The Prime Minister is warning the state of the Government’s books is much worse than anticipated and says next month’s budget will be the 'rebuilding budget'

The Prime Minister is warning that the state of the Government’s books are much worse than anticipated and says next month’s budget will be the “rebuilding budget.”

Speaking alongside Finance Minister Grant Robertson at her post-cabinet press conference, Jacinda Ardern slammed the previous Government for the state it left some of New Zealand’s public services.

She says this will be a main area of focus in the Government’s Budget next month.

She singled out education and health but, aside from some of the already public information about Middlemore Hospital, would not outline many details.

Ardern says the issues at Middlemore, whereby mould had been discovered on walls and in ceilings, is just a “snapshot” of the issue stemming from the National Government’s underfunding of public services.

“I have always said from the beginning we thought it would be bad – no one thought it would be this bad.

“In almost every portfolio I can think of off the top of my head, I can think of examples where there has been a lack of investment.”

In the lead up to the Budget, she says the Government will be “creating a picture and sharing more publicly what we have found sitting in front of us from the moment we took office and we opened up the books.”

Ardern says it’s important the “scale of the investment and rebuilding that needs to take place with our core services, like health and education,” is seen by New Zealanders.

Despite this, Robertson says the Government is still committed to its budget responsibility rules.

Before the election, Labour promised to keep Core Crown spending at roughly 30% of GDP and to reduce public debt to 20% of GDP by 2021/2022.

He says the rules help “future proof” New Zealand, in terms of any internal or external economic shocks.

This is a sentiment credit rating agency Moody’s agrees with, on Monday morning praising the rules while reaffirming New Zealand’s Aaa status.

Robertson says the measures the Government will take to address some of the issues it found in the books can be done while keeping within those parameters.

Dampening expectations

Ardern says she had to dampen down her expectations of what the Government could deliver when she saw the state the last Government left core services, like health and education in.

“It means we have had to reprioritise some of our own priorities, things that we went into the Budget looking at because of the nature of the underinvestment we’re seeing.”  

She would not go into a lot of detail, except to say that in the weeks leading up to the Budget, she would detail some of the shortfalls she outlined on Monday.

She and Robertson stressed that because of the “scale” it’s not a job that can be completed in one budget.

“One budget,” Robertson says, “cannot make up for nine years of neglect.”

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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159 Comments

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Bridges was pretty good about this lack of adequate spending on health, on Morning Report today. He certainly wasn't defending Coleman's tenure. Even the current National Party leader is showing contrition at this obvious neglect. Madness, since now it's much more expensive than fix at the time! The myth of National's acumen as financial managers is taking a hit. I believe Ardern, she's straight.

No doubt certain contributors to this comments section will call the “COL” out for trying to divert attention away from their “lack of action” on election promises.

@nzdan ............ Precisely , they have realised their election promises have got them into a massive deep $11,000 ,000 , 000 hole and now are rushing about like headless chickens try try and reduce expectations .

Does this bunch of losers think we are all stupid , or just their delusional supporters ?

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Coleman was known as Dr Death by the medical fraternity during his time ruining the health ministry.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12029047

Turns out neither Coleman NOR the Ministry of Health was told Middlemore was a leaky building ............... DHB administrators MUST be held accountable for a dereliction of duty

Heads must roll , we pay these senior staff $200,000 per annum , for doing what ?

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Think if this new government show that they are going stick to to the real and worthwhile priorities for all New Zealanders, they will end up being a heck of a lot better regarded than the last National lot. This includes not wasting millions on government spending that is both extravagant and uncontrolled. For instance $35 mill blow out on Ministry of Heath headquarters, while actual hospitals are falling apart. MBIE $ millions on headquarters decor. And don’t even let us start on the flag. National’s priorities were geared and cronied up to the world of the big corporate. Labour should be able to do better for all of us, one would hope.

It’s amusing to think that so many people believe that that money will simply come out of thin air or the “rich”. Most Kiwis will come to realise that they will be the “rich” who pay more tax for all this largesse. Your examples of the flag and the health headquarters don’t even add up to 2 days worth of govt spending on health. The flag amounted to around 12hrs worth of spending on health. However, I believe in democracy and if most people want another $45m or so per day thrown at health, then let’s do it. Just let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this is some kind of free lunch...now that’s extravagant and uncontrolled.

Yeah, why not. Who cares about public reserves falling through holes in the bottom of bucket. With an economy the size of Phoenix, we are right up there obviously. As Gerry might say, , another $200 mill, what the heck, what’s that that between friends.

Yet the less in-equality there is, the better an economy does, ergo a progressive tax system seems to perform the best. Meanwhile it seems to me the loudest whinners on tax in-variably seem to pay almost none.

So NZers have a choice watch our public services fail meanwhile a substantial % of property speculators avoid paying tax. So its the free loaders paying no tax that are getting the free lunch, guess we wait to see if "most kiwis' finally get that.

Right .. and you believe Robertson because ?

Actually PH when you get to my age you get to not believe in any of them regardless of what hat or no hat.

Taxinda Arduous and Billy Bunter are liars plain and simple , and this "Rebuilding Budget ........... whatever T F that is , is nothing but a con job .

Right now we the people are being loaded onto cattle trucks ............and going to be taken to a tax abattoir .

Yes and as Denis Healy found in the UK raise taxes and lower the tax take.The pips may have squeaked but there was no juice.

@Rumpole , spot -on there , as Margaret Thatcher pointed out afterwards, the problem with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money to spend

Simon Bridges on Auckland Harbour Bridge
https://youtu.be/XZ5zwCZ8k8g

Labour are still allowing over 70,000 net annual gains from immigration which means the problems will get bigger, not smaller. Get rid of 1/2 a million people and the problems are all fixed. Keep enlarging the population and you enlarge the problems.
Charge immigrants $250,000 for their share of the countries infrastructure instead of giving it to them free.

And Winston PROMISED to "hit the pause button " if we voted for him , so I voted for him .

Liar !

I should have known better than to trust that lying cheating .............

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Could this be the $11b hole everyone (i.e. Bill and Steven) was talking about?

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You only know the true depth of the hole if you were the one that dug it.

This should be the quote of the day!

Oh so true , Labour have well and truly dug a hole so big for themselves they now risk tumbling into it

When Stephen Joyce pointed out how big Robertson's hole was , Robertson was extremely indignant .

He said that some of his lefty economist friends in Wellington had done the numbers, and reported that while there was indeed a hole it was a very small hole .

Indeed its the $11 Billion Dollar hole they started digging during the election campaign ............................. ........... "REBUILDING BUDGET " my arse !

Rebuilding what ?

This is not Syria

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Here come the skeletons, lots of bigwig National MPs took a very opportune moment to 'retire' from politics. Who's next on the block when the full revelations are out in the open?

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It was obvious something was wrong when John Key fled before the election.

Bridges (on RNZ) let on an by-election extra to Coleman's is coming soon......
So I say Brownlee Ilam, Tim Mcindoe Hamilton West, Todd Mcclay Rotorua...? Even Judith...? It'll help National rebuild.

Not Judith, she is waiting for Bridges to stumble.

Unless Bridges purges her first...

I can only see this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umR5Ql_ErUk in my mind

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Isn't this what all political parties do? Make lots of promises, then get into government and say "Well actually things are much worse than we thought, we won't be able to fulfill those promises now. But it 's not our fault, it was the last government's fault."

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National found the giant hole in the ACC budget. Then proceeded to do nothing at all, except when the earthquake hit and it was an opportune time for Brownlee to ruin Christchurch.

A lot of stuff has been swept under the rug to generate the surplus. Unfortunately that also generated a lot of homeless people. People were wondering for a while why so many Housing NZ buildings were sitting there empty while people were being housed in motels at an exceptional cost.

I'm watching to see what the Government does. Will they achieve more than National? Well if they actually do something it would be more than going backwards. I don't think many people benefited from the temporary 15% GST. Only those that can leverage GST write offs.

the ACC shortfall was due to the drop in investment values (equities) that happened straight after the GFC.
it corrected itself in a very short time as they recovered and due to QE grew in values very very fast.
national used it to fool the public that labour were bad money managers OR did they themselves not understand what was happening, after all they stopped payments to the super fund at the same time and we know what loss of asset growth they let slip through that move

Reminds me of Confucius on the failings of democracy - circa 55 BC.

Politicians will promise voters things they cannot afford and the voters will vote for them !

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Yeah good one Jacinda!
They are an absolute classic!
Promise the earth, then backtrack on the crap that they have promised, blaming it on the previous government!
Reality is that they know that they are not able to fulfill what they wanted to do irrespective of what they are going to say.
Surely, this amazing bunch of idealists can resurrect everything that is bad about NZ in quick time!
At the end of the day, NZ was going extremely well until this lot got into power due to a crazy political voting system that allows losing parties to join together to form a government!
What a crock and the country is now going to pay for it big time!

WTF is a "rebuilding budget" and where on earth would this be needed anywhere other than Syria ?

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Looks to me like a ruse to drop their debt to GDP committment from the election...then likely give big pay rises to teachers and health workers who make up many of their voters

Running a surplus, under current conditions, is likely to make the debt:GDP ratio worse than if the government were running a deficit.

Running a surplus is likely to make private sector debt worse. Sectoral balances.

And running a surplus at the same time as private sector tightening its belt and not borrowing is likely to cause a recession given the persistent current account deficit. The folly of Robertson will be thus.

poorly worded on my part. I meant fiscal surplus = worse debt:GDP. I edited it. Agree with you both J.C and cs.

The only way they’ll meet the govt debt to GDP targets is if taxes go up significantly. You don’t need to be an accountant to work that one out...

Well actually, if the government spends a bit more than they tax in the current circumstances (deficit spend - or "fiscal expansion" as I prefer to call it) it is quite likely that, via that spending and the multiplier (the teacher with a pay rise goes out a bit more often to dinner helping the restaurant owner turn a profit who in turn buys a nice piece of locally made jewelry for his or her partner and the jeweler sends her kids to a local hip hop class ) aggregate demand increases and growth ensues, increasing tax revenue and actually lowering debt to gdp levels (exactly as happened in debt-laden countries post WW2).

Even the IMF now admits that spending multipliers were much bigger than they assumed pre the austerity-to-cure-recession experiment in Europe (based on the erroneous 'you've lost your public sector job but hey the government is in surplus so your children will pay less tax so, as a rational agent, you'll go and buy some furniture from IKEA or take out a large loan' reasoning) and that austerity actually worsens debt-gdp ratios.

I believe a fiscal expansion would do a lot more for growth and our near deflation than a 1% drop in the OCR or any kind of QE. It would get the money into the real economy. If the real economy is going well, then the debt-gdp ratio will shrink as the autostabilisers are used less.

I wouldn't bother with issuing the public debt however. I'd use overt monetary finance in the current deflationary environment and pay interest on reserves.

I don't think fiscal expansion works like that anymore.

People react differently now. They won't got and spend, they will sense something is "wrong", hunker down and pay off debt. Like what we saw after the GFC.

That is the entire problem. Too much debt.

Olivier Blanchard's paper on fiscal multipliers. They are bigger than you think.

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2016/12/31/Growth-Forecast...

Private debt is indeed the problem. We need debt relief in the form of an increase in nominal wages. What better way to do that than via fiscal expansion. More debt via an ocr cut won't work.

Steve Keen argues that Australia in part avoided any recession at all in the GFC by giving everyone a one-off tax credit.

If I got a public sector pay rise, I would definitely get out an spend a bit more. My lifestyle has definitely contracted over the last 10 years. I spend nothing other than essentials. I don't think I'm alone.

My lifestyle has definitely contracted over the last 10 years. I spend nothing other than essentials. I don't think I'm alone.

I am the same, and that is my point. Give me a payrise and that money wont be frittered away on a few luxuries. It will be used to pay the ever increasing cost of those essentials, and try and pay off the debt, before any interest rate increases.

If you saw the stats showing QLD pokie turnover in the month post the cash payout they all received you would struggle to believe it had any lasting effect - just a sugar rush to the clubs that lasted just days ! All gone !

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9 years of under funding of all Govt institutions.
Hospitals, schools, universities, etc
Then they produced a ‘surplus’

Mortgage Belt, far better to be showing a profit than promising everything that is BS and not being able to afford it!
Unfortunately this coalition doesn’t have a clue with business as they haven’t any experience!

Well, yeah...As long as I have my private health insurance and don't have to use Middlemore it's not such an issue what the peasants have to experience in hospital. They should consider themselves lucky we are being as generous as we are!

(As for this argument that all politicians should have run a business, it's a comparatively recent viewpoint we've been indoctrinated with. Lucky for Brownlee the woodwork teacher, English the junior Treasury analyst etc.)

Which part of under-funding did you not understand? I'll explain it to you in simple terms - things need money, if you do not pay for them then they don't work too good.

Or another way that maybe you will understand - a greedy landlord refuses to have his rental repaired, because he wanted to maintain a profit, then the roof then caves in, the floor subsides, and the house disintegrates, the fact the greedy landlord made a profit is irrelevant as he no longer has a house, the greedy landlord now has to pay for a complete rebuild.

Wow said it like a champ!!!! ;). There is no way the man 2 will not understand this, after all he is a self proclaimed professional landlord (really??)

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Spending on health increased significantly during National's term in office:
Nominal Vote Health – increased by $4.85 billion a year from $11.92 billion to $16.77 billion – a 40.7% increase
Real Vote Health – increased by $3.00 billion a year from $13.77 billion to $16.77 billion – a 21.8% increase
Real Vote Health per capita – increased by $341 a year from $3,233 to $3,574 – a 10.5% increase

One can only draw the conclusion that the Clark Admin must have been utter bastards if National increased the spend so much and yet if we are to believe Labour now chronically 'underfunded health.

And Nationals initiatives did indeed massively improve outcomes, eg:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11854105
under Labour only 70% of people in ED got dealt with in under six hours, and now it is 94%. And that change is deemed responsible for saving thousands of lives.

Truth is there is no limit to how much you can spend on health, and there will always be emergent problems to deal with - which is what budget contingencies are for (if you are financially competent enough to provide for them). The job of the govt is not to make friends of health workers (or other civil servants) it is to maximise NZer's welfare through maximum bang from limited Health bucks. As a portfolio it is probably the toughest job in Govt - (often given by leaders to competent upstarts to try and hobble their political careers, good luck Dr Clark). Labour with their inexperience and softness will probably manage to increase wage spend a lot, buy lots of shiny paint and bigger Audis for doctors, but create little improvement in patient outcomes. I just hope I am wrong in that assessment.

What about as a percentage of GDP?

or as per patient , after all we have had the biggest growth in population as a number in recent years, if spending in social services does not keep up then problems will start to appear.
example
the number of police per citizen has fallen in the last ten years even though the number of police have increased.

Given an aging population, you'd expect an increased need for funding over time even on a per cap basis so per patient is more accurate.

Pre election spending promises of the COL was $35 Billion plus any Black hole as indicated by Stephen Joyce, I suspect this COL will Deny/Lie and tax.

Of course there would have been more, much more spent on hospitals and schools if Labour and NZF hadn’t publicly sabotaged the share floats of the power generators by saying they would force investors to sell the shares back to the Govt at the issue price if they ever came into power.

Do you remember when John Key said the asset sales would lead to our brighter future?

delboy,

What a load of crap. The government screwed up the first float and then panicked and underpriced the next two.

had they not done so,they would have raised considerably more and a little more MIGHT have found its way to the grossly underfunded health service.

Was this after that referendum was held and national over-ruled the outcome? Democracy at its best.

The state of the Government’s books are much worse than anticipated. Aren't the 1st year students lucky they got their middle class bribe before the books were examined.
But that is the way it goes - middle-class bribes first and working families living in cars, garages and motels second.
Pity we don't have a party that represents workers; you know those ordinary people who actually keep the country running (cleaners, shop assistants, fork-lift truck drivers, bus and engine drivers, etc). Of course a party that put workers first would need a name.

I’m pretty sure there’s some big minimum wage jumps coming, that will put upward pressure on all ordinary people wages.
There is always a balance between spending on the current problems and spending on improving the future. I think labour is getting it about right. No party has increased spending on tertiary education in as long as I can remember.

Still is students now and workers later. Should be the other way round - decide what the mim wage ought to be and pay it now. Even under the Nats 75% of tertiary costs were paid for by the taxpayer - and the majority of the taxpayers are not graduates.

Natioal fooled us all the rock star economy.

It never existed. Not of all us were fooled.

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This is governance by-the-books. Blame the last admin for your failure to provide for contingencies - that were pointed our pre-election. Never mind that you were present and able to ask questions about everything during the last 9 years (but were too disorganised/clueless to do so), and were present on all the select committees, and that you had the Prefu to fully brief you well before the election.

Labours fiscal projections were always a joke with delusionally high growth assumed and massive spending commitments they contained. Joyce's apocryphal 11 billion won't begin to cover the debt incurred through labour's mismanagement and economically negative policies - increased tax and back-to-the-70's industrial relations insanity. I wouldn't mind so much if they were actually doing things to improve our infrastructure (roads!!!), but it appears that it will instead be pissed up against the wall on creating higher unemployment, larger welfare classes and mausoleums to left wing stupidity - slow, space-hungry, low frequency and (in the burgeoning age of autonomous vehicle) obsolete 19th century solutions suitable only for high intensity housing/industry that doesn't, and will likely never exist in NZ.

Interesting seeing the way things are being slanted now.

Under-investment was disclosed and known (er...uh-huh). It's the opposition's fault for not making the government invest more (also perpetuated by Echo Squawk). Etc. etc.

Next up: "There's nothing wrong with asbestos hospitals!"

Edit:

Whoops, Jonathan Coleman says you're wrong:

former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman denied knowing about it. "I'm aware over time that they need injections of capital to continue to develop the site but I was not notified that there was any sort of problem along these lines," he told RNZ.

and

The Counties Manukau District Health Board acting chief executive Gloria Johnson told RNZ that the board hadn't asked the previous Government for funding to fix its beleaguered buildings because of pressure from the Government to stay in surplus.

So the previous government created an environment where public services under such pressure to state a surplus that key infrastructure was allowed to decay to an untenable state.

This is a bit ridiculous, really. No CEO of a business would be celebrated for such leadership. In fact, leaders of this ilk are used as business school case studies (the perils of cutting costs for short term share price gains while under-funding necessary investment, Agency Theory etc.).

The question is, if Jonathan Coleman is lying and the truth was known, why were we celebrating such chronic under-investment as "sound fiscal management"?

Seems like a classic case of short-term mismanagement. Do Acurity Health Group know what they've gotten themselves into? (Or do they benefit from the under-investment in the public health system?)

It's the old making it absolutely clear in a subtle way that he does not wish to be made aware of it. Result - plausible deniability.

And we thought it was going to be the "Budget of Well being" .. the feel good budget or rosy dreams ... Jesus!! .. so now it is a "reBuilding rebudget" ... stuff well being for now
and looks like we are for "reBuilding budget .02 " next year ... poor PT, he will surely have a haircut, and blame the budget for delays of Kiwibuild or rail projects.

Looking for excuses Now, and the blame machine is full On ... and firing on all cylinders!
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1202...

What Under funding ? ...Selective memory I take it ... what about GFC?, CrCh, Wellington, Kaikoura quakes?, paying off debt?, increased spending on all services with expanding population ? ... No?
So where were you in the last 9 budget discussions? ... Asleep? or useless dummies on
the opposition benches? what were your Health, Education, finance and transport spoke's men and women doing in the last 9 years? what were your party candidates doing in their electoroles ?? Didn't they spot and report problems ?? ...

There is nowhere to hide CoLs, and no excuses for over promising and now claiming ignorance of facts and information available to you through the OIA ... we are not that silly. You only have yourselves to blame as you were a silly and lazy opposition in the last 9 years unaware of what is going around you and unable to calculate the nation's needs in each of the nine previous budgets.

If you failed to hold National to account then , don't try to blame them now - suck it up and get back to work.

Why didn't you announce all these deficiencies in the first month of taking office ? or you were saving it to find a bail out of your deep hole ? .... If you knew all this when taking office why did you dish out regional spending and student education etc etc ...?? or are you finding things as you go ?....

Do not cry wolf today, no one will believe that anymore !!

The people of NZ will not accept incompetence and bad management of an elected gov in power and we shall not take these childish blames of your predecessors seriously - They have left you a strong economy, low unemployment, and money coming out of your ears and you chose to spend it on least important stuff for your own POLITICAL advantage and fulfil your silly promises in order to get more votes next time NOT for the general good of the country ... and that is a Shame.

This Gov will ultimately prove that the Vote for change was a big joke on the voters.

Some genuine, honest, and naive people were sucked in by a wicked propaganda campaign decorated with smiles, sweet talk, zillions of paid media articles and an electronic army of digital cheerleaders and idiots ... now that the dust is slowly settling the real ugly face of this CoL is exposed along with its clowns and cheerleaders . Their rosy useless promises and incompetence both in the past and todate is mind blowing.

"Fool me once, shame on YOU ... fool me twice, Shame on ME !!"

What a circus!

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"The people of NZ will not accept incompetence and bad management of an elected gov in power and we shall not take these childish blames of your predecessors seriously "

Apparently you will, you did and you still do...

EcoBird, no one could have said it any better!
Brilliantly on to it, but the nillers that voted for the coalition will read it, and still defend them somehow.
As I have said several times, this government coalition, will end up being the most despised and incompetent of all time.

We need to expose this Coalition of Liars and lazy noobs... they are taking NZers for a ride and they think they are smart while they are not fit to run a dairy corner store.... this crap has gone too long and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

So they will be given credit when credit is due otherwise some of us will expose them and show the readers all the naked emperors wondering around while on the taxpayer's payroll.

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You know that bit you wrote the other day about people who say lots of words without saying anything, and the Ecobird millennia of experience picking a loser based on the verbosity of so and so - you literally have no self-awareness at all do you?

What in the blue feck is a niller?

Kakapo, the art of being NIL!
Lacking in ability!

Stop trying to make niller happen. It's never going to happen.

You just wasted five minutes of your time typing such crap..

Didn't see you voice your opinion when the damn National government failed its people

Wait, which years did national pay down debt?

This just gets better by the day. At least Taxinda promised no new taxes in force until she goes to the next election. Now all we need is a financial crisis to up the ante.

they are already putting up taxes, petrol taxes going up, announced the other day

Both major parties would have had to increase the petrol tax rate to achieve their transport promises, FYI. And National had a track record of doing just this - what, six times over nine years? Also, this was in Labour's policy communications prior to the election.

So we could always be realistic about transport and fuel tax and both parties, I guess...

"Also, this was in Labour's policy communications prior to the election."
Where ? When ?
and how does this square up with "no new tax during this parliament" commitment ?

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

It was on there policy page: “Alcohol, Petrol and Tobacco Levies - will be adjusted as per normal government practice and as set out in Budget documents” on http://www.labour.org.nz/policy

Of course, fuel tax was raised in exactly the same way it was by National, also under the bounds of no new taxes. A change in the rate of a tax is not a new tax any more than a change in the length of your hem qualifies as a new pair of pants. So was the reasoning for National, so apparently is the reasoning for Labour.

But it will not stop the squealing from some here that Labour has done what St John the Key would never have done (despite increasing GST after explicitly promising not to). And it will never convince the willfully ignorant.

" A change in the rate of a tax is not a new tax any more than a change in the length of your hem qualifies as a new pair of pants."

- and therefore any increase in the rate of income tax and /or GST etc. would not in any way constitute a broken election promise by Labour - that is the party line now I understand.

Wrongthink!! that was an increased excise, therefore not a tax - unless, you know, you are not a bald faced liar.

Or a National minister, don't forget.

Don’t think so. Far too mature.

National did it 6 times in 9 years as well as raising alcohol and cigarette taxes and I don’t remember the outcry then. They no doubt campaigned on not raising taxes too.
Also as fuel tax is a dollar amount instead of a percentage you have to increase it otherwise it effectively decreases with inflation.

Also when labour said they would not have new taxes it was in response to national making up a whole lot of crap (death taxes etc). This is just a business as usual increase, technically a new tax but hardly outside the spirit of what labour was promising.

Silly me, I forgot to commune with the spirits, perhaps Labour has an officially appointed medium on call? Expecting politicians to do what they say they will do is so passe.

Glad you realise it's getting better by the day.. under the national government it was getting worse by the day

Houses Overpriced, you are totally out of your depth in commenting on financial matters, that is obvious.
Your name gives it away, as if you had the ability to have purchased a property, then you would not have had to use the name you are currently using!
If you are financially literate, you would have figured out by now that what this coalition has done so far is pathetic and going forward it will continue to be pathetic, as they have no expertise and are totally lost.
Winstone with all his so-called finance expertise experience has been strangely silent hasn’t he?
Why, because he knows he got into bed with the wrong crowd and doesn’t know how to get out of it!

Who the heck are you to comment on ability, when you are just ridiculous with your commentary. You sound absurd and associate yourself to self minded idiocies

I am “The Man”.
To be fair my experience with financial matters has always been spot on and I would back my ability any day over any of the coalition to run a business and make money!
End of storey!

There you go again, stupid, ignorant and fascist...get a life kid

A country isn't a business, and the word is spelt "story".

Hahaha,.. just proves he's just a boy craving to be a man..

Well, except for that time you faceplanted over buying Chump Shares in the pre-1987 frenzy. And failed to learn from it.

Hahaha.

You keep sulking like a kid .. clearly shows you have an identity issue, hence the fake name.. grow up kid, in a mans clothes

Careful what you wish for, the situation is more precarious than you think

True, it was a throw away line. I have no desire to experience another recession or crisis. I just want this lot to stop spending like a drunk sailor on pay day.

The recession is inevitable, and irrespective of our government we will be torn down by world markets. We are and always have been puppets at the mercy of the world, busily swapping houses amongst ourselves for ever increasing values on the back of nothing, and patting ourselves on the back, reliant on primary industry. We dont even own our own country anymore - who is really in control ?

Ex Expat, stop arguing the toss just for the hell of it and for once in your life recognise common sense when it presence itself. Several times previously you commented that your funds are invested only short term, for the primary purpose to profit from providing emergency private equity to distressed companies. To me and others, this would suggest you're positioning yourself to profit from this very thing you say you don't want - a recession. Talk about a flip flop.

For "this crowd" to stop spending like quote "a drunken sailor on pay day" would only be a continuance of nine years starving our creaking infrastructure of basic and essential funding. Surely you would understand what happens to your car if you fail to service it or a company where its bank restricts or even stops access to credit!

RP, what I plan for and hope for are not the same thing. Why would I wish the early 90s be revisited? Whether they occur or not is not in my control. Being ready for the possibility is within my control, so I've done that.

As for spending, as posted on this page, the leftie hive lament the increase in debt under National, so they should have spent more and either borrowed or taxed more in your opinion? How about you get out there, re-engage in the world, pay lots more taxes to the COL and help move the country forward? There's a thought. Being retired at 52 is a cop out IMO. It's self indulgent.

Ex Expat, you certainly tripped over yourself. Being cultivated is certainly not one of your strong points. Please proceed and again argue the toss - just for the hell of it.

True, I don't take well to being treated like a mushroom. I could stretch to being a truffle but not the Shitake the COL would prefer to cultivate me as.

Winston already covered that, said it wouldn't be their fault if there was a recession. So that's OK then.

Yes he did say that but the recession has not occurred as yet, but it is likely with this lot in power.
He didn’t comment in regard to the current position when he took over and if he was keeping his finger on the pulse he should have been aware of things!
Do we really know what the state of the finances really are or is it just Jacinda now becoming aware that they can’t afford their hot air promises because they didn’t tgink they would get in?

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I thought they would at least get to the 2019 budget before they realised that there isn't the money they thought there was. They over-promised before the election and whether the hole was $11b or otherwise it is still a hole. Labour reminds me of kids who think their parents are stingy. They finally get control of the finances and once they the bills come to understand that mum and dad's "big money" doesn't go that far. Absolutely incompetent.

Or like the kids get hold of the finances only to discover dad's rosy picture isn't the reality and the family estate is terribly run down.

So they decide to spend anyway? What happened to living within your means? Oh that’s right, the power to tax gives you a short term buffer at the expense of long term prosperity and it’s not your money in the first place so who gives a stuff? Taxinda is a moniker that will stick.

What long-term prosperity is this you speak of? You're not daft, so would be good to hear your opinion on the long-term prosperity that National were providing? Prosperity for whom?

Prosperity led by those that produce with measured distribution to those that want to but for whatever reason can’t. Every dollar I earn that you take off me and give to someone who hasn’t earned it should be spent wisely. This lot have no idea.

But that's the problem. National - National! - were happy to increase redistribution of your and my taxes to landlords and companies to subsidise rents and company wages, and were campaigning on that very thing, but have been underfunding health infrastructure.

Is that capitalism? No, no way it is. It's wasteful socialism that if it were Labour doing it you'd be angrily against.

But under a blue flag all is fine and dandy and somehow still capitalism, and any other course is communism...

ooh snap, tag team back again - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FPimCmbX8

Let's delve a bit more into that, it's an interesting point and one I agree with in essence, although the beneficiaries of our largesse and ire would be entirely different. From my perspective accommodation supplements can do one, corporate welfare can do one as well, I'm not interested in creating more prosperity for parasites, so the last lot had no idea. Interesting how different lenses can see the same things yet get different results.

Thanks to National’s generous WFF policy I was getting 2/3rds of my tax back every week in welfare payments. I didn’t need it as we live well within our means but I was entitled to it so I claimed it.

True, you and I have health insurance. The poor should suck that asbestos up. We don't really need to address Middlemore's issues, and others'.

Meanwhile, back in reality, even right-leaning commentators such as Matthew Hooten are acknowledging under-funding and the "scandal of Middlemore" (as he coined it) need addressing.

Ex Expat, If I remember correctly that it was your wise man who said once that arguing with fools makes you look like one !
tonight there are plenty of people who left reason and common sense in the freezer. All they are capable of is trolling and insults.
BTW, I am sometime guilty of breaking the same golden rule.

And again with the jaw-dropping, staggering lack of self-awareness. Congratulations you're the recipient of this year's "Trumpie", for services to bigly huge intelligence and percipience.

Like going to the reading of the will, to discover that the family silver is actually brass, because pater pawned it all, but instead of fixing the roof or paying the mortgage, pissed it all away on pinot noir and floozies.

Greetings, Earthlings! Our magical technology has located your long-lost comments policy. It is here.

Agreed! Much of the above drivel doesn't align well with the comments policy. It is almost as if the beehive residents are commenting here...

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My feeling is that Labour is softening us up for some Tax increases... For me, Jacindas speech felt like some kind of religious sermon.
The problems they are talking about have existed always. ( in my lifetime )..
there has never been enuf money to satisfy all our needs.
NZ is a chronic Debtor Nation... reality is that we are not that wealthy, so just like anyone else in that position we have to make choices.

In this broader context , I don't see how Labour can fix it like Jacinda preaches they will... I'm guessing it will require a massive increase in taxes..??
My feeling is, thou, that the NZ economy is not as robust as we might think. I think the ability of households to simply absorb and pay more tax without it impacting on their own spending , might not be as free and easy as politicians might think ??

Its easy to blame National, and portray them as uncaring and neligent..AND... last time I looked National increased Govt debt from $10 billion to $60 billion.. They also had the GFC and the Christchurch earthquakes to deal with.
Hard to accuse a Govt ( National ) of being "austere" when they actually blewout debt..???

I think Labour will struggle to keep it all together in regards to their desire to fix everything, keeping in mind, the actual fiscal limitations of a Country that actually borrows money every year just to maintain the "prosperous lifestyle". ( as opposed to borrowing to produce or invest )

Just my view... at this moment..

1st world lifestyle on agrarian economy.

For the most part I agree, I'll take exception to a couple of things though, Christchurch has been woefully mismanaged, the money primarily came from insurers as well I believe, the GFC barely touched us due to a strong Australia and China.

Aside from that it's incredibly unfortunate that PAYE folk are the easiest to target for any income tax related increases, in order to shift the burden of tax, my preference would be to look at tax evasion/crime which costs a conservative $1.2B per year based on IRD numbers, and from a 2014 study as much as $9.4B per year - https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/257185/economic-crime-costs-up-to-$9-point-4bn

I'd also increase the investigation into multi-nationals tax stances, repeal the reiigious tax privileges.

All of that, however, would require political will and hardwork.

Some good points. Trouble is there is always too much political expediency in the mix. For instance the no interest hand out for student loans, just to get the last term Clark government over the line. Same sort of thing by National in the not so well publicised irrigation schemes. There is also too much wasted on running the country, for instance we don’t need 120 MP’s. Far from it, 90 would do, as the MMP Royal Commission recommended. Overblown bureaucracy is a dead hand of dead wood.

I very much hope if spending goes up tax also goes up. Not what people want to hear but the books need to balance.

We don't want our debt to gbp to be blown out Trump style.

"We promise you, as your next government, we will... and we will do... and also...."
Oh no, we don't know how to do it and we don't know how to pay for it...
We have to ask all of you to pay more now, so we'll add a few taxes

Yvil, you're either trying to sound comical or divert suspicion away from your apparent ignorance of the issues at hand. Probably both. Our infrastructure has been denied the minimal amount of funding required. The Coalition is trying to fix it.

Yes our infrastructure spend has been way too low , its time to make State Highway 1 ( SH1 ) into a property dual carriageway motorway such as those beautiful safe highways in SWEDEN

The CoL ?..... you wish ... just be patient !

Quality comment Roelof.

Personally I commend the Governments ambition and think NZ is blessed to no longer be governed by those neglectful Cronies who could not dig us any lower.

I have family who are Doctors and Nurses and they are very clear in saying the heath sector in particular has never been as worse as it has been the last 10 years so this news comes as no surprise and Jacinda & Co are probably 100% correct.

Shock. Horror. It seems that the previous government wasn't very good at running things after all. I am shocked, shocked, to find out that such things have been going on.

Er, but isn't that the thing about all governments, they are not very good at running things. They can be awful or mediocre, and occasionally very good at some things, but we buy into the story that the government can fix things better than the people.

Paddy Gower this morning on the A.M. Show stated that this was the most disorganised government he had ever seen!
No kidding, they will only get worse if that is possible!
No point trying to defend them as they haven’t got a clue!

TM2, Ha-ha-ha :) honestly, you and Echo Bird should stick with orange juice, stay away from liquor and 3am talkback. It's life destroying!!

Paddy Gower described PM Ardern as on fire, and said National should be frightened here; http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/patrick-gower-jacinda-s-o...

Paddy Gower accused of impartiality here; https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-politics-daily-april-4-2014-dc-154268

Nuff said...

Geez RP, that was back in August 2017, he ain’t saying that now!!!!!

I've heard similar stories from those on the inner circles. I suspect the wheels started falling off, on day one of the cycle.

State of the books "much worse than antipicated " ...... there was a surplus for &^%$ sakes .

And worse than what ?

The $11,000,000,000 hole they dug for themselves in election promises ?

Free tertiary education ?
Free houses for those who cant afford one ?
Houses costing $1,0 million to be built and sold to people at $500k as "affordable" houses ........... now that a lottery ticket I want

"Houses costing $1,0 million to be built and sold to people at $500k as "affordable" houses ........... now that a lottery ticket I want"

Careful what you wish for Boatman that could all too easily happen.

@cj099 I will only believe it when I see it ............... anyone who thinks the State can house everyone in a miraculously "affordable " home is delusional .

Not since the end of WW2 has any commonwealth Government succeeded in embarking on a mass housing project .

And in the UK Income tax rates were as high as 90% to pay for the work after WW2

And we dont have millions of demobbed soldiers to do the building work either

I think you're missing the bigger picture Boatman. Property prices are sliding all over the place and now with the trade war there's no likely hood of the mass big spenders returning to drive up prices.

This is why our market has been stagnant for over a year now:-

Better dwelling: China’s Massive International Real Estate Buying Spree Is Officially Dead
https://betterdwelling.com/chinas-massive-international-real-estate-buyi...

Here's the effect that it's been having on our neighbors and the reason why the banks have had to tighten lending is due to lack of big spending from overseas investors to push the market.

Business Insider: Sydney home prices continue to slide
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/sydney-house-prices-australia-outlook...

I think this budget in a months time is going to be a real shocker ..........

Our PM is certainly an extremely good speaker, she also says the right things. I hope the government can achieve about 75% of its promises, it's too early to judge them yet but if they do, they will have improved the country and I for one, will vote for them in 2 1/2 years

Eh? Taxinda talks like a condescending Primary School Teacher. I only listen to her when caught off guard on the AM Show. I don't think shes a bad person, just clueless. BTW: I take back whatever I wrote last week supporting your comments on this site. I was mistaken.

Well when you HC in the wings as some sort of agony aunt, of course you are going to come across like that.

The tide waits for no man..... Perceptions are changing across the political spectrum. All is spooked in the wee state...

Well ExExpat, the pm IS a very good speaker (that's why she got Labour going and took over from Little), it doesn't make her a good PM though.
You'd probably also have to agree that she does SAY the right things (which is very different from getting them done)
What I was saying, is that IF she achieves 75% of her promises, big IF, most of NZ (not all of course) will be happy.
I think it's wrong to judge anyone without giving them an opportunity first and in the case of the new government (which I did not vote for), 6 months is too short for them to prove, or otherwise, themselves.

Putting together a good budget is like assembling a piece of IKEA flat packed furniture. If you read the instructions and followed the it steps by steps then you'll be fine. Skipping few steps or used a wrong screw and the whole thing will collapse!

Jacinda is starting to sound like our Priest at last Sunday's sermon .........admonitioning us for not contributing enough to the collection plate " for the poor"

She collects enough already .

Like the Priest , conveniently ignoring the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest multi-National enterprise on earth , with a branch in every city , town and hamlet , its own Bank , and investments equal to the combined GDP of most of Africa

Speaking of Priests - look what this fine one had to say. Compliments.
https://laudatosi.com/watch

If we run a budget deficit and the money is raised domestically it will 'crowd out " all other borrowers .......... like house builders and the real productive economy .

It could also be inflationary

Now is the time for the government to stop the annual subsidy of 200m it is paying from Vote Health to the private travel insurance industry by matching visitor insurance details at the border with any subsequent publicly funded heathcare received

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/354579/landlord-fined-for-gas-le...

Any Chch Landlords out there on this website who might add something here.....?

It's worrying how many asian sounding names are associated with problems in housing in NZ

.