6/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.
The print edition of the NBR’s In Tray covers a Ministry of Health report on the M J Savage Memorial Rest Home.
. . . In its executive summary, the Ministry of Health says that, sadly, the M J Savage Rest Home has outlived its natural life and is taking up space that could much more usefully be occupied by a home for distressed trade unionists, homeless academics and bewildered bloggers. It recommends knocking the place down and relocating the residents in Queensland.
I think the new Australian government will have enough challenges without having to deal with these people.
5/9 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.
The headline says: Greens/Labour made up ‘super profit’ claim for shonky power policy – source.
The story is behind the paywall but explains that Stanford University professor Frank Wolak said LabourGreen took his figures, on which they based the rationale for the policy, out of context to suit their own agenda.
In another NBR story, Professor Wolak says New Zealand’s existing market arrangements are starting to work better and should be improved further.
In a wide-ranging interview with BusinessDesk, Professor Frank Wolak of Stanford University described the Greens/Labour NZ Power single buyer policy as “a sham that might make me feel a bit better” but was the wrong weapon to attack “runaway” retail electricity tariffs, which he says are the real problem in current market arrangements. . .
. . . he made it clear he did not calculate the $4.3 billion figure which critics say are proof of excessive power company profits and a consumer “rip-off”.
“That certainly attracted a lot of attention, most of it unwarranted,” he said.
Prof Wolak says the NZ Power policy, which would unpick a 25-year-old experiment in electricity market design in favour of a centrally planned model, “may not even solve the problem, which is runaway retail prices”.
Prof Wolak urged more competitive reform in electricity generation and retailing and far tougher regulation of the monopoly parts of the system: the Transpower national grid and local electricity distribution networks.
“It may look good, but it’s got lots of challenges,” he says of the Greens/Labour policy. “You’re throwing the entire baby out just to get rid of the bathwater and you’re going to start over, as if you have all these problems.
“My argument is that some of the changes since 2009 are pushing in the right direction,” says Prof Wolak, whose 2009 report for the commission found evidence of electricity generators wielding market power at different times, to maximise the value of their generation efforts. . .
Labour’s economic spokesman David Parker who was behind the policy rejects the criticism.
There’s no surprise in that when the man whose figures he used says they’ve been taken out of context and the policy wouldn’t work.
Wee parties generally do worse after they’ve been in coalition with a bigger one here, but in Australia the Green Party has tainted Labor.
An alliance with the Greens could be fatal for the already-struggling Labour Party, a leading Australian commentator warns.
The Australian’s chief opinion editor Nick Cater, who visited New Zealand this week to promote his book The Lucky Culture, warns an alliance with the Greens has been disastrous for Australia’s Labor Party, as socially-conservative middle and working class voters have abandoned their traditional support.
Of the Greens, he says: “They are absolutists and are rigid about man’s role in the environment and on earning a living.” . . *
Labour will almost certainly need Green Party support in some form, whether it’s as a coalition partner or just an agreement on confidence and supply, if it’s to form a government.
The bigger party is doing its best to sabotage itself with its internal woes and it’s being further undermined by its potential partner.
The radical left agenda of the Greens scares many moderate voters.
Labour couldn’t govern without them but fear of what would happen if it tried to govern with them is scaring voters who think rightly think Green + red would be a poisonous mix.
* Today’s NBR print edition has more on this.