Labour’s last stand peak spending

September 15, 2014

Labour announced its final policy yesterday and in doing so took the left to peak spending

The Labour Party have decided to go for broke and heap more spending commitments on the Left’s spending pile in a vain bid to turn around their flagging polling numbers five days out from the election, National Party Associate Finance spokesman Steven Joyce says.

“Their latest ‘idea’ today to create a new ‘investment fund’ from the dividends of state-owned enterprises is just another way of pre-committing money that has already been committed by Labour a few times over,” Mr Joyce says.

“Dividends received by the Government from state-owned enterprises are already being used to pay for public services like education and health and to pay down debt. They can’t just keep being spent again and again. On top of that, the so-called ‘strategic investment’ language is quite obviously code for spending money on experimental cleantech investments that have lost money the world over.

“When you strip it back, what Labour have come up with today is simply another $400 million in pre-committed spending – no more and no less. That takes their four year commitment to $19 billion, before you add on the Greens plan to spend at least another $12 billion, and Dotcom’s plan to spend tens of billions more.

“On top of that you have to add all the uncosted pledges of the Labour Party – to pay higher student support, to pay more to ACC claimants, to re-establish the ‘dole for artists’ scheme, and so on.

“This approach would push up interest rates for households and businesses and stall the economy – as we saw under the previous government six years ago when floating home mortgages were almost 11 per cent at the economy flat-lined.

“The Left’s appetite for looking like Father Christmas to the voting public has no limit.

“The only thing we can be absolutely sure of in regards to Labour, The Greens and Dotcom is that if they win next Saturday’s election we would very quickly become a much poorer New Zealand.”

Labour’s sovereign wealth fund is another of those policies which confirm the view it thinks governments are better spending other people’s money than they are.

The last six years have been harder than they would have been had the last Labour government not taxed and spent the country into recession before the global financial crisis.

We’re now on track to surplus and it’s National’s careful management that’s got us there.

The recovery and the social and economic dividends which depend on it would be short-lived should the government change.

 


Poll of polls

September 6, 2014

Colin James’ poll of polls:

After this week’s stream of polls, including TV1’s poll published on the evening of September 5, National is back in the box seat with 50.2% on the latest four-poll average.

(Explainer: The POLL of POLLS is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since mid-June from among: TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Fairfax Media-Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand and UMR Research, which is not published.*)

Labour plunged to a new four-poll average of 25.0%, its lowest since at least 2008 and probably since the mid-1990s.

The Greens slipped to 12.0% as a high rating in a Morgan poll dropped out of the average.

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National’s lead over Labour and the Greens combined climbed to 13.2%.

The two winners from the dirty politics furore, New Zealand First and the Conservatives, were at 5.6% and 3.3% respectively. Internet Mana was 2.2% and the Maori party was 0.9%. ACT was 0.3% and United Future 0.2%, levels at which David Seymour’s and Peter Dunne’s seats, if they win them would be “overhangs” and push the number of seats in Parliament to 122.

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National’s high rating is unlikely to translate into that level of support from voters and it will almost certainly need some coalition partners.

. . . National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said the party’s popularity following publication of the Dirty Politics book showed a disconnect between what the public and media focus on.

Mr Joyce told Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report programme that despite strong polling, National was not assuming it would govern alone. National was not expecting the kind of result shown in the polls on election day, and having partnerships with several parties created a stronger more stable Government.

“If you just say you need a particular party to get over the line then obviously that particular party has a lot more leverage over the larger party.

“What we’ve shown in 2008 and 2011 if you have options then you can form good strong stable relationships and nobody gets too carried away.” . .

The stronger National’s vote is the more options it will have and the less it can be held hostage to minor players.

Labour is so weak it will be in a very poor bargaining position which would enable potential coalition partners to extract far more concessions in exchange for their support.

Its support could keep dropping if people decide it won’t be able to lead the next government or would have to give away too much to the wee players to enable it to govern .


Keep the team that’s working

September 2, 2014

The choice for New Zealanders in this election is to keep the team that’s working or change it for one that won’t:

The National Party has launched a new phase in its election campaign with new television commercials and election billboards highlighting the clear choice facing New Zealand voters.

“On air now is a short 15 second television commercial highlighting the stark difference between the opposition’s spending promises and our own strong economic management,” says National’s Campaign Chair Steven Joyce.

“The simple truth is that to date Labour and the Greens have released reckless spending commitments that total up to $28 billion, and that’s before they add in Dotcom’s party.

“Labour alone has committed to a staggering $18.4 billion, a figure the Greens want independently audited.

“Even in opposition, Labour, the Greens and their mates can’t agree on basic policy, like what the top personal tax rate should be.”

“In contrast, our plan will keep growing the economy and delivering the benefits of that growth to all New Zealanders – like 150,000 more jobs by 2018, free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for children under 13, 18 weeks paid parental leave, Kiwisaver HomeStart grants for first home buyers and no new taxes,” says Steven Joyce. . .

The choice is clear – a strong and stable team with a proven record continuing to steer New Zealand in the right direction or the left at best taking us nowhere good and at worst taking us backwards.

 

 

 

 

 


Rural round-up

August 30, 2014

Writing software, beet machine snag awards  – Kelsey Wilkie:

Judges broke the rules by announcing two winners at the Innovate business competition last night.

They could not choose between a computer program that helps children with writing and a machine to reduce the growing cost of fodder beet, so they awarded both $10,000 each.

Innovate is a Manawatu-based competition to help take an idea for a new business, an invention, early-stage research or technology with commercial potential and turn it into reality. . .

Challenge boosts protection of biological heritage:

The National Science Challenge – New Zealand’s Biological Heritage Ngā Koiora Tuku Iho – is to receive funding of $25.8 million over five years for research to protect and manage the country’s biodiversity, improve our biosecurity, and enhance our resilience to harmful organisms.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce says the Challenge spans a wide range of scientific disciplines and will include researchers from nearly all New Zealand’s relevant research institutions.

The Challenge will be hosted by the Crown research institute Landcare Research. It includes researchers from the other six Crown research institutes, and all eight New Zealand universities. . . .

Device may boost quad bike safety  – Jack Montgomerie:

A South Canterbury man thinks the anti-roll bar he designed could reduce quad bike accidents.

Farmer and rural contractor Charles Anderson, of Fairlie, said he was inspired to design the retractable “anti-roll bars” after learning of several fatal and serious accidents involving quad bikes rolling over.

“I was just getting sick of reading about all these accidents. I couldn’t believe there were that many.” . . .

Taranaki farm wins effluent fitness warrant – Sue O’Dowd:

What is believed to be the first dairy effluent warrant of fitness in Taranaki has been awarded to an Okato farm.

The warrant of fitness scheme was developed by Dairy NZ to improve farm dairy effluent infrastructure around the country. Certified assessors determine whether farm infrastructure meets industry good practice.

New Plymouth assessor Colin Kay, of Opus Consultants, awarded the warrant to Blue Rata Investments after auditing its 204ha (effective) Okato farm, named for the nearby bush reserve on the banks of the Stony River. . .

From the worst dairy farm to one of the best:

A Thames farming company has turned its business around after prosecution on four environmental offences led to instructions to stop milking.

Tuitahi Farms Ltd was investigated by Waikato Regional Council after an aerial monitoring flight in September last year.

When council officers investigated the farm, they discovered a range of unlawful discharges of milk vat waste and dairy effluent into farm drains that flow to the Waihou River and the Firth of Thames.

The council initiated a prosecution for offences against the Resource Management Act. The farm was convicted on four charges and fined $47,250 in the Auckland District Court in July. It was also ordered not to commence milking until a new dairy effluent system was in operation. . . .

Spring cereal sowing underway:

Canterbury’s grain growers, responsible for nearly two thirds of New Zealand’s total annual grain harvest, are looking to make up lost ground this spring after poor weather stymied autumn seeding for many.

“The Canterbury Plains are NZ’s cereal bowl and the key planting period is upon us. Farmers and contractors are already busy servicing and readying their tractors and seed drills for what they hope will be a productive spring,” says Thomas Chin, general manager of the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (GSTA).

Where the soil is dry enough the bulk of Canterbury wheat, barley, oats and maize crops, for both the feed and food processing industries will go into the ground over the coming weeks. . . .

                                   * * * * *


Labour too late to look responsible

August 26, 2014

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce sums up Labour’s announcement it’s dropping some yet unannounced policies:

Finance Minister Bill English isn’t convinced either:

It’s too late for Labour to try to look responsible with taxpayers’ money when it has publicly committed to four years of new spending with almost a month to run before the election, National Party Finance Spokesman Bill English says.

“Labour is desperately trying to make its big spending commitments look smaller, and has decided to not even put costings on its big spending tertiary and transport commitments.

“Neither David Cunliffe nor David Parker could this morning actually list which of their expensive spending promises would be delayed in what was a failed attempt to appear fiscally prudent.

“Labour would return to their high spending ways, with at least an $18 billion list of new spending commitments,” Mr English says.

“That’s before you add the Greens’ promises to spend an additional $10 billion over the next four years. Then then there’s the wish list of support partner the Dotcom party, which wants to spend billions more on free tertiary education and community make-work schemes.

“Whatever Labour presents now would be up for negotiation in coalition talks where the Greens would have considerable sway – not to mention concessions demanded by Dotcom.

“On top of that, the Greens and Labour are arguing over their numbers. The Greens say they want Labour’s numbers independently audited – and for good reason.  And as we saw from the weekend, they can’t even agree fairly basic stuff like where the two of them think the top personal tax rate should be.

“The last time we saw this sort of approach, New Zealand taxpayers and families were the losers, with high deficits, a stalling economy and mortgage interest rates at nearly 11 per cent. New Zealand simply can’t afford the Labour/Greens/Dotcom coalition,” Mr English says.

High tax, high spending policies under the last Labour-led government put the country into recession before the rest of the world and left us with a forecast for a decade of deficits.

If they couldn’t manage the books responsibly in good times, they’ll have no show of exercising the restraint needed to ensure we keep on the road to recovery from bad times.

 


Labour lacks ambition for Otago

August 22, 2014

Labour is promising to create 3000 jobs a year for Otago which shows a distinct lack of ambition when compared with job growth over recent years:

David Cunliffe has committed to short-changing Otago on the job front with his pledge today to create 3000 more jobs in the region if elected, National’s Economic Development spokesman Steven Joyce says.

“In his press release today, Mr Cunliffe announced that Labour’s policies would create 3,000 more jobs in Otago in the next three years. However that would be a major slowdown on job growth achieved in the last five years,” Mr Joyce says.

“In the last five years our policy mix has seen 23,000 extra jobs created in the Otago region according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s an average of 4,600 jobs a year. Mr Cunliffe is proposing to cut that growth rate by nearly 80 per cent with his ‘economic upgrade’.

“On the one hand I understand Mr Cunliffe’s lack of ambition. A Labour-Greens government with at least four big extra taxes and large amounts of extra spending and the high interest rates that go with it would be a massive drag on the Otago economy.

“On the other hand, with their policy prescription I think they would struggle to even create the extra 1000 jobs a year he suggests.

“Under this Government Otago’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3.3 per cent – one of the lowest in the country.

“And great Otago companies are flat out creating the Innovation and Knowledge Centre Mr Cunliffe says he wants to create.

“Mr Cunliffe is struggling under the weight of his own lack of knowledge about what is happening in the region.

“I suspect that once Otago people compare their economic performance under this government with Mr Cunliffe’s prescription, they will likely tell him to keep his ‘economic upgrade’.”

The Otago unemployment rate is now at about 3.5%.

That’s getting down to the unemployable – those who either can’t or won’t work for a variety of reasons.

One reason for that is government policies and the economic climate, including low interest rates, have given businesses the confidence to invest and expand.

But that confidence will be severely dented by the anti-business, anti-progress policies Labour and its coalition partners – the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana parties would impose on us.

They are threatening us with more and higher taxes, greater compliance costs, less flexible employment laws, higher KiwiSaver contributions, higher interest rates . . .

None of those is conducive to business growth and the jobs which rely on it.


$28b and climbing

August 19, 2014

The left keep trying to convince us they can be trusted with the Treasury benches but  promises from the Labour and the Green Party already add up to more than the country can afford:

Less than five weeks out from the election, the Labour-Greens set of combined spending promises for the upcoming election has now hit a whopping $28.1 billion over four years, National’s Associate Finance spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“The Labour Party’s new spending commitments hit $17.9 billion over four years last week, and with the extra welfare money announced yesterday, the Greens’ extra commitments have now reached $10.2 billion over four years,” Mr Joyce says.

“It’s now even more apparent that the big spenders on the Left are flat out thinking of new ways of spending money that the country doesn’t have.

“Labour and the Greens will, of course, both tell you it’s all fully costed and so on. What they mean is they’d raise taxes and set up a number of new taxes, and if all that fails, borrow a lot more money to meet their commitments.

“Labour will also tell you they haven’t bought into the Greens’ announcements yet. However that flies in the face of the reality that any Labour-led government would have the Greens holding the whip hand – and that means the Greens big-ticket spending pledges in areas like transport and welfare benefit increases.

“Labour now needs to front up and say which of the Greens promises, if any, they don’t support.”

Mr Joyce says Labour and the Greens are completely out of touch with fiscal reality in this election.

“They propose, if elected, to go back immediately to their big spending ways by placing a massive additional burden on Kiwi taxpayers. They haven’t learnt a thing from their six years in opposition,” Mr Joyce says.

“New Zealand is now heading in the right direction with growing economic momentum. We are now one of the fastest growing economies in the OECD, and we need to lock in that faster growth to further lift New Zealanders’ standard of living.

“The Labour-Greens swag of massive election promises would simply bring New Zealand to a grinding halt again and send all taxpayers a very big bill.”

For further information:
Green Party Election 2014 Spending Announcements – as at 17 August 2014
Labour Party Election 2014 Spending Announcements – as at 11 August 2014

Economic management matters not as the end but the means for sustainable spending on things which matter more.

When Labour lost the 2008 election their legacy was a forecast for a decade of deficits.

National has managed to turn that around, while protecting the most vulnerable without any slashing and burning, and get us back on track to surplus in spite of the natural and financial disasters that it’s had to deal with.

If Labour, the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana become the government the surplus will disappear and the social and environmental progress it could fund will go too.

Returning a National-led government will enable it to deliver on more of hte policies that are working for New Zealand.

 

 


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