Leaders’ debate

September 4, 2017

 

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Word of the day

September 4, 2017

Solivagant – rambling alone; characterised or marked by solitary wandering;  a solitary wanderer.


Labour’s got $11.7b hole in numbers

September 4, 2017

Labour has a very large hole in its numbers:

The Labour Party has an $11.7 billion hole in its fiscal plan that blows its debt out and breaks its own budget responsibility pledge, National’s Finance spokesperson Steven Joyce says.

“These are significant errors that raise questions about Labour’s whole spending approach and their fiscal competence,” Mr Joyce says. “Their spending numbers were already high and this makes them a lot worse.

“Labour’s recipe would lead to more debt, higher interest rates and a slower economy – not to mention the host of extra and unexplained taxes they would impose on households and businesses.

“All of this would cost jobs and eat into family budgets.”

The five errors are as follows, over four years:

  • Failing to roll out their operating allowances for each year into subsequent years ($9.4 billion).
  • Failing to allow for any increase in paid parental leave in their Family Incomes package despite saying they have included it ($567 million).
  • Counting additional BEPs multinational tax revenue when Treasury has already counted it in the PREFU update ($902 million).
  • Only including costs of their Family Package from 1 July 2018 when they said it would begin on 1 April 2018 ($289 million).
  • Further finance costs associated with extra borrowing ($580 million).

“The biggest error is their failure to continue each year’s operating allowances for additional expenditure into subsequent years. When operating expenditure is added, for example an increase in wages for police, that expenditure continues into following years. Labour’s operating allowances don’t allow for that.

“Once corrected, Labour’s spending plans result in net debt increasing by nearly $20 billion from current levels of $60.6 billion to $79.3 billion over four years.

“Labour was already increasing debt by $7 billion from current levels by their own admission, but this takes it to nearly $20 billion. This would be an irresponsible level of debt increase at this stage of the economic cycle. New Zealand should be reducing debt now, not increasing it, so we are ready for the next rainy day.

“They also would break their fiscal responsibility rules as net debt would not fall below 23.5 per cent of GDP by the end of the forecast period, in fact it would be higher than it is now, and get nowhere near their own plan to reduce debt to 20 per cent of GDP by 2022.

“That level of spending and increased debt can only lead to one thing – higher interest rates for Kiwi mortgage holders.

“Labour’s true spending plans as revealed in this analysis confirms that behind the leadership change we are dealing with the same old irresponsible tax, borrow and spend Labour Party.

“Labour needs to withdraw its fiscal plan and re-work its proposals.”

How can you count on a party to govern when it can’t correctly count the cost of its own policies?


Rural round-up

September 4, 2017

Eradication is still doable MPI says – Annette Scott:

Officials expect to decide by the end of the year whether the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis can be eradicated.

The disease, identified on a Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farm in South Canterbury in July, had now been traced to six farms including four van Leeuwen farms, one North Otago farm believed to be a calf rearing operation and a lifestyle block at Sefton in North Canterbury.

A fourth community meeting in North Otago on Thursday attracted a crowd of 160 people full of questions. . . 

Urgent need to train rural GPs – Eileen Goodwin:

A decade before Waikato University sparked a public debate on a third medical school, a far-sighted Queenstown GP set up a Rural Medical Immersion Programme to try to fill rural health shortages. Health reporter Eileen Goodwin talks to those involved.

The trust founded to further his brother’s legacy fostering rural health may be redundant when a new rural school of medicine is established, John Farry says. Mr Farry, of Dunedin, chairman of the Pat Farry Rural Health Education Trust, hopes the new school will be awarded to the University of Otago under its joint bid with Auckland. He did not want to see it set up as a new medical school, such as that sought by the University of Waikato. . .

Water Conservation Orders should be abolished says Feds:

Federated Farmers is calling for Water Conservation Orders (WCO) to be abolished because they are no longer relevant and a relic of the past.

Under the Resource Management Act (RMA), the Orders are limited and do not acknowledge farming, horticulture, beverages, manufacturing, and access for human and livestock drinking.

The Federation says the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management has superseded the Orders and made the legislation no longer fitting for future challenges around water conservation. . . 

Farm sector welcomes TPP resuscitation talks:

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) of Australia and Federated Farmers of New Zealand say moves to bring into force the bulk of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is good news for both Australian and New Zealand farm exports.

In Sydney this week, officials from Australia and New Zealand concluded three days of talks with chief negotiators from the other nine TPP countries.

The aim of the talks was to push forward on the development of a ‘regional trade pact’ following the United States’ withdrawal from negotiations earlier this year. . . 

Landcorp back in the black as valuations swing in its favour:

(BusinessDesk) – Landcorp Farming reported a full-year profit as the state-owned farmer recog-nised a jump in the value of livestock and benefited from strong market prices.

Profit was $51.9 million in the year ended June 30, more than four times the $11.5 million it earned a year earlier. Revenue rose 11 percent to $233.5 million while expenses rose 3.3 percent, which included costs related to the end of its sharemilking contract with Shanghai Pengxin, the company said.

The results include a $20 million increase in the value of livestock, “reflecting strong market prices” while the year-earlier result carried an unrealised loss of $24.8 million on land and improvements. The operating profit in the latest year was about $5.7 million, within its guidance range of between $2 million and $7 million, from a year-earlier loss of $9.4 million. . . 

Terms of trade just shy of all-time high:

Record butter prices and high prices for meat helped lift the merchandise terms of trade by 1.5 percent in the June 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today. This was just shy of the all-time high set 44 years ago in the June 1973 quarter.

Terms of trade is a measure of the purchasing power of New Zealand’s exports abroad and an indicator of the state of the overall economy. The 1.5 percent rise in the June quarter means New Zealand can buy 1.5 percent more imports for the same amount of exports.

“The 1.5 percent rise in terms of trade in the June quarter follows a 3.9 percent increase in the March 2017 quarter,” prices senior manager Jason Attewell said today. “Because the March provisional quarter was revised down from 5.1 percent, the terms of trade didn’t quite reach the record high as expected, but it is very close.” . . 

NZ’s Top Butcher Announced:

The nation’s top butcher and butcher apprentice have been announced this evening at one of the most anticipated events on the meat industry calendar.

Reuben Sharples from Aussie Butcher New Lynn has been named Alto Butcher of the Year and Samantha Weller from New World Rangiora took out the title of Competenz Butcher Apprentice of the Year.

Following three highly competitive regional competitions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, 10 finalists from each category went head to head in the Grand Final held at Shed 10 in Auckland earlier today. . . 

T&G Global secures exclusive commercialisation rights for blueberry varieties in Australia:

T&G Global has become the license holder of a suite of 16 proprietary blueberry varieties in Australia, allowing it to better deliver to growing demand for berry fruit worldwide.

The exclusive agreement represents one of the biggest collections of proprietary commercial and pre-commercial blueberry varieties in the world and is the result of an agreement between T&G and Plant & Food Research in New Zealand. The arrangement includes varieties developed by Plant & Food Research and a collection of premium varieties from Fall Creek Farm and Nursery in Oregon, USA, for which Plant & Food Research holds the Australian licensing rights. . . 

Farmers feed cities. Support your local farmer before the Labour Party sens him/her out of business.


Labour’s fee-free danger to Invercargill

September 4, 2017

Invercargill has had fee-free tertiary eduction for years. Labour’s fee-free policy would sabotage the advantage that’s given the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) and seriously damage the city.

Mayor Tim Shadbolt wrote an open letter to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern explaining that:

. . . I hope and pray that if you succeed in your attempt to become Prime Minister of New Zealand in the forthcoming elections you will not use your power to crush Invercargill.

My job is to protect the interests of our city.

In 1993 when I was first elected as Invercargill’s Mayor, we were the fastest declining city in New Zealand or Australia.

Then thanks to Penny Simmonds, her senior staff and board members, the Southern Institute of Technology introduced a brilliant Zero Fee Scheme.

This meant for example if you graduated as a nurse, you saved $15,000.

As a result we attracted students from all over New Zealand and our student roll increased from 1400 students to almost 3600 students.

By the 2013 census our population had increased by 2.7 per cent.

The Zero Fee Scheme cost $7.25 million to establish and promote and was courageously supported by the Invercargill City Council, our two community trusts, local businesses and SIT itself.

Now the Labour Party policy is to introduce a Zero Fee type scheme throughout New Zealand that will be completely funded by the state.

Labour’s plans will totally undermine Invercargill’s marketing edge and our innovative point of difference. . .

SIT’s fee-free policy has made a measurable difference to the city, boosting its population, lowering the average age and creating jobs.

Labour’s policy would undermine SIT and the resulting loss in student numbers would have a seriously detrimental  social and financial impact on the city.

Invercargill is working on a scheme to provide rent free accommodation for tertiary students.  It’s asking Labour to help fund that since it already has fee-free tertiary education.

It would be far better to leave students to pay the small proportion of fees they do at the moment, unless they are at SIT, let Invercargill use its own resources to pursue its free accommodation policy and spend taxpayers money  where the need is greater.

That’s not people who will on average earn around more than $1.6 million than those without tertiary qualifications.

As David Petersen says:

Free courses for tertiary students sounds great, but nothing is free. It would be a massive transfer of tax money from working people to produce lawyers, accountants, vets etc, who will charge those same working people hundreds of dollars an hour for their professional services.

And of course these students who will be tempted to vote Labour for this bribe, will be paying for the education of the next students, for the rest of their working lives if it is introduced.

The best use of taxpayers’ funds isn’t  more help for people who will on average earn around more than $1.6 million than those without tertiary qualifications.

The real need  in education is help for those who struggle with basic numeracy and literacy.


Quote of the day

September 4, 2017

One must live as if it would be forever, and as if one might die each moment. Always both at once. –  Mary Renault who was born on this day in 1905.


September 4 in history

September 4, 2017

476 Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed when Odoacer proclaimed himself King of Italy.

626  Li Shimin, posthumously known as Emperor Taizong of Tang, assumed the throne of the Tang Dynasty of China.

1666 In London, the worst damage from the Great Fire occurred.

1781 Los Angeles, California, was founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) by 44 Spanish settlers.

1812  War of 1812: The Siege of Fort Harrison began when the fort was set on fire.

1862  Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee took the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.

1863 Soon after leaving Nelson for Napier, the newly built brigDelawarewas wrecked. Accounts of the incident often focus on the heroism of Huria Matenga, the only woman in a party of five local Maori who assisted the crew to shore.

1870  Emperor Napoleon III of France was deposed and the Third Republic  declared.

1884  The United Kingdom ended its policy of penal transportation to Australia.

1886  Indian Wars: after almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leaderGeronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrendered to General Nelson Miles.

1888  George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his camera that used roll film.

1894  In New York City, 12,000 tailors struck against sweatshop working conditions.

1901 William Lyons, British industrialist (Jaguar cars), was born (d. 1985).

1905 – Mary Renault, English-South African author (d. 1983)

1917 Henry Ford II, American industrialist, was born (d. 1987).

1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk gathered a congress in Sivas to make decisions as to the future of Anatolia and Thrace.

1923 – Maiden flight of the first U.S. airship, the USS Shenandoah.

1937 Dawn Fraser, Australian swimmer, was born.

1941  World War II: a German submarine mades the first attack against a United States ship, the USS Greer.

1944  World War II: the British 11th Armoured Division liberated the Belgian city of Antwerp.

1948  Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated for health reasons.

1949  Maiden flight of the Bristol Brabazon.

1949  The Peekskill Riots erupted after a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, New York.

1950  First appearance of the “Beetle Bailey” comic strip.

1950  Darlington Raceway was the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

1951 Martin Chambers, English drummer (The Pretenders), was born.

1951  The first live transcontinental television broadcast took place in San Francisco, California, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.

1956  The IBM RAMAC 305 was introduced, the first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage.

1957  American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis – Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, called out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.

1957  The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.

1963  Swissair Flight 306 crashed near Dürrenäsch, Switzerland, killing all 80 people on board.

1964  Scotland’s Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh officially opened.

1967  Vietnam War: Operation Swift began: U.S. Marines engaged the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley.

1971  A Boeing 727 Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 crashed near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.

1972 Mark Spitz became the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.

1975  The Sinai Interim Agreement relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict was signed.

1977 The Golden Dragon Massacre in San Francisco, California.

1984  Brian Mulroney led the Canadian Progressive Conservative Party to power in the 1984 federal election, ending 20 years of nearly uninterrupted Liberal rule.

1995 The Fourth World Conference on Women opened in Beijing with morethan  4,750 delegates from 181 countries in attendance.

1996  War on Drugs: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked a military base in Guaviare, starting three weeks of guerrilla warfare in which at least 130 Colombians were killed.

1998  Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford University.

2010 – Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Canterbury.

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks Canterbury

2010 – A plane crashed soon after taking off from Fox Glacier airstrip, killing all nine people on board.

Fox Glacier plane crash

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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