OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Spending "Cap" is Fiscal Anorexia

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  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    (I think current teaching and nursing graduates would love to have the same entry-level salary as a backbench MP. Currently a hair under $135K, IIRC.)

    $141K. They put it up just before the election.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to merc,

    Pay rise of round 7k just before the election (with lost travel rort compensated), not their fault mind

    No, of course it isn’t – it’s not as if the Renumeration Authority is controlled by legislation or crazy shit like that. In the great scheme of things, I know it’s chump change but I can get why it’s galling across the ditch to see Julia Gillard and Tony Abbot pocketing an extra $90 & $74 grand respectively (or a 20% hike) when a lot of other people will count themselves lucky to see 3% – or a few hundred bucks after tax.

    It might be symbolic, but amending the Renumeration Authority Act to link MPs pay to some combo of inflation, the CPI and/or average pay increases across the public sector (including schools, hospitals and Police) would send a message that charity isn't the only thing that begins at home - or in The House. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to bulbul,

    Charting it shows that shows births have been going up since 2005 and are now at levels last seen during boomer periods. We may have another baby boom underway.

    I don't think you're reading it right. Completed fertility for women born in the 1930s (who would have been having babies in the 1950s) peaked at over 3.5 kids. For women like me born in the 70s, it's around 2.1.

    The number of kids born isn't that different, seeing as we have a higher population, but the rates are much lower.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Heh even they are affected by the wage gap between us and Oz ;-) As for them feeling queasy about their renumeration, personally I think it is the one thing that says like no other to us...know your place.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Down for the count...

    Renumeration Authority

    oh, so they're redoing an old
    number on us are they?

    Who do they think they are
    talking 'bout their...
    R-Re-Re-Remuneration!

    People try to put 'em down
    Jus' because they get around
    Ding they get is lawful I'm t-told
    Hope they dry and blow the fold...

    This is MY remuneration
    This is MY remuneration, bite me

    Why dontcha all f-fade away
    don't try to dig what we get paid
    Not trying to cause an incensed nation
    just talkin 'bout my R-Re-Re-Remuneration!

    (with apologies to The Who)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Show us the jobs, John!

    Cyclepath.
    He don't hafta show ya nuffink.
    We don't need no edjakashun...

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    $141K. They put it up just before the election.

    I can't see that it would be proper to exclude the direct expense allowance from the calculation. It's paid and taxed exactly the same way as everything else.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    You know what, I don’t wish to sound like I’m kicking Phil Goff but Key’s a rather banal object of scorn. The outgoing leader of the Opposition has spent 27 of the last thirty years being well-compensated for his public service. (I think current teaching and nursing graduates would love to have the same entry-level salary as a backbench MP. Currently a hair under $135K, IIRC.)

    But MPs' pay and superannuation is basically a derail from the subject of Keith's post. That would still be the case if we paid them a million bucks a year.

    The topic is the adoption of a fiscal gimmick that has had disastrous results elsewhere as an ostensible concession to a party that got 1.1% of the vote and is only present by a contrivance by the governing party.

    That was announced by the Prime Minister, Mr Key. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Phil Goff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18512 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Good point, it does seem a hell of a big concession for 1.1%, especially when you consider the tens of thousands (100's?) of people this will directly affect, and all seemingly sacrificed on the altar of ideology, not science.
    Really. Pissed. Off.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The topic is the adoption of a fiscal gimmick that has had disastrous results elsewhere as an ostensible concession to a party that got 1.1% of the vote and is only present by a contrivance by the governing party.

    It's a concession to a party that got 3.65% of the vote.

    A government spending cap was included in the last National/ACT confidence and Supply Agreement, only this time it has been delayed and watered down.

    Also, *this* fiscal gimmick hasn't had a detrimental effect elsewhere, because the things you are thinking of (such as the the law in Colorado) are different. The Colorado law, for example, was a voter-approved amendment to Article X of the Colorado Constitution. It was binding on both the Colorado Legislature and the Governor. Even when circumstances changed, the lawmakers couldn't react. That is not the proposal here.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's a concession to National's neolib faction and a downpayment on Act's contribution of seats in 2014.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    It is a concession to the sensibilities of some ratings agency, a determined statement that the borrow/spend death spirals of parts of the Eurozone are not going to be repeated here.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Or Key is simply poking a cardboard cut-out of Banks over the parapet to check out opposing fire. Isn't that what these concessions look like? I 'spect we'll see rather a lot of it :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    It’s a concession to a party that got 3.65% of the vote.

    Huh? The ACT party this term got 1.1%. It's a concession this term.

    That the words were present in last terms agreement has no relevance, if the law were passed last term then yes it would be a concession to the 3.65% but it is being passed this term so it is representing the wishes of a party that received 1.1% support this term.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    an ostensible concession

    That's the key point. Anyone who believes this is really an ACT policy and not a National policy they were too scared to be publicly admit is their own is too gullible for words.

    spineless much

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3217 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    1.1%

    Rounding it to 1% makes so much sense
    #occupy

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    But he's so much more ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But MPs’ pay and superannuation is basically a derail from the subject of Keith’s post.

    Fine, Russell. Since PAS is a troll-free zone, please delete the comment at my request and I'll be more careful about staying on-topic in future.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Well lets not get too carried away about getting off topic. How about something along the lines of this since they are dead keen to dump performance criteria onto us:

    MP remuneration, excluding taxis and spending on natural disasters, will be subject to a spending limit.

    Under this limit an MP's remuneration will be $350 per week + taxi chits and will only be paid in full (with annual increases at 50% of the CPI) at the completion of a government term only if the prison population drops by 10% per year; Reimprisonment rates are reduced to 10%; Primary and secondary school class size is reduced to 20 students per (real) teacher within three years; (W)hooping cough, meningitis and tuberculosis is eliminated and the unemployment rate drops by 20% per year.....etc

    Gooses and ganders...

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Good Lord, who wrote this morning's Herald editorial? Trevor "Zap" Loudon?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1741 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    who wrote this morning’s Herald editorial?

    Seems that the Herald is becoming the mouthpiece for the ACT party - first endorsing charter schools and now this.... both of which have come in under the radar of the election campaign.

    But what it does do is to confirm my sense that it is all very well to simply refer to the proposal as `symbolic' and easily repealable by an incoming government but I suspect that that will much harder to do than has been suggested. It also makes Keith's analysis which shows that the cap is not really a cap at all but actually a sinking lid even more necessary.

    The Dompost also has an editorial endorsing charter schools (except for a brief mention of concerns about it being used for faith-based `outfits' and possible cherry-picking). Perhaps it will run one on the merits of fiscal caps soon.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Spending. It's how they are spending. You would think that when Rodney dreamed up an uber council that they would, you know, know where to meet with chairs and all, like the actual practical ramifications of actually running said uber council.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/6100470/Hundreds-spent-moving-furniture-for-council-meeting
    I am beginning to wonder if it's us at all with our private debt ways and it may simply be a case of huge Govt. waste that needs to be addressed.
    They get the pay, where's the performance?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    this morning's Herald editorial

    "Spending cap should make us better off"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    One thing commentators seem to have missed, related to the list of exclusions noted in that editorial and elsewhere.

    The definition of core operating expenses will exclude finance charges, the unemployment benefit, asset impairments and spending on natural disasters. Those exemptions should give governments ample room to provide relief in recessions and emergencies.

    The biggest growth in state income support spending over the next two decades will not be unemployment but superannuation, followed by what are currently called Invalid and Sickness benefits. That pressure on its own will cause problems if this nutty neolib measure is enforced.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    That's a classic of penny wise, pound foolish - leaving a purpose-built civic meeting chamber at Henderson without the right gear (mainly desk-mounted microphones) for large meetings. Mind you, one wonders where the old gear in the ex-Auckland City town hall went to?

    And what "look" the gear used the rest of the time in Henderson has. Presumably Auckland Transport uses the chamber, being based there? Though I guess they don't need to conduct their business in public quite so much.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16272 posts Report Reply

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