And the bulges in the Gallery’s pants were already starting to show in the Budget lock-up, which bodes poorly for the election
To be fair Keith, and probably to our equal surprise, the first question to Bill English in the lockup wasn't about tax cuts. (Brooke Sabin asked a number of quite pertinent questions about the impact of migration flows on housing).
When the question was asked what was interesting about the ensuing discussion was the admission that tax "cuts" could be accommodated within the $500 million extra operational spending.
Sneaky measure of the day: the suspension of inflation adjustments to the student loan repayment threshold for a further two years until 1 April 2017 effectively a tax increase for those with student loans. (This gets double points points for sneakiness as it was included in the announcements about boosting tertiary education and research, even though Student Loans are administered by the Inland Revenue.)
Great graphics, Keith, gee that must have taken some work.
Yeah. It’s one thing to feel that he came off as arrogant or disingenuous, but there is no way he didn’t have by far the better of that interview.
Agreed. I was an equal mix of rage at the arrogance and awe at how he controlled the interview. It was as impressive as it was unexpected.
Of more concern would be that Key probably has shut down for good any further debate on the GCSB Bill on the basis that he has "destroyed" the main public critic of the Bill. How do you feel about next Monday's meeting now Russell? I'm all for fighting the good fight but I'm now wondering whether it's time to flush the dunny and move on.
Well said Russell. It really beggars belief how the asset sales programme has been allowed to progress so far without the resolution of such a fundament issue.
"Quite where the current government derives its public reputation for stewardship is more of a mystery than ever" Indeed but they are masters of appearing competent, or at least sounding competent which apparently goes a long way.
We're now told this was just a "joke" but what I find dispiriting is that 1400 people like this on Facebook (double the number since noon on Tuesday when I last looked). Obviously a "joke" with broad appeal
Having read the Coroner's report (thanks Russell) it's sad that the "common sense" comment has drowned out the rest of the report which was pretty thorough. I'm sure someone else has already said this but I would like to know why he didn't make any recommendations about sideguards for trucks given the citations he gives.
I feature as one of the statistics in the 2011 report. 22 months ago I was time-trialling towards the city on a Saturday morning at 7.30 when I noticed a car u-turn about 200 metres in front of me (the driver later said she turned into a side road and then came back out). The car was well over to the left so having seen the u-turn I thought she would either park or accelerate away. As I started to overtake her (on the right) she did another u-turn. Her second in 100 metres (if that). It was my first crash in over 30 years of cycling here and in the UK.
My crash was a good example of the unpredictibility of too many NZ drivers. They seem unaware of what's going on around them. WIth power steering and automatic gear boxes I think this will get worse before it gets better and the problem is compounded by the presence of mobile phones and other devices. Because I had seen her u-turn I made a decision I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen the first u-turn. But then again who could expect a car to u-turn twice inside 100 metres?
I finished up with seven broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade, broken collarbone and a punctured lung. Mercifully I suffered no head injuries. The lung healed up very quickly but I have now had to have a second operation to permanently plate and repair the collarbone.
The driver was very apologetic and pleaded guilty when charged getting a six month ban and some community service because as a single mother of three she couldn't afford much in reparations (although she did pay $500).
Someone earlier said that NZ would not be in the top 100 most shithouse countries for driving. That's probably correct if we're looking at the world in total. However, by comparison with those countries we do measure ourselves against then we're top ten/top five.
The NZTA has finally got around to publishing its annual report on motor vehicle crashes in 2011. The international comparisons have changed over the years & now focus on deaths only. On a deaths per 100,000 population NZ in 2010 was 5th behind South Korea, Greece, USA, Poland and Portugal.
NZ's deaths per 100,000 population fell by 25% between 2000 and 2010, in Portugal it more than halved between 2000 & 2009.
Like it or not our driving standards are poor and the road toll is not improving to the same extent as most other western countries are managing.
Here is the international statistics section of the report
SImultaneously, Imperator Fish has released his politician of the year and it's remarkable how many of the words of the year are John Banks related to the extent perhaps he should have been called the Twatcock of the year.
To be fair to AIG I can see your point Kyle. It is IMO a good deal for them as part of their rehabiltation (for want of a better word). I just think it is a very poor call by the NZRU.
It’s a serious scandal; Key whips out the Brash/Muldoon crisis handbook.
Well at least he won't have to answer any questions about Dotcom. Today.
I'd say tomorrow's Question Time could get a wee bit testy.