OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Budget 2011: A Credible Path to a Point in Time

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  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    Four hours later, the Prime Minister was across town strutting his stuff in front of an 800-strong top-drawer audience hosted by the influential Transtasman Business Circle. These power-brokers – who flew in from around New Zealand – are the ones who Key needs to ensure remain confident in the country’s prospects.

    This is what the man from ASB on the TV3 news must have attended. He gave a little advertorial for the PM and repeated the false lines from the presentation that the last government left the country's finances in a mess.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Which one? I know there are 2 or 3 of these 'ASB men' but I don't have a TV & it doesn't appear to be online.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    Separately, the Crown has agreed to reimburse the union for withholding tax incurred on payments made in relation to the tournament.

    This is the really interesting bit.
    RWT, Residents Withholding Tax, is a tax that is deducted at source from “contractors”, the self employed small sub contractors. As I read this it means that “Rugby New Zealand 2011” will keep that “tax” in other words the Government is giving RNZ2011 a 20% discount on the wages it has to pay its subbies.
    That can’t be right.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Are there more people working at TradeMe than used to work at all the record stores and bookshops that have closed?

    No, but there are many people using TradeMe to make a living (or part of one) that had no access to e-commerce before. They're operating as dealers where they would never have had the capital to set up a physical shopfront. With something like TradeMe, it's not just the employees who are affected. And I hardly think that TradeMe is what caused record and bookshops to close, so false equivalence there.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • andin,

    Sez Ben Goldacre.... "Political stances, for example, correlate with various personality features. One major review in 2003 looked at 38 different studies, containing data on 20,000 participants, and found that overall, political conservatism was associated with things such as death anxiety, fear of threat and loss, intolerance of uncertainty, a lack of openness to experience, and a need for order, structure and closure."

    And I would say this "mindset" rears its ugly head when many topics are discussed, including drug law. So why dont those people who shit themselves at the thought of liberalizing society, just F** off and take a good hard look at ..well... themselves.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Sorry I don't know his name. One of those interchangeable men in suits who pop up half way through the TV3 6 pm news to say what's gone up and down that day, as part of their ASB sponsorship deal. Was slightly unusual as they usually just stick to that without PM fan comments.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to andin,

    So why dont those people who shit themselves at the thought of liberalizing society, just F** off and take a good hard look at ..well… themselves

    To follow Goldacre's reasoning, they can't by their nature.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Sacha,

    the Budget has failed to amuse and entertain the Press Gallery

    maybe the drugs are wearing off?

    The drugs just don't work at all anymore!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Apparently there is enough in the public kitty for a tax break just for rugby organisations and professional players

    What the hell? Are they going to offer tax breaks to other organisations who organise sports tournaments? I've got about 150 ice hockey players from 6 countries coming to Dunedin this summer and could do with a tax cut to make the finances work out better.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • DexterX,

    The problem is essentially that in NZ, we, as a whole take a lot more out of the economy more out of the economy than it is prepared to put into it and we vote for governments that provide for us on that basis.

    A budget based on optimistic forecasts is a ploy to get re-elected, it won’t bring the government books into balance, when we are still borrowing to save (subsidise Kiwi Saver) and fund tax cuts – however it is a ploy that will likely work.

    The Nats have waited on a recovery – yet have shown little interest in fostering one - and as a result it hasn't happened, that is three years of hope, which is pretty hopeless.

    The GST increase kicked it in the guts just as it was starting to stand up.

    The present solution, under this current budget, is to tinker a bit and hope more earnestly and get re-elected on this basis.

    Relying on the Chch rebuild and the Rugby World Cup, if this is what treasury forecasts are based on, is a little like playing pin the tail on the Donkey - you get spun around and don't know where you end up.

    Selling stuff off so you can spend more is insane.

    A recovery will need to involve trading and engaging with the rest of the world whilst also smartening up every phase of the chain of business/production locally makes sense to me but these aren't budget considerations.

    Lets see if they can foster that after 2012, it doesn’t seem they are planning to do much else before then except watch the RWC and get re elected.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to DexterX,

    Three words sum up the current orthodoxy - John Frum economics. Just about every asset sale in NZ, the promised 'finance hub', the Hobbit saga, and a lingering belief that there's no alternative for NZ but to drop its pants and sing Yankee Doodle Dandee - it all seems to add up.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    I'm heartened by Labour's response (link to Goff's full speech at bottom of post; read comments at own risk):

    - Increase research and development.

    - Pay for that by restoring 2013 as the start date for the agriculture sector paying some of its ETS costs rather than all taxpayers doing it for them.

    - Hike the minimum wage to $15 an hour, effectively a progressive income boost but out of employers' pockets.

    - Ditch the holiday highway project and expensive naval missiles.

    The difference in framing of the two 6pm news shows is revealing:

    - TV3 is a bit light on detail but largely conveys the announcement as presented and leads with the minimum wage increase. (2 min clip)

    - TV1 immediately wheel out National's line about the effect being an increase in dairy product prices - yes, more fecking blocks of cheese. (2min clip)

    Federated Farmers is appalled, talking of this as "emasculation" and saying that farmers should be "revered" (for their 25% share of NZ's export revenues presumably) rather than asked to pay even a fraction of their 50% share of the nation's total carbon emissions (see TV3 clip). I kid you not.

    Unsurprisingly, Kiwibog is also not amused (same warning about comments and your sanity applies).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    For the keen, politcal studies lecturer Bryce Edwards has a comprehensive list of Budget coverage (though he doesn not note that some of the linked NBR articles require a subscription).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    There's also plenty of room before the election for Labour to empahsise their difference from National by reflecting Auckland voters' preferences in transport policy (link to Auckland Council's Plan at bottom of post).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    There’s also plenty of room before the election for Labour to empahsise their difference from National by reflecting Auckland voters’ preferences in transport policy

    They could flick Pull'ya Benefit to the kerb in Waitakere by promoting the CBD Rail Link as cutting 10 minutes off the rail trip into the city on the Western Line, which would increase the area of improved property values. Her margin was tiny, and a lot of the residents of Mrs Bennett's electorate won't have been doing terribly well under the current regime.

    Goff's unequivocal dismissal of Puford is heartening. Be nice if he explained that any transport project with a standard BCR < 1 is for the chopping block (pretty much every Road of Dubious Significance), but since National are playing the "explaining is losing" game I'm not surprised he's going for the bold rather than the nuanced.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to SteveH,

    The ridiculous comment refers to the allocation of 95% of ADSL2+ bandwidth to download, not to the speed itself. If it were 15Mbit/s down and 5Mbit/s up or even symmetric it’d be a more useful service.

    Except that that's not how the technology works. If you want symmetric, you need SDSL. The "A" stands for asymmetric, so it's not designed to be equal up/down. And the specification does not provide for the kinds of upstream speeds you want, it only allows for a maximum of 3.3Mbps upstream and that's with a recent revision of the 2+ standard.

    DSL is a hack. That it's a hack is evidenced by the steep negative relationship between distance and speed as the speeds get higher. VDSL only achieves its maximum speed out to about 500m from the exchange, and drops down dramatically from there. To suggest that fibre is merely "incremental" improvement on copper is to suggest that email is a mere incremental improvement on snail mail.

    Fibre is theoretically infinitely upgradeable. I'm unaware of anyone who's suggested even a theoretical maximum bandwidth for fibre (or copper, admittedly, but the improvements aren't happening on twisted-pair POTS-grade copper).
    Gigabit to the the home won't happen with copper, except maybe distributed from an in-building aggregation switch in apartments. We need to be looking well into the future, rather than doing the typical Kiwi thing of babying along our crappy copper cables and pretending that we're playing in the big leagues.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report

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