Time to spend or save?

Finance Minister Bill English has been quite clear – there is no money for an election year spend-up.

Prime Minister John Key is equally sure that tax and spend policies aren’t what the country needs. The message in an exclusive interview with the NBR  he reinforces that message:

An even tighter rein on new spending than the current $1.1 billion cap is likely over the next few years, Prime Minister John Key says.

A much more aggressive approach to lowering New Zealand’s high national debt levels appears to be under way, with an emphasis on getting government spending under more control as well as on pushing greater private savings. . .

 Mr Key said that as the economy recovers this year there is room to push harder on lowering government spending as a proportion of the economy.

Contrast that with Labour. The first policy announcement for the year came from Annette King who promised to extend paid parental leave and  increase Working for Families’ payments.

How can a party which wants to be taken  seriously ignore the need to reduce government spending? And why would a party which purports to represent poorer people start the year with policies most likely to benefit middle and upper income earners?

If ever there was an election when the party which plays Scrooge is likely to benefit it is this one.

When households are spending less and saving more they’re hardly likely to be receptive to a party which shows itself unwilling to demonstrate similar restraint.

19 Responses to Time to spend or save?

  1. pdm says:

    The answer is simple really HP. Labour need more people dependent on the Government so they will/might vote for them – the way to do that is to make them beneficiaries.

    t is all ideology – unveiled when there is a full moon.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Government spending has increased or decreased under Bill and John’s leadership?
    Which is it again?
    The amount they borrow each week – how much is that?
    Tough questions I know – someone out there must know.


  3. homepaddock says:

    $300m a week – most of which is a hangover from Labour’s tax and spend legacy (see Adolf’s post and resulting comments at No MInister: http://nominister.blogspot.com/2011/01/when-friends-act-like-enemies.html).

    Regardless of the reasons (which include taking the sharp edges off the global financial crisis) it’s too much. I’m delighted that now the economy is improving National is committed to reducing rather than trying to buy votes and as PDM says make people dependent.


  4. robertguyton says:

    I think you are being naive Ele. National is borrowing huge amounts of money now, have been for some time now yet still you accept that they’ll improve, presumably because… they say they will. What a leap of faith!
    As for sheeting the blame to Labour, whatever, that’s too lame for an experienced blogger/political commentator like you. Front up, as the National Party should do, accept responsibility and get the job done without whining about ‘the last guys’.
    It’s feeble and reflects badly on adults who should be, by dint of their years, mature.


  5. homepaddock says:

    If a ship’s been steaming in the wrong direction for nine years, as NZ was under Labour, it takes more than 2 and a bit years to get it back on course.

    It’s even harder when you’ve been in heavy seas as we have because of the GFC.


  6. robertguyton says:

    Just what I’d expect an apologist to say.
    Stop making excuses for Bill and John. They’re big boys. Tell them to get the job done. So far, they’ve come up short.
    They had 9 years to plan for what they’d do when they did take the reins.
    The GFC excuse, the ‘Labour’s fault’ excuse – feeble.
    Man-up Bill&John.


  7. Inventory2 says:

    So Robert; you’re denying that there was a global financial crisis are you? Do you also deny that Michael Cullen took perverse pleasure in leaving the cupboard bare?


  8. Richard says:

    You say “National is borrowing huge amounts of money now, have been for some time now” This has been to pay for Labour’s train set’s, ACC deficit left by Labour, etc. (Inv2 above).
    Instead of prevaricating please provide your solutions.

    Or on a different matter tell me why my coriander will not grow.


  9. robertguyton says:

    Inv2 – nope.
    Richard – you’re as bad as Ele and Inv2 – blaming the last crew. It’s time you Natties manned-up and got on with the job. It must be a disease that Tories suffer from – refusing to accept responsibility and act as if you were responsible. A government shouldn’t crouch behind excuses to hide from criticism for its shortcomings, they should stand up, describe the challenges then meet them! Not to do so is gutless, in my opinion. As for asking me to provide solutions – give me Bill’s salary for a year and by December I’ll have all the answers for you!

    Re your coriander question – did you sow the ground variety?


  10. gravedodger says:

    Robert’s raison d’etre is to totally ignore every shortcoming of all those who would tax Rich Pricks at 95% to give enough to the consumers of our national wealth to ensure their loyalty at the ballot box but not so much that they might see the stupidity of welfare destruction of self worth. Dependence on the government is the holy grail as it is just so easy to scare the horses at election time.

    People do not forget that the 2008 election was a rogue poll and the idiots (ungrateful b**tards) will see their mistake and come home when a rouge poll delivers the one true way. It was just that nice Mr Key that fooled them, they were really happy under Auntie Helen and those nice Green Party people. Of course the Economy would have been all under control had we had that very nice Mr Cunliffe, idiots.


  11. robertguyton says:

    Welfare – what does that mean GD?
    I’m guessing it refers to faring well, rather than faring badly.
    I’d like to see us all fare well. I’d like to see the country fare well.
    Many rightwing commenters seem to regard the word ‘welfare’ as some sort of cuss.


  12. homepaddock says:

    “It must be a disease that Tories suffer from – refusing to accept responsibility and act as if you were responsible.”

    Labour got away with blaming everything that went wrong on the “failed” policies of the 80s and 90s for more than 20 years.

    The failed policies of the noughties are part of the problem this government is having to deal with.

    I’d like to see us all fare well too and I support welfare for those in need. It’s paying those in want to which I object.

    GD – brilliant.

    Richard – I had coriander in a pot and killed it with too much water.


  13. pdm says:

    RG. – John and bill could reduce or possibly even stop borrowing overnight by a few simple steps:
    1. Wind up the Cullen Fund and repay debt incurred by Labour.
    2. Get rid of WFF and replace with tax cuts.
    3. Stop interest free Student loans.
    4. Sell selected state assets and repay more debt.
    5. Reduce the Public Service by 20/25%.
    6. Reduce the number of MP’s to 90.
    7. Start mining Conservation land.

    All they need to do is stop being Labour Lite.


  14. robertguyton says:

    pdm – true, they could.
    They must disappoint you enormously!


  15. Tired Farmer says:

    It’s my gut feeling that the Nats have disapointed more than just pdm


  16. homepaddock says:

    National made promises for this term before the last election and they’ve been honoured.

    There have been indications that some of the policies PDM advocates will form part of the policy for the next election.

    Even if we still had FPP we’d have more than 90 MPs now – I think it would be 104. The South Island and rural electorates would be hardest hit by a reduction in the number of MPS and consequent increase in size of electorates.


  17. robertguyton says:

    Your gut feeling Tired Farmer .v. Ele’s relentless cheerleading – which to trust???


  18. JC says:

    “Your gut feeling Tired Farmer .v. Ele’s relentless cheerleading – which to trust???”

    Trust the polls of the last three years.



  19. robertguyton says:

    Or Hone’s candid assessment.


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