This explains a lot with Labour’s sums

May 21st, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

3 News reported:

says New Zealanders can have confidence it’s getting its numbers right despite dumping a staff member from their position in the leader’s office.

Radio Live revealed a long-standing Treasury secondment has been terminated after a dispute over who should pay their salary.

This now leaves Labour with no independent number-cruncher, but leader David Cunliffe says his office has a strong policy team.

“We have very high grade, quantitative analysis and economic modelling skills in our office,” says Mr Cunliffe. “The team is led by the Honourable David Parker, who has my absolute confidence.”

Getting rid of the Treasury secondee is possibly the dumbest thing you can do in Opposition if you want to have credibly costed policies.

It has been a long-standing practice that Treasury will allow one of its staff members to be seconded to the Opposition Leader’s office, just as departmental staff are often seconded to ministerial offices.

The secondee, while no longer working in Treasury, has access to resources such as the Treasury model for forecasting the cost of policies.

I spent four years working in the Opposition Leader’s office and our Treasury secondees were Godsends. They had massive institutional knowledge, and added huge credibility to the development of policies and costings.

I can’t work out any reason the Opposition would turn down the traditional offer of a secondee, unless they simply don’t want their policies credibly costed.

There is no dispute over who pays the salary. It is always the Leader’s Office. When someone is seconded, you always pick up their salary. That is a red herring I believe.

So whenever Labour releases a policy, and claims the cost will be x dollars – remember that is is not a cost estimated by an independent professional. This is the cost that Labour has dreamt up.

I think I can understand why Labour don’t want their policies credibly costed. Look at this policy on the hoof by Labour today:

So Labour is pledging to insulate every single rental property in NZ. I’m outraged. How is it fair they won’t insulate my place also, just because I live in it. What if I transfer it to a trust and rent it to myself – will Labour then come and insulate it.

Also while they are here insulting my house, could they clean my windows also.

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63 Responses to “This explains a lot with Labour’s sums”

  1. alloytoo (463 comments) says:

    “Show me the money” all over again.

    Is their very high grade quantitative analysis and economic modelling skills David Parker?

    Didn’t he publish a public announcement about the current account that was only a billion dollars out last week?

    Questions that must be asked:

    Did they can the treasury staff member because he told them their numbers didn’t or will not add up?

    or

    There’s some truth in the suggestion that they didn’t want to, or couldn’t pay his salary?

    “Couldn’t pay his salary” raises a whole other can of worms.

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  2. jp_1983 (200 comments) says:

    This is their plan to tank house prices
    Have an unworkable wof system for homes and if you don’t comply the penalties will mean the state acquires the house.

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  3. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    Are labour going to insulate all rentals, OR, make the owners of the rental properties insulate homes they rent to other people?

    So far the policy doesn’t seem clear – and there is a very big cost when it comes to govt coffers.

    Personally I think there should be a ‘standard’ for rental properties – if business owners must ensure their premises are ‘safe’ for the public and employees, then surely it is not too much to ask rental owners to have certain (reasonable) standards. IF the govt is prepared to ASSIST (cheap loans) rental owners in insulating their homes, I’m all for it – it reduces the health and power prices so there is a cost/benefit.

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Another display of gross incompetence by McCarten (tax dodger), and Manning (Terrorist supporter). These left-wing leeches are unreal.

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  5. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    I don’t usually comment on appearence but Cunliffe has a seriously unbalanced head in that photo. It’s like someone smacked one side of his head really hard and the force made the other side balooned out. Wait to see JK hammer them come election campaign time with the ‘show me the money’ quote. I predict the issue with the credability of their figures will be even worse then when Goff ran.

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  6. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    Selwyn Manning is working for Labour? No wonder they’re doing so well all of a sudden ;-)

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  7. spanish_tudor (56 comments) says:

    Perhaps there was no Treasury boffin mad enough to take the secondment on?

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  8. freethinker (685 comments) says:

    Be fair to Parker he does not have a calculator because they are expensive and he hasn’t been taught how to use one and his Abacus only has red balls so he guesses the missing stuff.

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  9. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    “Labour will make every rental warm and dry.”

    That’s not a policy, it’s a bumper slogan. And no better than the rest of their un-costed bumper slogans so far.

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  10. peterwn (3,213 comments) says:

    “…make the owners of the rental properties insulate homes they rent to other people? …” – and if a landlord does not wish to, he will give the tenant 90 days notice and put the house on the market for an owner occupier to buy. Labour / Greens greatly underestimate the importance of the mum and dad landlord to the whole housing scene. Drive them out of the market and there is big problems.

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  11. lolitasbrother (588 comments) says:

    So far, this year, I have not heard of any Labour policy that stacks up to investigation.
    I think generally these things filter down to people.
    For a while they were talking about Kiwi Insurance for all of us and including Earthquakes.
    Thats only $NZ40 billion dollars for a big hit, yes thats $10,000 for every one of us, and $40,000 for a taxpayer if the costs are socialised . Haha pay your kiwi insurance here $5000 per year. I think the Press will notice, of course they will. Cunliffe is walking towards a landslide against him and Labour of epic proportions. The damage will be such that we could easily see a further NZ Nat Government in 2017. As well I would expect to see Russell Norman Green resign after 2014.

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  12. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick (1,392 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    It is not a bumper slogan for a government that has all the health statistics to know the damage damp and poorly insulated housing does – especially to children. And especially to children in low income families that cannot afford their own homes or to rent well maintained housing.

    IT is commonsense to ensure the population is as healthy as possible, for a start it reduces the shocking health costs we all pay because of asthma etc.

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  13. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @lolitasbrother – “…we could easily see a further NZ Nat Government in 2017.”

    I agree.
    How could ANY sane person vote for any of the left-wing parties? They are *socialist*. Socialism doesn’t work!

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  14. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    jp_1983 (132 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    This is their plan to tank house prices

    No, this is the fence at the top of the cliff, instead of an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff in the shape of free doctors visits for children.

    Children, especially those from low income families (many of whom rent) are over represented in heath statistics regarding respiratory illness. Damp and cold housing long ago was recognised as a contributory factor.

    It’s all very well offering a free doctor should they get sick, but surely it is better to take steps to stop them getting ill in the first place. Not only does it cost us big money in our health budget, but constant sickness slows a child’s development etc.

    It’s about offering everyone a reasonable standard of housing – not just those of us that can afford it for ourselves.

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  15. Slipster (97 comments) says:

    “What if I transfer it to a trust and rent it to myself – will Labour then come and insulate it”.

    Not only that. I own a cabin out there in the Ranges. Methinks I’ll rent it to my wife or, if that’s too close a family member, to her nephew. He’s currently overseas but who knows, he might want to occupy it one day. And, for that eventuality, I will want Labour to insulate that cabin! Now!

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  16. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    @ thor42 (832 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    How does offering home insulation in a country where dampness has been recognised as a huge health problem fit with socialism?

    Sometimes you people don’t even think before you throw that claim around.

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  17. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    Looking through David Shearer’s media releases I can’t help but think the Civilian Party is facing stiff competition.

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  18. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    @ Slipster (19 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Actually Slipster, the government already has a scheme to offer assistance for insulation – providing your income level isn’t so high that you can afford it yourself.

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  19. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    “IT is commonsense to ensure the population is as healthy as possible”

    OK Judith, will Labour also do the shopping to ensure only healthy food is bought? Will Labour send some round to check no one is smoking in front of the kids? I could go on, but Twyford’s un-costed slogan is just silly. Have a look at how well the Australian policy worked out.

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  20. greenjacket (436 comments) says:

    19 responses so far, 5 from Judith.
    No wonder Judith is happy about spending other peoples’ money – she doesn’t work.

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  21. Slipster (97 comments) says:

    Judith: “And especially to children in low income families”
    —-
    Judith, how about those families produce more income and fewer children? Perhaps then they will demand less from MY pocket to support THEIR lifestyle choices. Or is that idea too revolutionary for you?

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  22. G152 (231 comments) says:

    Well, in order to solve the dampness problem how about a drought of ideas from Liebor

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  23. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,833 comments) says:

    Yes RP. Rudd killed at least four Ockers with his gem of an insulation package. That’s on top of the 1,100 little woggies he killed with his disastrous border policy.

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  24. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Stupid facts!

    Stupid figures!

    Always ruining our best policy ideas!

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  25. Peter (1,664 comments) says:

    We have very high grade, quantitative analysis and economic modelling skills in our office,” says Mr Cunliffe. “The team is led by the Honourable David Parker, who has my absolute confidence.”

    Cunliffe is not only the greatest Labour leader since Shearer, he’s also a comic genius.

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  26. thedavincimode (6,590 comments) says:

    “We have very high grade, quantitative analysis and economic modelling skills in our office,” says Mr Cunliffe. “The team is led by the Honourable David Parker, who has my absolute confidence.”

    After wiping the tears from my eyes, it occurred to me that Viscount Cunners, Home Renovator of The Leaves, Marine Parade, Herne Bay, must have blown the budget on sausage rolls and pies to keep the War Room personnel happy.

    And for those of you who might have skimmed over the most amusing bits, allow me to reiterate:

    high grade

    quantitative analysis and economic modelling skills

    The team is led by the Honourable David Parker

    Too funny. Translation: It’s Parker’s Magic 8 ball and he spins it while everyone else just makes stuff up.

    The great thing about cunners is that when he tries to be funny, he is very funny because he makes such a tool of himself because he isn’t funny. And when he isn’t trying to be funny, he is very funny because he makes such a tool of himself. There is a pattern here.

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  27. Zapper (965 comments) says:

    “Sometimes you people don’t even think”

    Oh me oh my. I guess the difference is that you do think but that results in increasingly imbecilic ramblings.

    How is this not a socialist policy Judith?

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  28. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    @ Rich Prick (1,393 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Now you are being childish. Insulating housing, LIKE THE NATIONAL GOVT has done, and extending that to rental housing to ensure all benefit from increased health benefits, can hardly be compared to diet etc.

    When you can only afford to rent a poor quality house, there is nothing you can do to take away the dampness. You can cover up with more blankets or whatever, but the air you breathe is still cold and damp. This is not a matter of ‘choice’ about whether to keep the air you breathe at the right levels.

    National has offered many incentives to people, they’ve done a great job. Labour has identified an area that needs improvement, and hasn’t been touched yet. I would expect given Nationals previous great performance on this issue, to look at addressing it as well.

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  29. Judith (8,442 comments) says:

    @Slipster (20 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Perhaps then they will demand less from MY pocket to support THEIR lifestyle choices.

    So I can presume that you and all the other whingers on this thread have been writing letters and complaining to the National government about their existing policy to assist with housing insulation over the last 6 years?

    Or are you just jumping on an already rolling bandwagon because you blindly see the name Labour, and think you’ll have a go?

    The fact is Labour are right but only to a certain extent – National has already assisted many landlords to insulate their rental properties.

    NOW – go pick up your pens and paper and write to John Key and pass on the same complaints you have here – tell him he’s a socialist!

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  30. thedavincimode (6,590 comments) says:

    Sometimes you people don’t even think

    Oh nursey, the ironing …

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  31. freemark (519 comments) says:

    Somewhere, somehow, sometimes, someone from Labour pushes a good idea – although generally they were thought up by someone with a bit more intelligence. The fact that they completely & utterly fuck up the communication of said idea indicates that they would be utterly inept at ” making it happen” I suspect that is due to them trying to also make sure it punishes the successful as much as helping the needy. They are just idiots, nasty to boot.

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  32. James Stephenson (2,093 comments) says:

    Also while they are here insulting my house,

    This is shit apartment, Farrar and the windows are filthy!

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  33. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (837 comments) says:

    I am disappointed that people are making fun of Labour here and Judith needs support. So here comes 10 reasons why Labour can effectively cost policies.

    1. Matt McCarten can pluck numbers out of thin air

    2. Parker can easily do calculations on the back of an envelope

    3. Cunliffe has the firm belief when you tax rich pricks every policy can be paid

    4. Hot air comes not only from his Cunliffe’s backside, but from his mouth as well

    5. Cunliffe can create policy on the fly as he knows MSM will never question him – only DPF and Whale Oil do

    6. Parker has a calculator and that is enough to cost Labour’s policies

    7. Anything tweeted is not considered official policy so no need to cost them

    8. Labour’s caucus is so full of talent, they can do policy costing without treasury help

    9. If Labour can build roughly 9 houses in one day, why would you doubt any of their policies? (10,000 houses in 3 years)

    10. If they are short of money, Norman can print it for them….no worries mate…

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  34. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Judith,

    It’s about offering everyone a reasonable standard of housing

    Labour’s plan is to ‘set minimum standards for heating and insulation for all rental properties.’

    Presumably there are plenty of well-insulated rental properties available, which, because of the costs involved, obviously cost more to rent than the alternatives.

    You (and the Labour thugs) seem completely unable to grasp that some people, spending their own money according to their own priorities, might choose the less-insulated properties for perfectly good reasons. They have plenty of other claims on their money.

    Labour’s plan is simply to remove that choice – to force everyone to pay the higher price that comes with better properties – and to pat themselves on the back and wank themselves off about how caring they are, when in fact their policy can can be paraphrased as ‘raising rental prices for the lowest paid.’

    What will their next plan be for ‘helping the poor’: Improving the quality of the cars they drive by banning them from buying second-hand vehicles? (‘It’s about offering everyone a reasonable standard of hatchback’)

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  35. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    Cunningham – “It’s like someone smacked one side of his head really hard and the force made the other side balooned out.”

    They just happened to take the photo halfway between “Yeah” and “Nah”.

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  36. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Yes wat, imagine if vehicle owners were forced to maintain their cars to a set of arbitrary standards. Obviously that would make cars more expensive for the poor.

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  37. lolitasbrother (588 comments) says:

    Every home warm and dry, I wish the tooth fairy also.
    I live in Christchurch, a renovated brick house with ceiling insulation which I think does not work.
    We burn slightly more wood in Winter than the ‘Consumer magazine ‘ thinks necessary, about 1 0 meters.
    That takes work and space to store that wood for a year, try finding dry wood in Christchurch now, Send me $1000.
    There is another way., electrical heaters and heat exchangers, Oh God meridian did you say $300 a month, yes we did they say but thats only if you pay your bill on time
    I do this and shorten my own life because I want my wife and I not too be so cold.
    You can open a childs bedroom door and feel the heat drain away, and its only May.
    The labour party is driving me nuts They want warm homes. Dear sweet jesus can you get a treasury analyst in.
    Its about $2000 for a winter.
    Minimum standards for heating. What the fuck does that mean. Does the landlord pay the power bills.
    Maybe the rich pricks.
    Has there ever been a total moron with a sideways face like Cullen before … this is going to be a landslide victory for NZ Nat Government.

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  38. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    Judith, I don’t think you understand this very well. Firstly insulated does not mean dry, NZ homes are often damp, that’s climate. My house in Auckland was extensively insulated, top and bottom, and often really damp and tended to grow mould. In fact the dampness problem got worse with insulation because it reduced the ventilation.

    Second, if I as a landlord have to spend money in the property, then I need a return in that money unless you as a government intend to steal that money ? That raises rents, renters are going to love that. And if you subsidise the installation that’s more taxpayers money which means either more taxes or more borrowing.

    Third, this looks like a rerun of Rudd’s disastrous scheme in Australia, how many did he kill again ?

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  39. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    “Radio Live revealed a long-standing Treasury secondment has been terminated after a dispute over who should pay their salary.”

    They cant work out how to pay a person seconded to them from treasury but they tell us they are capable of running the country?

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  40. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    This all seems a bit of a beat-up. So they don’t want to pay ofr a Treasury analyst. Big deal, they can spend the money on other advice or whatever they choose.

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  41. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    “Radio Live revealed a long-standing Treasury secondment has been terminated …. ”

    The poor guy went crazy after trying to explain to Cunliffe and Parker, for the seven hundred and fifty-fifth time, the difference between revenue and profit.

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  42. ross411 (295 comments) says:

    greenjacket (357 comments) says:
    May 21st, 2014 at 4:44 pm
    19 responses so far, 5 from Judith.
    No wonder Judith is happy about spending other peoples’ money – she doesn’t work.

    It’s always “you should all pay for this thing I am unhappy about regardless of whether it is as unquestionably feasible for it to happen as I blindly handwave,” and never “I really believe in this, and am going to donate regardless of whether my carping about it causes you to have to pay for it as well.”

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  43. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    Folks, Judith is a socialist. Twyford’s slogan (sorry, policy in less than 140 characters) feels good to her. Therefore it is good. And we are bad for not feeling good about it. And therefore wrong. That’s how socialists think, even if they have to post over and over and over, as if quantity of feeling good trumps quality of policy.

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  44. Brian Marshall (194 comments) says:

    Your comments about the promise about insulating every house reminds me of this….. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kpYVqZM4NnA

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  45. thedavincimode (6,590 comments) says:

    So they don’t want to pay ofr a Treasury analyst

    Turn it up milky. They can’t pay, because they’ve pissed their budget up against the wall on deadbeat apparatchiks . And they’ve got nobody who is even half-way competent. Which is perfectly OK if you’re only ever going to make stuff up.

    Can’t even manage the trough budget. Pfft.

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  46. Simon (715 comments) says:

    Can’t cost free baby unicorns for every household. No point in hanging around.

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  47. tvb (4,253 comments) says:

    There may be some problems getting an analyst. And with MCCarten screaming the whole damn time, it must be a hideous place to work in. I assume Labour is short of money. Time is fast running out for Labour. There have been delays in getting selections, there is very little policy coming out. In the meantime Mallard is throwing mud everywhere providing a diversion from proper scrutiny of any worthwhile policies.

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  48. duggledog (1,439 comments) says:

    Quite often homes in Auckland especially are damp no matter what you because it rains all the time, they have the exact same problems in Seattle

    A lot of the time properties are shrouded in trees and bush (Titirangi, most of West Auckland) but you can’t touch a leaf because they are protected by the utterly mental Auckland Council & RMA. I’d guess Judith would be a fan of the RMA

    You can’t leave your windows open when you’re at work on a nice day either because you’ll be robbed before you know it and of course that’s hardly a crime is it Judith, they just need a cuddle

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  49. edhunter (520 comments) says:

    Wasn’t this tried in 2007?
    Didn’t it fail to work then?
    Didn’t they just try this across the ditch?
    Didn’t it just fail over there?
    Haven’t these schemes cost the lives of 7 installers?
    Isn’t there a Royal Commission happening in Oz right now?
    Wont any new scheme most likely cost billions?
    Will this scheme not fail miserably as well?
    Do Monkey’s write Labour policy?
    Would Daniel Bryan not make a more credible leader of the opposition?

    YES! YES! YES!

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  50. jcuk (639 comments) says:

    Good on you Judith for suggesting such good common sense policy and reasons for it …Thank goodness the National Government and National Party is not comprised of fools like those writing here tonight otherwise I would be tempted to vote Labour or even Green.

    It is simple common sense to insulate and a long term cost saving along with education on how to live in an insulated building which needs ventilation.

    The trouble here tonight is that writers are charging in without thinking about how to solve the problems caused by incorrect use of insulated homes and people renting have little incentive, so that also needs to be provided.

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  51. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    Stupid is as stupid does.

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  52. CharlieBrown (925 comments) says:

    If labour get in and implement that policy you can count on national to keep it when they get into power again. They’ve kept just about every policy Helen introduced that the nats opposed in opposition.

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  53. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    imagine if vehicle owners were forced to maintain their cars to a set of arbitrary standards. Obviously that would make cars more expensive for the poor.

    That is a safety issue. Specifically, the safety of other users of the public roads.

    So an entirely false analogy then.

    Labour’s intention here is to force expensive upgrades to be undertaken to the lower end of the rental market, the cost of which will all be passed on to the lowest paid.

    And Labour supporters think that’s a great thing, because they think the lower-paid are like children who have to be told what to do for their own benefit.

    No, you can’t afford that car you need to get to that great job you were offered, because milky and Judith here, who don’t know the first thing about you or your circumstances, say you must use the money instead to upgrade your accomodation.

    That’s how much milky and Judith care about the lower paid.

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  54. Rich Prick (1,633 comments) says:

    jcuk, please go sit in the corner while your trainer wheels are fitted. We disagree with public money being spent on a private good. Judith did make it a “please think about the children” moment. What next, taxpayer funded repairs to cars for those who can’t be bothered repairing children-killing death traps? Fuck me, socialists are stupid.

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  55. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    You’re all missing the Labour Party genius here. Classic socialist tactic. See what happens here is rents go up and Labour get to be generous with welfare. Although they will improve the living conditions of the poor by recycling tax payers money to landlords, they won’t actually improve the financial day to day of the poor. So now the poor, grateful for warmer homes but no better off continue to vote for more welfare.

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  56. hubbers (230 comments) says:

    Bad maths explained maybe.

    It doesn’t explain the bad spelling though.

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  57. freemark (519 comments) says:

    I live in a street in one of NZ’S so called deprived areas. It amazes me to see the lack of simple knowledge, effort or motivation for most householders to open up some windows & doors when a warm wind is often blowing. Very few households have washing drying on a line either. How is throwing more tax dollars around going to fix this utter lack of basic life skills or self preservation?

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  58. Left Right and Centre (2,883 comments) says:

    Judith states a link between child health and child development in the case of insulated vs poorly insulated dwellings.

    Ok – well – here’s the thing. If a child has muppets for parents – they are odds on join them. Insulation or not. Or any other factor anyone else cares to name.

    I’ll suggest one out there practical solution – said ‘at risk social groups’ can apply for ‘winter tents’. These are insulated and can be heated easily and cheaply or can retain heat easily. Could be made as a sort of canopy that surrounds a bed ?

    Perhaps a worthy charity to set up would be one where those who are well-off and wish to ‘do good’ and have spare bedrooms could take-in a nearby child overnight during coldest part of year ? In Wellington – affluent Whitby near to ‘poverty stricken’ Porirua East is a perfect example. Child stays with ‘foster home’ (frosty home ?) on an as and when (it’s farking brrrr as fark) needed basis. The ‘do-good’ folks are stumping up the power to heat an extra room – nothing too outrageous.

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  59. Than (440 comments) says:

    And especially to children in low income families that cannot afford their own homes or to rent well maintained housing.

    Yes Judith, some low income families cannot afford to rent well maintained housing. And this policy will mean all rentals are well maintained, meaning they will all charge well-maintained prices, meaning some low income families will not be able to afford to rent.

    This is typical well-meaning but poorly thought-through policy that would harm more than it would help.

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  60. Than (440 comments) says:

    So they don’t want to pay ofr a Treasury analyst. Big deal, they can spend the money on other advice or whatever they choose.

    Absolutely, that is their choice. And we can choose to treat the resulting costings as the non-credible gibberish it almost certainly will be.

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  61. Mobile Michael (432 comments) says:

    Matt McCarten wouldn’t trust anyone who works for the Treasury. I have no doubt he has manufactured this pay dispute to push the secondee out.

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  62. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Don’t forget that this is a joint assault on the lowest paid. The Fascist (“Green”) Party – Labour’s partners – have fuel poverty as one of their main policies.

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  63. Paulus (2,562 comments) says:

    Isn’t it obvious that the OECD report that Houses are overvalued relative to Rents, proves the point that rents are too low.

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