Doug Woolerton

About Bloody Time!

Finance Minister Bill English has put the brakes on the State sector workers saying that cannot expect pay increases in the future unless they are matched by productivity gains.

About bloody time. Of course the civil service wouldn’t have the faintest idea about what productivity gains are. They probably think that means we want more fricken reports that we weren’t ever going to read.

“Those professional groups whose dedication we admire and services we need have the opportunity to think about better ways of working, but the days of going to ministers and getting large increases at the expense of the taxpayer without any productivity gains are over.”

A-fucking-men! Bill English has just gone up considerably in my estimation.

Goofy-nomics? Visanomics? Either way Goff is a Fiscal Fool

Matthew Hooton has written what is perhaps his best column ever, perhaps he has finally dried out. Once again I had to trot off to the local Howick Stationers to get a copy of NBR. Why Barry Coleman doesn’t organise me a freebie i’ll never know.

Anyway Hooton takes my Visanomics notion and extends it even further by looking at the menacious arguments of Labour and Phil Goff around superannuation. He labels Phil Goff’s wrong-headed economics prescription as “Goofy-nomics”. On the Superannuation myth;

New Zealanders have been convinced we face an economic crisis of biblical proportions when those aged 44 or below retire.

This irrational fear caused the Lange government to commit suicide with its surtax. The Bolger government tried to follow and the Shipley government succeeded.

In fact, superannuation costs, with no changes in entitlements, are forecast to rise from 3.6% of GDP today to just 5.5% in 2030 and perhaps 6.5% in 2050.

With forecasts out to 2050 scarcely being reliable, the issue is about an increase in costs of less than 2% of GDP by 2030.

To provide contrast, Labour promises to spend a third of this on foreign aid alone, and it is far less than the increase in health spending Michael Cullen happily presided over. It’s material, but it hardly justifies the blind panic that afflicts some politicians.

That kind of puts it into perspective. The surtax that labour applied almost cost Bolger the election in 1993 and lead directly to his brain fart deciding to put it to the people about MMP.

What about Labour’s contention and Cullen supercilious letter he wrote the other day suggesting that Bill English has destroyed his much vaunted “Fund”.

Dr Cullen launched his fund when permanent surpluses were forecast. With zero gross debt being on the medium-term horizon, it made sense to establish a sovereign wealth fund.

Connecting it with superannuation, though, was entirely political. Even Dr Cullen made clear there was no link to future entitlements and future taxpayers were always going to have to meet 89% of costs.

Bill English’s decision not to borrow for the fund will increase that by just 3%.

Moreover, in national-income terms, Mr English’s decision relates to just 0.2% of GDP from 2030.

It is ridiculous to worry about such a number. The smallest economic shock over the next two decades – positive or negative – could double or eliminate it, as could small productivity changes.

Failing that, maintaining current entitlements would simply require reducing our surplus or increasing our deficit by 0.2% of GDP, 20 years hence. That hardly justifies the preposterous notion that we should borrow more now to invest in stocks.

Sounds like much ado about nothing. So why all the fuss and what about Labour’s solution?

In reply, Mr Goff says governments can’t lose. He bases this on the banal observation in a Treasury paper that long-term returns from a diversified portfolio are likely to match the market average which, most probably, will exceed the risk-free rate over time.

Armed with these Corporate Finance 101 assumptions – and apparently with certain knowledge that sharemarkets are about to bounce back – Mr Goff demands that Mr English borrow another $20 billion over the next decade, and calculates it will deliver a net return of $8 billion sometime in the future.

No other politician in the developed world would contemplate such lunacy. Take Mr Goff’s argument to its logical conclusion and why stop at $20 billion?

Why not $200 billion to get $80 billion profit, dead cert?

Make it $2 trillion or more and perhaps tax could be abolished altogether with all government services being funded through the sharemarket.

This isn’t Goffonomics. It’s Goofynomics.

Mr Goff should ask why no other political leader in the history of the world has proposed this before.

Perhaps it’s because they understand it’s not government’s role to borrow from taxpayers yet to be born to risk on Wall Street with the promise of free money in the future.

Even dopier, by legitimising the false notion that future cuts to superannuation are now inevitable, Mr Goff is making them more likely – not a good legacy for a Labour leader.

 

Hell why don’t we just chuck it all on lotto and be done with it? Or perhaps the nag in race 4 at Riccarton. Goofy-nomics, Visanomics, it is simply just plain dumb. The thing is Goff and Cunliffe, the Dumb and Dumber of Labour both think this is credible. Perhaps Cunliffe should lay of the crack.

Looks like Key and English got it right

Bill English's budget public opinionJohn Key continues to be Labour’s worst nightmare. He continues the misery by supervising Bill English in the delivery of his budget.

I am not going to comment mainly because I care not a jot, but also because better analysts than me have already commented on the budget.

The last word ultimately on any budget though is what the public think of it, on that I think John Key and Bill English have probably got it right.

At least that is what the NZ Herald online survey says.

Still it was a budget that showed that National still needs some gonads. They still talk of “entitlements”. This socialist fantasy that somehow people are entitled to other peoples money must be stamped out.

Right now our welfare state is simply unsustainable and hard decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later.

It looks like the next election will be fought on superannuation and whatever dirt Labour can fling about. My only wish is that we can have a sensible debate about the unsustainability of Universal Superannuation. Hopefully with NZ First dead and buried that may be possible.

 

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John Armstrong: English must master tricky balancing act

John Armstrong: English must master tricky balancing actIt has to be assumed today’s Budget has done the job it was designed to do even before Bill English reveals its contents this afternoon. Otherwise, Budget Day will be a public-relations disaster for National. John Key and Bill… [NZ Herald Politics]

John Armstrong looks at the balancing act that Bill English must accomplish with today’s budget.

More importantly what Bill English needs to accomplish recognising that he is the DEPUTY. I rally am quite over his machinations and needling that he tries to get away with by giving us his down country yokel “Aw Shucks” look.

While we are talking about the Dipstick from Dipton have a look at how Hong Kong is “stimulating” the economy. They have raised their tax cut today from 1500 to 1900NZD a year for stimulus.

Meanwhile Bill the Dork talks about maintaining “entitlements” for losers.

Tossed from the House for being a Tosser

Oops! And oops! againPrime Minister John Key and Finance Bill English simply have to start finding out what the other is saying. That way they can stop contradicting each other in public. How about this for the day before the National Government’s… [NZ Herald Politics]

Trev the Muss came off second best in the House today after Lockwood Smith booted his sorry ass out for arguing with him and the little Orange Guy of Labour Darren Hughes also came close to being tossed as well.

Labour’s modus operandi at the moment is a mixture of their usual misogyny towards women,  condescension, arrogance and outright bullying. Today Trevor mallard ended up with a carton of eggs in his face, beautiful smashed there by Audrey Young.

Question Time was irritating. Labour decided to pick on the Speaker Lockwood Smith today.

The feature of today’s Question Time was Trevor Mallard getting chucked out by the Speaker.

Mallard had just finished upbraiding Education Minister Anne Tolley on the wrong spelling of the word “academies” in some literature she had put out.

Funny that. Mallard’s recent post on the Labour MPs’ blog site Red Alert has the following words: denomitated; incoherant; speechs; catelogue; and Brethern!

He should have been chucked out for bad spelling at least, but perhaps hypocrisy.

Mallard of course still hasn’t apologised for his scurrilous attacks on melissa lee, in fact he has compounded the attacks on Labour’s MP blog.

No Commission of Inquiry, Broad will run Cover-up

John Key has been strong armed by Bill English into quashing requests for a Commission of Inquiry into the slip shod investigation of the theft of the Don Brash emails.

Instead Howard Broad has appointed a senior police officer to review the file. We all know where this is going don’t we. looks like there will be a big sale on whitewash shortly.

Howard Broad says “There are considerable difficulties running Commissions of Inquiry in parallel with open criminal cases,”

Well we have to ask just why is it still active when The Police previously said it was closed, and why are details supressed.

I just bet what Howard Broad really meant to say “a Commission of Inquiry would lead to considerable difficulties”, especially for him and some other connected parties.

It seems the murk has continued despite a change of government.

English opposes inquiry

Deep throat Beehive sources tell me John Key is leaning towards accepting Don Brash’s request for a Commission of Inquiry into the police investigation of the theft of his emails, but Bill English is adamently opposed.

English, as Minister of Finance, argues that at a time of economic recession and cuts to the public service, the public doesn’t want to see the Government spending taxpayers’ money on an inquiry. Instead, English is suggesting Howard Broad investigates the investigation.

Whaleoil says justice at any price.

And what is Bill so worried about.

Does he have something to hide?

Who is the Dirty Rat in the Parliamentary Library?

There is a rat in the parliamentary library. A dirty filthy rat. This is an example of what he once said about one of his customers.

Spy Rat in Parliamentary LibraryIn fact, when was the last time you can recall Key saying anything positive at all? All I can think of him doing is making dishonest attacks and never, ever offering a real solution, only vague promises that he will magically make everything better.

Do you think that John Key could get impartial research prepared by the dirty stinking rat who said that?

What about Bill English?

Spy Rat in Parliamentary LibraryBill and the Tories can spit all the bile they like but the job now is to govern. We’re still waiting.

Or Gerry Brownlee?

Spy Rat in Parliamentary LibraryGerry ’sexy coal’ Brownlee has spent today ripping apart more anti-climate change laws.

Paula Bennett?

Spy Rat in Parliamentary LibraryAs if any more evidence was needed that National’s Paula Bennett is completely out of her depth as Minister of Social Development, it appears Work and Income is turning away the hungry while Paula can’t even get her lines straight

We need our civil servants to be non-partisan and especially in the key area of research int he Parliamentary Library. Right now if I was a National party Mp I couldn’t trust anything coming from there while they employ a nasty, vile, partisan rat.

Clearly Parliamentary Services staff checking procedures are lacksadaisical at best, non-existant at worst.

More reasons Labour are unfit for government

Well done to Young Labour for their huge own goal and spectacularly bad taste presser on what is a serious issue.

These guys prove once and for all that Labour does not deserve to hold power ever again, ever, like for a long, long time.

Not even I would wish this sort of ill will on Nick Smith or even Bill English.

Time for the axe John, time for the axe

Chop Bill's head offJohn Key has a problem. His caucus do not fear him. He needs to solve this problem by wielding the axe.

First neck on the block should be Richard Worth. He is an embarrassment. His lack of judgement keeps compounding and when the media start sniffing around product endorsments from Korean companies then the shit will really hit the proverbial.

The Second neck on the block must be Bill English. He is constantly sniping and undermining John Key. Today was no exception. On Q+A his answers bordered on outright rebellion. This must not be tolerated. Read from the transcript what the fool had to say on the cycleway;

GUYON: We’ve been talking about what we can afford, what are luxuries, what are sacrifices, a national cycle wave, how much are you prepared to spend on that?

BILL: Well that’s a matter of discussion between myself and the Prime Minister but what’s fascinating there is just how it’s caught the imagination of so many people, so it’s not going to be a big expenditure item, it’s not going to – the national cycle wave is not going to happen in a hurry, but if you see the examples that are in existence now they’ve been quite successful. Look again it’s a matter of keeping a balance, the government wants New Zealand to remain aspirational, to be about improving our performance, listing our profile in the world and even through a recession there is room for initiatives that are going to demonstrate that.

GUYON: Sure but 50 million dollars was the back of the envelope calculation, are you prepared to spend much more than that on this project?

BILL: Well we won’t be spending 50 million dollars on it this year or next year or the year after.

GUYON: So it’s years away this idea is it?

BILL: Oh no it’ll get started, I mean there’s any number of things that the government has undertaken to do, we made a lot of undertakings in Opposition, we will be implementing all of those, we’ll be implementing a national cycle network but it’ll start smaller and as confidence builds and the economy improves it can grow bigger.

GUYON: But you said you wouldn’t be spending 50 million on it within three years.

BILL: Well the question was are we going to spend 50 million this year – no, we’ll get started.

This is simply unacceptable. Frankly speaking, if the Prime Minister said that we should hold a National Yodelling competition the the Finance Minister should be saying that the funds have been found and allocated and that the competition will be starting on August the 4th.

Bill English answers in a completely rebellious manner. He tries hard to get away with it through his inept Dipton drawl but essesntially he is saying that he knows better than the Prime Minister. He continues that through in the wind up of the interview;

GUYON: Can I just ask you finally whether you think we’ll be out of this recession this year and quite aggressively growing out of it by early next year?

BILL: I wouldn’t want to guess, I think one of the features of this recession is that we’re unlikely to aggressively grow out of it, we won’t have the opportunity coming out of this recession to grow off the back of readily available credit, this is a recovery that’ll be based on exports and on savings. New Zealanders have a pretty poor record on savings although it’s increasing significantly now, people are saving money, that will help as we come out of the recovery, and growing the export base is a lot harder than borrowing money to go and buy flat screen TVs, so all the advice around the world is coming out of this recovery will be relatively slow.

GUYON: See that’s quite a contrast to the Prime Minister’s view which is that we will aggressively come out of this, I mean he seems a lot more optimistic, you seem a lot more gloomy.

BILL: Well look the Prime Minister has always had a very positive view about New Zealand.

GUYON: Is he wrong?

BILL: Let’s see, I certainly wouldn’t want to say he’s wrong but he’s setting a high hurdle here and it’s our job as a government to meet those expectations, that’s a feature of John Key’s leadership, I mean he is saying to me we want the policy settings that are going to get us aggressively out of here, and a big focus there for the government is replacing the jobs that have been lost, a slow recovery means it’ll take a while to get unemployment down, we want to do everything we can to get unemployment down, that’s driving the Prime Minister.

GUYON: The Finance Minister and the Prime Minister though, that’s at the core of any government, should New Zealanders be concerned that he has a very positive view about how we’re gonna come out of this and you have a very negative one?

BILL: No not at all, what we’ve got here is the elements of a plan that’s set the objectives high, the aspirations high, to replace those jobs that are lost, to make New Zealand distinctive come out of this recovery stronger and more competitive than other countries, and the need for the government, for the Cabinet to deliver the policy settings that are going to achieve that and John Key’s style of leadership within the Cabinet I think is really lifting our sights.

As far as I am concerned those final comments are bloody treason. Bill English should be sacked from his position of Finance Minister. It is clear that his aspirations for New Zealand fall well below those of the Prime Minister and again that he thinks that John Key is an idiot for having such high expectations. The man must be chopped before he contaminates the rest of causcus with his half-witted thinking.

If John Key slays these two fools and sorts out Nick Smith then he will have a caucus that will be asking how high he wants them to jump to serve New Zeland’s better interests.

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