc he noticed a mole had changed, cut it out. a nurse writing a script wouldnt have seen that. No one wants a dead Dime. Especially Dime.

    Clinical Nurses will be set up and people will go there with what ever is wrong and they will diagnose and prescribe. FUCK THAT.

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  59. ShawnLH (3,234 comments) says:

    “sooner or later National supporters have to grow up. You can’t blame your government’s shortfalls on Labour forever.”

    Bollocks. What shortfalls?

    Sooner or later people with a purely personal animosity to John Key have to grow up and realize that the Key – English government has done extremely well.

    We have the fastest growing economy in the OECD, and are vastly better off than Australia, the UK, France, the US, and many other countries as a result of Nationals leadership.

    Santa Clause wish lists that Labour and Judith indulge in are not based in reality.

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  60. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    ShawnLH

    We have the fastest growing economy in the OECD

    This is a point that needs to be hammered home to the lovers of big-spending-end-in-recession Labour party policies. Clark spent 9 years trying to get NZ back into the top half of the OECD and even with the surpluses their fiscal drag tax policies gave them they couldn’t do it.

    How do we explain to people who have never noticed that Labour party policies always end in economic pain that voting for the same road to ruin will end like it has the last few times Labour have been in office.

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  61. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    To anyone with a basic understanding of economics the policies of the Clarke government were disastrous.

    You write like economics is a science. It’s actually a social science, which means people with any understanding of it, whether basic or advanced, can draw conclusions that are the complete opposite of fellow practitioners. What you actually mean is, to anyone with a particular understanding of economics (yours) the policies of the Clark government were disastrous. People who don’t share that particular view recognise its merits.

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  62. burt (7,797 comments) says:

    Psycho

    There were merits in the Clark government economic management … for a whole pile of people who got WFF & Interest free student loads. The rest of us propped it up for a few years but it was always going to end in recession – every Labour government has for the last 50 years.

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  63. NK (1,066 comments) says:

    Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund were useful legacies Burt. Starters for 10 at least.

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  64. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    There were merits in the Clark government economic management … for a whole pile of people who got WFF & Interest free student loads.

    Good thing the Key government came along to put the economy back on the right track by getting rid of those economy-destroying policies, eh?

    By “merits,” I was thinking of stuff like recording a budget surplus every year, paying down the public debt, lowering unemployment, reducing the number of welfare beneficiaries, overturning the worst provisions of the ECA, restoring public service capacity etc – and Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund, as NK mentioned.

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  65. Redbaiter (7,564 comments) says:

    I can’t see one of these graphs that indicates any of these negative factors will be reduced to less than what they were when Klark was PM.

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  66. itstricky (1,543 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, again, misses the point.

    Wow DPF. I read that as an almost religious style attack. Better watch your emotions you’re reinforcing that paragraph I read today that suggested (possibly jokingly) that you had a hand in The Budget!

    P.S. You and I both know that extrapolation is enemy number 1 of the statistician. To extrapolate a graph based on what didn’t happen is just, well, bollocks. This is what PM is trying to tell you. There we go, mathematical facts, rather than Blue emotion.

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  67. slijmbal (1,210 comments) says:

    @NK

    “Kiwisaver and the Cullen Fund were useful legacies Burt. Starters for 10 at least.”

    Not really. As Kiwisaver includes welfare in the form of a bribe it is +ve in that at least we get some of our taxes back but lots of net receivers of tax also get the bribe so my guess it is neutral at best but I doubt it. There is decent evidence that total savings do not vary much with such schemes. Most saving is done by sensible people who earn more money in general and the rest don’t save. Effectively, we are making the better off save more for those who won’t. It’s thus a hidden benefit in disguise for the less well off.

    The Cullen Fund (Cullen’s Folly) has finally recently got to the point it met the target return that it might have a neutral effect after very large stock/investment returns in the last year or so. The self-set target of government bonds return plus X% are well under the true target to allow for its effects. It’s also exceedingly unlikely to have a significant effect on the cost of pensions when and if it is drawn down. It is also unlikely to be able to actually meet the -ve effects it caused in the long term as the last couple of years are not typical. One does not take billions out of an economy without significant -ve effects

    Looks nice and warms the cockles of the heart though.

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  68. Than (425 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt,

    “Maybe” counts for shit.

    Agreed.

    National returned NZ to surplus without drastic cuts to social spending. Labour maybe could have.

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  69. itstricky (1,543 comments) says:

    National returned NZ to surplus without drastic cuts to social spending. Labour maybe could have.

    As thus we have DPFs extrapolated graphs. “This might have happened”. Highly scientific.

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