Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Press Play > Budget

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  • Hilary Stace,

    I'm going to be looking closely for disability stuff. However, only the feel good headlines about extra spending will get a mention in the speech - the details about what and where and at what cost to other programmes is usually hidden deep in obscure departmental detail. Fuller details - of all the good news - don't usually come out until the Minister puts out a press release. I am expecting to see some funds for Pacifika disability research and implementation. There will probably be more money for cochlear implants but not any more resourcing for New Zealand Sign Language. Probably also a boost for Individualised Funding, but not to pay parent carers.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I'm going to be looking closely for disability stuff. However, only the feel good headlines about extra spending will get a mention in the speech - the details about what and where and at what cost to other programmes is usually hidden deep in obscure departmental detail.

    Sector knowledge is so valuable. Richard Pamatatau's flagging of the outrageous bung to PEDA in 2010 is an excellent example. He read the detail and know something was wrong, because he knew his round.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17915 posts Report Reply

  • Morgan Nichol,

    My only analysis isn't based on reading the actual budget, so take it for what it's worth:
    Everything went wrong after you and I got a tax cut we didn't need at the cost of the poor. Everything from increasing the student:teacher ratio to increasing prescription charges flows on from there, and it flows via asset sales. If anything we needed an increase, we (both the merely relatively wealthier as well as the genuinely wealthy New Zealanders) should pay more because we can afford more.

    Auckland CBD • Since Nov 2006 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I am in basic agreement with the idea of keeping the books balanced but agree that the previous tax cuts pushed the cost of that disproportionately on to the middle class and poor. I still have memories of my dad listening to a Muldoon budget that raised the top tax rate to 65c/dollar (I think). There appears to be no sound case for asset sales and I wish that Labour would come out and say that they will re-nationalise anything that gets privatised this term, thus all shares will be worthless. That would be music to my ears. Have some nuts and add capital tax on anything other than own home, raise superann to 67 and put top tax rate back up to 39c. OK, so I am raging lefty but that would just be a start. More teachers, better paid nurses, Hone's financial transaction tax, etc. etc. As a struggling middle classer, it would probably make little difference to me and a big difference to those at either extreme - rich pay more, poor get a hand up.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    The top tax rate in Muldoon's last years reached 66%. TBH I'd be happy enough paying a higher top rate, but we would probably need to fiddle around with company and trust rates too. Keeping our company rate competitive can be an issue. Balancing tax rates is a little trickier than it appears at first glance.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    What's most needed with disability budget items are figures about what the increases would need to be merely to keep up with inflation and demographic changes. I'm not holding my breath.

    The trade union economists usually do a good job of that with the overall Health spend if someone can track down the recent link (CTU I think).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15701 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Has Treasury actually done any scrutiny of the Roads of National Significance? If not, is it a case of regulatory capture or otherwise cosiness with roading contractors? Japan's Roads to Nowhere basically injected it with steroids.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton,

    The most stupid part is it being called an "austerity" budget (and, if spending goes up as a percentage of GDP, even Bill English calling it a "zero" budget).
    Since it was elected the government has borrowed an amount approaching 20% of GDP and it will keep borrowing for at least two and probably three more years. If that is to be called anything it should be called "stimulatory", but the terms "austerity" and "stimulatory" don't really apply here. They have been borrowed from Europe where, for example, the UK has borrowed around 50% of GDP since the GFC and others much more than that. That was indeed stimulatory (to a foolish degree) and now they are being forced to make big, sudden cuts to overall spending and keep cutting into the future. In contrast, NZ ran surpluses every year except one from 1993 to 2008 so that was when - if people must use the term - we were austere, even if spending went mental in the last three years of that period.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson, in reply to Deborah,

    Agreed. If personal rate goes up, then everyone becomes a company, and if company rate goes up, then the company moves offshore. Not easy. My big longterm sell would be continuing to create the sort of NZ that everyone wants to live in no matter what tax rate there is. We already have this to some degree with all the 20-30-year-old brain drainers returning home as soon as they have children because they want to raise a family here. So let's add into the mix, cleaner and greener, world-leading conversion to renewable energy, superior social services, maintaining our excellent teaching standards (while picking up the tail of non-achievers), leading edge film production and music, more walking and biking options, getting to grips with our multi-cultural makeup and embracing that, more and better wine, world's best fresh food, etc. etc. It requires a leader who isn't a glorified accountant with a history of strip-mining foreign currencies.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    Every day was Budget Day with Muldoon in charge. It started with Fitzgerald v. Muldoon, when Piggy announced the repeal of the Labour Super Fund in the media (similar to announcing immigration policy on Breakfast TV).

    It continued all the way through, with ever more desperate and unilateral thinking; Wage Freeze! Price Freeze! 66 percent tax rate! The scariest part for me wasn't the Budgets. I was still too young to be directly affected by it all. The morning after Muldoon announced the snap election was the one that I'll never forget:

    One morning in 1984, my stepmother woke me with the news that parliament had been dissolved. Never being a morning person even then, I wondered what it had been dissolved in and why my stepmother was so happy at the news that the place where my father worked had been liquidated. They must have used a hell of an acid bath, or maybe an American warship had lost its load in Wellington's harbour.

    The grin became less malevolent as she went to say that the old man was to be in government shortly. He had lived. I found out the details in drips and drabs later that week. The only part of parliament that had been bombed the other night had been Muldoon.

    I swear I got my first grey hair that day. Not Parliamentary jargon's first victim I bet.

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I left NZ for my OE the day after Marylin Waring crossed the floor, by the time I found a paper overseas the election was on - the NZ I eventually returned to was very very different from the one I left

    Yes that stupid tax cut has caused no end of budget strife - but that's the neocon way - drop taxes for their mates then squeeze on government because, oh deary, the budget doesn't add up ... I've done very well from it but I'll happily give it back so that little old ladies on fixed incomes can afford their meds - roll on the next election

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 1958 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    Has Treasury actually done any scrutiny of the Roads of National Significance?

    Bill English admitted yesterday that it had not been subject to the standard Treasury cost-benefit analysis. Which is astonishing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17915 posts Report Reply

  • Johnny Red, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Really I think the term "austerity" is really referring to the effect on the economy of the country undergoing it, rather than the books of the Government employing it. And the ultimate irony is that austere policies in a recession tend to worsen Govt. debt anyway, as the economy retracts.

    Auckland • Since May 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rob S,

    John Key is ambitious for New Zealand.
    John Key is an ideological joke with no real ideas or ability other than smile and wave as things turn to crap. He's comfortable with that.
    Bill English - ex treasury policy analyst, 'nuff said.
    A party of grey people with no understanding or ability.
    Yes I am angry.

    Since Apr 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    s that stupid tax cut has caused no end of budget strife – but that’s the neocon way – drop taxes for their mates then squeeze on government

    you may not be aware, but the New Zealand government is the biggest it has ever been, in adjusted dollar terms, and as a share of the economy.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    as a share of the economy

    You mean they shrank the economy faster than they fired staff?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3107 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    You mean they shrank the economy faster than they fired staff?

    no. Whilst slow, the economy has been growing for ~3 years.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    They're repealing the housekeeper and childcare tax credit. Sure, it's only worth $310 a year, but even so.... it was the only acknowledgement anywhere in the tax system that there are significant costs for working parents.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Intriguing the was the TV3 coverage has basically ignored the speech and gone straight to reactions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17915 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I don't see how a `zero' budget with an increased GDP adds up to a government that is "the biggest it has ever been...as a share of the economy"

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman, in reply to Deborah,

    They’re repealing the housekeeper and childcare tax credit. Sure, it’s only worth $310 a year, but even so…. it was the only acknowledgement anywhere in the tax system that there are significant costs for working parents.

    Except for maybe a small scheme known as WFF (means tested, but).

    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Fooman, in reply to HenryB,

    I don’t see how a `zero’ budget with an increased GDP adds up to a government that is “the biggest it has ever been…as a share of the economy”

    Inclusion of SOE's and the like, rather than core Govt. expenditure?

    Just a guess at this stage...

    FM

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2009 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Intriguing the was the TV3 coverage has basically ignored the speech and gone straight to reactions

    Bill English is pretty much a dullard - If you look at a budget being the high point of highlighting future policy direction - then this one is going nowhere with nothing much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    add capital tax on anything other than own home,

    at the risk of getting sidetracked, why would you exclude the family home from a CGT Luke?

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • HenryB, in reply to Fooman,

    Inclusion of SOE’s

    Does that mean that the SOEs have been making a significant contribution to the growth in NZ's GDP whilst core-govt expenditure has stayed static?

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

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