$18 billion and rising

August 12th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Steven Joyce points out:

Updated figures today show that ’s election-year spending spree is now up to almost $17.9 billion over four years – and counting, Associate Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Labour’s own numbers show spending promises to date of $16.4 billion over four years,” Mr Joyce says.

“However, they have woefully underestimated the costs of introducing compulsory KiwiSaver, dismantling the electricity sector and paying a 12.5 per cent R&D tax credit.

“For example, Labour claims to be bringing 500,000 extra people into KiwiSaver from 1 October 2015, and would be paying them a tax credit that averages around $370 a year plus a $200 a year kick-start for the first five years. A simple calculation shows that the cost of this must be approaching $250 million in the first year, rather than $141 million as Labour is claiming.

“It’s interesting that Labour’s costing of exactly the same policy in 2011 was more than two-and-a-half times higher than it is now in 2014, so it  looks like they’ve cut a few corners this time around.”

Mr Joyce says when you put more realistic costs on these policies it takes Labour’s numbers to $17.9 billion over four years.

“More will be added to this bill as Labour makes more desperate promises – and that’s not counting the big spending of their prospective coalition partners the Greens,” Mr Joyce says.

Bye bye surplus, hello deficit it will be. Which means that Labour will have to keep increasing taxes.

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76 Responses to “$18 billion and rising”

  1. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    A Labour government means the precipitous decline of the NZ economy for the foreseeable future.
    Silent T and comrades promise taxes, more taxes and higher taxes.

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  2. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Every Labour govt for the last 50 years has ended in recession – why would the next one be any different ?

    Oh that’s right – because unlike every other place always on this planet where socialism has failed – it just needs one more try.

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  3. wreck1080 (3,905 comments) says:

    And, I personally get very little from this 18 billion.

    So, they think other people deserve to spend my money more than myself.

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  4. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Now about that Treasury guy who used to be seconded to the Leader of the Opposition’s office…………….

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  5. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. radvad (765 comments) says:

    They must be planning to sell a lot of assets.

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  7. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    How much do the Labour party pay you to spend all day here saying “they do it too” ?

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  8. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    “They must be planning to sell a lot of assets.”

    Nope- New Finance Minister Wussel Norman is simply going to print a truckload of cash!

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  9. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    When I saw the $18 billion I thought it was talking about the debt that National has piled up in recent years. There have been various articles about the expected, slowly growing surpluses in the next few years (fingers crossed), but how much is earmarked for debt pay down?

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  10. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    The small issue for Labour is even if they got their policy costings right (unlikely), they will have based the package on their alternative budget numbers with the heroic assumption that “the economy will grow around it”.

    PREFU looks like it will button off on the growth forecasts relative to Budget which will leave a dirty great hole in the revenue line for Parker and Cunliffe.

    I’m looking forward to the explanation

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  11. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    to be fair, im currently not paying my fair share. 45% seems much fairer.

    JK is going to dismantle cunliffe in the debates. if you thought what he did to goofball was brutal, wait til you see sociopath cunliffe in action

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  12. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  13. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Excellent point Mr Dime

    I’ve been mulling over a question: Will Cunliffe take legal action to include other party leaders in the debate so he REDUCES the amount of time he gets to debate the issues with Key?

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  14. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    I’ve never seen you being objective – just anti John Key and pro any government that seeks to pump up social engineering and spending others peoples money to be popular.

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  15. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    I’m self employed. I know, that makes me scum who should be run out the country for not being in a union and also I deserve to be denigrated for the circa $50K I pay in tax every year.

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  16. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Another day of punishment on KB for the Bainite. The daily ritual.

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  17. All_on_Red (1,581 comments) says:

    Judith
    “– I’m saying ‘show us ya goods National, because they haven’t done it!”

    Bill English released a comprehensive Budget a couple of months ago.

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  18. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,896 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    You clearly are very forgetful Burt, because we had a conversation on here where I explained my take on social engineering, and how I believe the welfare system and government paying for things such as maternity pay, and funeral costs and so on, is ‘fetus to the grave’ care – and making people in society dependent, and unwilling to be motivated. Which is reflected in our crime stats and so on. I blame social engineering, especially welfare for just about every ill we have in society. You agreed with me – and now???

    Funny how quickly people like to pin things on to posters that disagree with them – I have even on occasion praised JK for various stances he has taken over some issues – but you forget that too – conveniently.

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  19. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ All_on_Red (1,424 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    A budget does not deal with policy – it does not tell me, for example what the government intends to do regarding education, other than in financial terms, or what it is going to do about (for example) the anti-smacking legislation, or welfare entitlement and so on.

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,896 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Only ever been in one union in my life, and that was when it was compulsory. Have never taken the option to join since then. Unions were required in the past, but are no longer relevant in their current form today.

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  21. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Judith

    In answer to your question – National are almost certainly waiting until the Pre-EFU numbers are out (they, of course get a sneak preview as Bill English has to sign it off).

    Its simply smart to wait until you can work out whether you can afford your promises.

    Not sure what Labour are doing releasing big ticket items in advance of the Pre-EFU as if the numbers are down they are in deep trouble.

    Its just dumb politics as Key either gets to point out Labour’s policies are unaffordable, or gets to hint at previously unsignalled tax hikes. Either way National wins.

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  22. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Manolo (13,472 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Please explain what you mean by punishment? If I found posting here a problem, I simply wouldn’t do it. Your comment indicates you are bothered by what others think of your posts and whether you get approval ticks or not, so here’s one to make your day! Opps, I mean ruin your day!

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  23. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    I haven’t forgotten any of that – but since you seem to support Labour you must be a supporter of social engineering. You can’t have a Labour government without lots of it – every policy is picking winners and losers – always.

    So I assumed you were previously just making shit up – saying you were against it. Your previous rational discussion don’t ring true with your myopic anti John Key stances.

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  24. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    “I’m saying ‘show us ya goods National, because they haven’t done it! Its all very well criticizing other parties policies, but until you know what your own policies are, how can you be objective?”

    Oh pluheeease, like you give a shit about being objective!

    And your wrong. Again. National has already released policy in several areas. Now before you say “what policy” try google. It’s easy.

    Just like it was easy to Google Shylock and find out how much your hilarious dribble on that topic was utter shite.

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  25. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    If you want some idea of how National will govern Judith, refer to the last 6 years of stability as we’ve come through a GFC and massive natural disaster with now a positive outlook, and very few services cut (even some that should be cut regardless of a GFC).

    But you know this. You just want National to join the party and start trying to bribe you. They could have exactly the same policies as Labour, and you would remain on your irrational crusade.

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  26. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Yogibear (320 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    It would appear that way, although on TV1 last night, Labour indicated they had done their cost analysis and can return a surplus. Who knows, they won’t get in, so it won’t be an issue, and lets face it, National isn’t doing any better or worse than they could, going by our debt – yes I know CHCH and a recession – but that does not account for all the debt they’ve racked up.

    I don’t think we have a current political party capable of decent financial management of the country.

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  27. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Zapper (934 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Oh you know what I want do you? And what is that Zapper?

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  28. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    “A budget does not deal with policy –”

    Lol! What twaddle. A budget IS policy being implemented. It tells us a great deal about the direction of a government.

    Stop making crap up Judith.

    Shylock is not anti-Semitic, budgets are not policy, I mean seriously Judith, are you really that dumb or just spinning everything dishonestly?

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Zapper

    Actually I’ll tell you what I want.

    I want a government with the guts to slash the welfare system and cut it back to short term emergency payments only.
    I want a government that encourages its citizens to be self-sufficient by providing incentives for that to happen, and providing the means for social mobility to be achieved by the individual, no matter what social position a person is born into. (By the means I do not mean paying for it, but instead making the system such that it allows those prepared to make the effort, able to achieve change.
    I want a government that makes people be responsible for themselves, and for their family, and doesn’t expect others run the race for them, but I also want a government that realises the race can’t start, until all players are beginning from the same position. So therefore, it needs to provide equity until ‘equality’ can be achieved. Equality emphasised, but we can never achieve full equality – people, sexes etc will always be different – but equality in opportunity is the ideal state.

    Sadly, there is not one party prepared to even partially offer what I want – none of them have the balls to even start.

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  30. flash2846 (284 comments) says:

    Well done Judith, standing your ground – I like it. Not that I usually agree with you but your posts are interesting and you are polite in the face of lots of sarcasm.

    oh! Oh! down ticks coming.

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  31. Bogusnews (473 comments) says:

    It greatly disappoints me that many NZ’ers are still silly enough to want to vote this lot in. Clarke’s government had increased govt spending by a massive 16Bil a year above the increase trajectory of the previous National government.

    This may not have been quite so bad, except when the bloggers started noticing about 2005 that it was incredibly difficult to see any tangible improvement. I try to remind everyone I talk to that the situation was so dire when National took over that Treasury was predicting never ending deficits. Unless changes were made we would have been bankrupted in short order.

    The promises shown by Labour only reinforce my view that Labour simply has learned nothing from being thrown out.

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  32. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Good evening Shawn, good to see you are providing the wonderful example of how patient, loving and caring christians are towards others. I just love the way you are so challenged by anyone that doesn’t see the world as you do, and how nasty you get when people refuse to bow down to your emotionally charged rants about how superior your take is, to others. You are a laugh a minute – a true picture and example of religion at its best worst.

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  33. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Judith

    Labour is basing their promises on their alternative Budget………. one that is using numbers that are 5 months old (bearing in mind the Treasury finalise the forecasts a month in advance of Budget).

    Since then dairy has dropped, the dollar has dropped and chch is still on a perpetual 6-8 months behind what the forecasters guess it would be. I’d put good money on the resulting revision to the growth track taking tens of millions out of the growth-dependent tax take, which Labour needs to fund their policies.

    Its dumb to promise expensive shit now, just dumb.

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  34. Longknives (4,737 comments) says:

    “I want a government with the guts to slash the welfare system and cut it back to short term emergency payments only.”

    The Judith who was posting here the other night was claiming to be a “Leftie”…
    More proof that ‘Judith’ is a team of trolls?

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  35. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    Why do I get the feeling that the sequel to a beautiful mind will be about Judith?

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  36. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    In 1999 the country agreed to pay a few cents more tax to fix health and education – to lift us into the top half of the OECD ladder. What happened – inequality grew, education didn’t improve, hospital waiting lists grew, people fled the county and we didn’t lift 1 bit in the OECD ratings and then we got into the inevitable outcome of highly progressive taxation and high government spending – recession.

    But people will buy the failed ideology again – it always sounds good to people who failed to associate the incoming National government bitter-pill budget with the consequences of 9 years of failed Labour policy.

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  37. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,897 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I don’t support Labour, I am not a member of Labour, and I won’t be voting for Labour – but I am more left-wing in my philosophy than right. I take each situation at its merits, and comment on it as I see fit. I do not like John Key, I make no secret of that, nor do I think he has the best interests of New Zealand, at heart. That does not make me pro labour – it makes me anti a National government led by JK.

    Unfortunately so many on here can only see two sides – if you aren’t one, you must be the other – there are times when I have defended just about every party – even DotCom – on issues that I think they are being unfair about – but nothing in this world would make me vote for DotCom’s party. At this stage I will probably vote for my local green candidate,(yes I know, a throw away vote) and party vote NZ First, because it is most likely to be the only party in a coalition with National, that I can almost stand.

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  38. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    Inflation for everyone.

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  39. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    If that is true then why do you make shit up like saying Skylock isn’t anti Jew ? I hadn’t heard the word before so I googled it – 15 seconds later I was thinking how low it was to use that name in association with Key – yet you dug in and persisted it was OK.

    That’s just one example.

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Longknives (4,550 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    If you go back over my posts you will see I have always been critical of the welfare system. One does not have to support welfare to be more left wing than right. My philosophy doesn’t really align directly with either spectrum, but as I said, is more left than right – however, I don’t believe very many people have a distinctly left or right wing totality in this day and age, and that many, depending on the issue float between the two.

    (Nice attempt to make out I am more than one person, but if you check with DPF, you will find there is only one of me)

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  41. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    Dpf – ” Which means that Labour will have to keep increasing taxes.”

    They see that as a positive. They are positive they are going to ream rich pricks.

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  42. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,899 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Obviously I didn’t get the message through, and I don’t know how to word it to explain exactly what I meant. But I’ll try again – I do not believe that the Candidate stated Shylock in an attempt to start or support any anti-semitic campaign. I believe he made that statement solely based on the fact it was an personal insult to Key. However, everyone on here was and still are raving on as if Labour are leading some sort of anti-semitic campaign and soon we’ll see a rerun of the holocaust – that is simply emotive clap trap – the comment was a nasty one, designed to hit out at Key – it was not meant to hurt all the jewish people in NZ.

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  43. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    “Good evening Shawn, good to see you are providing the wonderful example of how patient, loving and caring christians are towards others.”

    It’s called debate Judith. This is a political debate forum, and a fierce one at that. If you can’t stand the heat you know what to do.

    ” I just love the way you are so challenged by anyone that doesn’t see the world as you do”

    No, just by people who make shit up and spin in dishonest ways.

    “You are a laugh a minute – a true picture and example of religion at its best worst.”

    You’re posts are a laugh a minute, a true example of what Key derangement syndrome does to a persons mind and ethics.

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  44. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    Judith, for your education.

    This is an example of a dishonest statement: “And I don’t know how to word it to explain exactly what I meant. But I’ll try again – I do not believe that the Candidate stated Shylock in an attempt to start or support any anti-semitic campaign. ”

    This would be the honest way to say it: “I didn’t want to Google the issue to find out in case I was wrong, and when it was clearly explained to me that I was wrong I dug in anyway because it suited my agenda. It did not bother me that digging in made me look dishonest and unhinged”

    See how easy that is? Honesty is always the best policy Judith.

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  45. Warren Murray (311 comments) says:

    At last we see why Labour didnt take on the analyst provided by the Treasury

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  46. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    Okay, so the 2013 Budget Executive Summary has a nifty little debt graph.

    It shows public sector debt cresting to about $70 billion by 2016/17 (from $15 billion at the start of the GFC in 2008), before starting to drop steadily around 2018, all the way down to perhaps $40 billion by 2022/23.

    As a percentage of GDP it’s at its peak now – 25% – and should drop to 10% of GDP by 2022/23.

    Which raises three key questions.

    First, what are the chances that a Labour-Green defeat this year will swing them around to trying to duplicate these charts – and that’s assuming their own ideas can be massaged enough to at least produce the same theoretical results?

    Second, what are the chances that National will win the 2017 and 2020 elections as well?

    Third, what are the chances that there will not be a recession – either in NZ alone or globally – between now and 2023?

    My answer to all three is that the chances are close to zero.

    UPDATE: Good god. I’ve just noticed that my earlier post has received 13 downticks and zero upticks, which I think is my personal negative record on KB. Are all you National voters really so sanguine about this?

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  47. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    the comment was a nasty one, designed to hit out at Key – it was not meant to hurt all the jewish people in NZ.

    So lets say I call some brown skinned person I dislike a Nigger and a bunch of other brown skinned people hear about it and get upset – I’ll just say it was only intended to be offensive to ( point an person I dislike ) and people like you will say – Good on you burt, you can use that sort of word denigrating individuals and nobody should be offended….

    Get real Judith – I’d take you more seriously in other matters if you had the ‘balls’ to say – I got it wrong, I shouldn’t have said it was OK – It’s sick and that guy should just resign.

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  48. dcrown (15 comments) says:

    Presently any party other than National would be better for this country’s future.

    http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand
    http://www.interest.co.nz/Charts/Government/government-debt

    This country will be in debt for decades to come because of these fiscally incompetent fools running the National Party.

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  49. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    So you think Labour-Greens will be more fiscally competent – that they’ll produce an even better debt reduction chart than the one in National’s 2014 budget?

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  50. Milk Me (157 comments) says:

    Mr Joyce does indeed say a lot (of shit), he doesn’t really achieve anything but does indeed criticise much again without any real answers to perceived problems and without any real knowledge of economics anyway, so why should anyone take any notice of Mr Shouty anyway. After the election he will be what he really is, irrelevant .

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  51. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Oh dear. The born-again Labourite and eternal Bainite continues her charge against windmills. Lunacy prevails.

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  52. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    When I saw the $18 billion I thought it was talking about the debt that National has piled up in recent years. There have been various articles about the expected, slowly growing surpluses in the next few years (fingers crossed), but how much is earmarked for debt pay down?

    Exactly!!! Some of the #TeamKey on this blog need to take the wood out of their eyes. John Key has:

    – Flatly ruled out raising the age of super
    – Racked up large debt expansing Labour’s welfare state; and
    – Has raised taxes (sure it was called “fiscally neutral,” but with fiscal drag the state is winning).

    Getting into surplus this year is great, but the last 6 years has done nothing to ally my fears we will have decades of structural deficits as the baby boomers retire.

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  53. ShawnLH (4,998 comments) says:

    We seem to have had an influx of people from the Stranded recently. Lots of posters with single digit post numbers attacking National and claiming they are going to lose the election.

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  54. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @nickb: so which government do you think would do better? I don’t think it would have been Labour (remember most of that debt trajectory was set by Labour).

    The reality is that after the election we will have John Key as prime minister or David Cunliffe as prime minister. You have one of three choices:
    1. Vote for a party that supports National
    2. Vote for a party that supports Labour
    3. Vote for a party that hasn’t said who they’ll support, and effectively abdicate to that party leader which prime minister we have

    Which one are you advocating? Or are you advocating an option that doesn’t exist?

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  55. itstricky (1,830 comments) says:

    Of course nobody has costed National’s policies as there aren’t any. When someone produces some I am sure someone else will be counting. Won’t be DPF.

    At least Labour have the guts to say how they’ll pay for some of it. E.g CGT

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  56. s.russell (1,640 comments) says:

    dcrown,
    I suggest you look carefully at the setup for debtclock. I thought it was really interesting and informative until I dug a little deeper and realised it is actually crap. 1) It measures only gross debt, not net debt and 2) It counts the interest on debt but not debt repayments. As a result, even countries with no net debt that are running a fiscal surplus get huge debt figures that are constantly growing. It therefore gives a quite dishonest impression of the real situation.

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  57. Milk Me (157 comments) says:

    Shawn, I wasn’t attacking National, I was merely stating that Joyce is a blow hard who rarely achieves anything of note.

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  58. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,900 comments) says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    But I don’t think I got it wrong. I think the man intended to only insult John Key. That others took insult is understandable, but I do not believe he set out to insult anyone other than John Key. There is no evidence that proves he had any other target than Key. So sorry, I will not say sorry for something I just don’t believe. He wanted to insult key, and he did, he just didn’t consider his actions before he spoke, and how they would affect others. He was stupid to carry on like that in the first place, especially in ‘public’, but he was not trying to start some anti-semitic movement.

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  59. duggledog (1,554 comments) says:

    If the public at large go for a Labour Government and all that that brings, then god help them. It’s an awful thing to say but I’ll say it again, people will profit from it long term and it won’t be the poorer side of town. It will be those that can afford to pick up cheap properties, cars, plant, you name it when the shit hits the fan. I’ve seen it all before.

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  60. EAD (1,069 comments) says:

    I will ask this question again, how is any government supposed to run a surplus when we must borrow all of our money supply as a debt into existence. If each New Zealander and the government paid of all of their debts, we would literally have no money supply. Any talk of balancing the budget is delusional.

    Or as a manager of the Federal Reserve put it:
    “If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. This is a staggering thought. We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash, or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless situation is almost incredible-but there it is.”

    Or watch from 12:27 to 15:59:

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  61. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    (remember most of that debt trajectory was set by Labour).

    A trajectory that was caused by Labour increasing the size and scope of almost all government institutions, adding new ones (WFF and Student Loans) and then ramping up spending on those.

    But it’s the former that cements in place the future trajectories, with National left with only the option of small-ball on spending, carefully pulling back on the increases year after year so that the arc of the trajectory curves down. Which is all well and good except they’re not going to be in power forever.

    You have one of three choices:

    Understandable and I don’t see much choice at this election – but I feel as though I’m voting for Labour-Greens in 2017. I’ll re-quote (for the umpteenth time) my 2008 comment:

    …. what is National going to do should it win this November beyond babysitting the institutions of Labour and the Left. Nursing those things along, tiring all the time and steadily losing votes simply by being in Government and getting blamed for the insanities of those self-same institutions. Until the day comes, one or two election cycles down the road, when a revitalised Labour gets back into power and gets to push forward some more. Ratchet Socialism at its best.

    Here I am six years later staring at that reality. It’s fairly discouraging.

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  62. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Judith

    You’re such a bloody apologist for the red team it’s a disgrace. You’re saying he didn’t get it wrong using a racially based slur on Key and that’s justifiable because it was pointed at an individual.

    Such is your hatred of Key that you display classic partisan behaviour. Blinded by the fact somebody is denigrating ( in the most childish of ways calling him names by the way ) Key you lose all objectivity on how he is being denigrated while you bask in the head nodding primal equivalent to chanting ‘get Key’.

    FFS Judith you are still digging in saying nothing wrong with race based denigration. Get a grip on yourself !

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  63. freemark (580 comments) says:

    Hey Judith..you on Tinder by any chance?

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  64. berend (1,708 comments) says:

    Hmm, $16.4 billion over 4 years. That’s about $79 million a week. What party again did borrow $300 million a week recently?

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  65. berend (1,708 comments) says:

    tom hunter: Are all you National voters really so sanguine about this?

    You don’t get it tom. National debt is good. Labour debt is bad.

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  66. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    berend

    And the same party will be doing it again in 3-9 years after Labour spend like a drunken sailor again. 2008 was just like 1990. Watch the muppets blame National again for a black budget in the future, just like the National governments following every Labour government for the last 50 years these lovers of a failed ideology will vote the tax and spend again as well. They love the fee money and are to dim to see they pay for it many times over under the boom and bust cycle of social engineering redistribution.

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  67. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    You don ‘t get it berend.

    National debt isn’t good. But Labour debt will be worse, much worse (which is what this post is about). Add in the influence of the Greens and Mana, and it doesn’t bear thinking about.

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  68. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    OneTrack

    Spurred by the artificial stimulus of unsustainable spending the NZ economy will rocket ahead under a Labour government. It always does initially. It’s National governments that grind slowly in surplus, recovering from the previous Labour govt. Labour governments get voted in after the economy has recovered from the last Labour government. sometimes only just recovered, like now.

    The lovers of big spending government revel in these times, they hold them up as all that is good about leftism and strongly progressive taxation and high redistribution. The trouble is though, their story goes from celebrating boom times to crying into their beer in recession with a National government for a reason. It’s a cycle they inflict on themselves, they are just to dim to see it.

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  69. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @berend: it’s not really National debt. It’s Labour structural deficit that can’t be removed quickly. Look how the Libs have gone in Australia – they’re at serious risk of being a one term govt. Then they get Labor back. Is that the model you’d have rather had? And even then, the actual budget they attempted to pass was still only the mildest trim off the top – they cut future promised increase in spending, rather than any actual cuts today.

    No, you have to live in the world of the possible, and what you seem to think National should have done was not electorally possible. Given the choice between a National govt gradually reducing the deficit and a Labour govt rapidly increasing it, I’ll go with National thanks. I’m pretty sure there’s no option with “National reduce the deficit quickly” written on it.

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  70. greenjacket (465 comments) says:

    “More proof that ‘Judith’ is a team of trolls?”
    I am not sure if “Judith” is more than one person or more than one personality.

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  71. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    @ Judith (4.18pm) – well spotted. Labour has pretty much released all it’s big-ticket items, whilst the PM & Bill English have been keeping their powder dry. Election Day is not this Saturday; it’s five and a half weeks away, and there is plenty of time for National to release its policies at its campaign launch on the 24th, and in the weeks that follow. Labour will then either be gazzumped, or have to throw out even more bribes.

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  72. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    Looks as though Judith has taken over this site.
    I’ll stick with Whale more now until the Election is over and Judith will disappear (don’t ask me where to).

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  73. G152 (336 comments) says:

    “More proof that ‘Judith’ is a team of trolls?”
    I am not sure if “Judith” is more than one person or more than one personality.

    Psychiatrists would have a name for the condition

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  74. Jinky (185 comments) says:

    The condition is known as Dissociative Identity disorder and is extremely rare. Normally caused by extreme child abuse at a young age. Judith shows none of the symptoms in her comments on here.

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  75. tom hunter (4,809 comments) says:

    Well you could all just ignore her and talk about the topic of this thread, but apart from bashing the admittedly incompetent Labour-Green group, nobody here actually wants to do that. Look at how fast it dropped off to almost zero upticks/downticks.

    I’ll give it one last go:

    No, you have to live in the world of the possible …

    My beef with National is not that they failed to conduct a huge slash and burn approach – I understand electoral realities too – but that they have failed to even argue for, let alone put in place, a series of programs that would directly counter the many statist approaches of the Left in this country. Programs that would piggy back off things like KiwiSaver, a program explicitly designed to enable people to support their own retirement and not rely on a pure state program like National Superannuation.

    In one sense Kiwisaver has already broken the dam in the long-standing individual-vs-state fight – and it’s done so in favour of the individual. So National could have and should have pushed this argument into other areas. I’d like to see the same approach taken with regards to healthcare and education at a minimum: programs that focus on the individual taking care of themselves to the degree that they can.

    The rest of government is actually stuff that could be approached with “small-ball” politics – closing the occasional ministry down or reforming the RMA – but National’s not done that either and show no sign of doing so.

    The Left wins where it counts – ideological battles – until we get to the point where things are so bad that we get a Rogernomics revolution. If anything you could make the argument that it would be better to have them win and burn the whole thing down – a sort of mirror Cloward–Piven strategy, but I’m not a fan of Year-Zero approaches.

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  76. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @tom hunter – “The rest of government is actually stuff that could be approached with “small-ball” politics – closing the occasional ministry down or reforming the RMA – but National’s not done that either and show no sign of doing so.’

    Yep, I see where you’re coming from Tom and I very strongly agree.

    Moves like putting *much* stronger measures in place so that beneficiaries who have extra children while on a benefit have to pay for them themselves. ( This would be *hugely* popular. )
    I’d also like to see the Human Rights Commission and the Race Relations Commission abolished. IMO they’re nothing but money-wasting finger-waggers. There are far better things to spend taxpayers’ money on.
    Phasing out the Sole Parent Support (what used to be the DPB) would also get huge support IMO. It’d be *so* easy – as from 1st Jul 2015 the government announces that no new applications for SPS will be accepted. The sky would not fall in if this were done.
    Oh, and *local government*. How about having (on each council) a “financial waste officer” whose sole job would be to clamp down on wasteful spending by the council. I would give this person the power of veto over spending too.

    There are other “low-hanging fruit” policies too that the government could do but these ones would be a good start.

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