Grant Robertson

Are Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages vote winners? Of course they’re not

Are Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages vote winners?

Of course they’re not, and what’s the bet Farrar has been polling and focus grouping this.

Debt-to-income restrictions on mortgages are a long way off, even if the Reserve Bank decides it wants to introduce them, Parliament has been told.

Finance Minister Bill English was questioned about the restrictions today, after confirming last week that the Government and the Reserve Bank were discussing them.

“The Reserve Bank has yet to investigate whether the tool is workable, then it’s got to decide whether it wants to include it in the memorandum of understanding [with the Government], then it has to go out and consult everybody and work out how to apply it,” Mr English said.

Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, asked Mr English about the potential impact of debt-to-income restrictions on first home buyers, but the minister said he wasn’t going to speculate on an issue the bank had just started working on.   Read more »

Shaw and McCarten manoeuvre against Robertson

It’s revealing that James Shaw has looked weak and sidelined in this Labour-Greens MOU. Shaw believes defeat is inevitable in 2017 and then the Greens will have to change strategy on the grounds of never having been part of government despite being in parliament since 1996. They will need to become more middling, and able to work with either side of politics.

But obviously the Greens have to believe something is on the table for them from yesterday’s deal. They have given up the ability to chase disaffected Labour votes at a time when Labour’s support looks like it is falling again, and they have given up finance. What do they gain in exchange?

Metiria Turei says the MOU helps to build a bloc that will get rid of National. One can debate whether it really will make a change of government more likely but even if you accept this MOU somehow makes the whole bigger than the parts, that still leaves out what the Greens specifically get out of it.

The other point Metiria has made publicly is that the Greens have been under pressure from their own members over their coalition positions. At the last election they claimed it was ‘highly unlikely’ they would work with National, as if they were in some way leaving the door open a smidgeon. In 2011 they said Labour was a ‘preferred but not exclusive’ partner, which was confusing because it implied National was a possibility but then everyone assumed the Greens had ruled National out. And after 2008 they went ahead and signed a (post-election) cooperation deal with National that delivered the cycleway and home insulation, before they withdrew from cooperation. Green activists believe those positions cost Labour votes (though maybe not the Greens), because it made an alternative government look less stable.  But still – responding to pressure from activists doesn’t really win the Greens anything in exchange for giving up finance and affirming Little’s status as Opposition leader to whom they will need to defer.     Read more »

Robbo “categorically” denies he’ll take Angry Andy’s job this term


Labour MP Grant Robertson has “categorically” ruled out challenging his party leader before next year’s election.

Speaking on The Nation today, Labour’s finance spokesman said leader Andrew Little had his full support, despite ranking poorly in a recent Newshub preferred-prime minister poll.

“The guy that I work with everyday is working hard,” he said.

“He’s got the vision to say we need to focus on health, education, housing, building up jobs around New Zealand and I think he’s doing a good job.”

He would “categorically not” challenge Mr Little, he said.

Mr Robertson ran in a party leadership race against Mr Little in 2014, narrowly missing out on the top spot.

The fact is that the question was asked.  And nobody asks the question unless there is talk that a leadership challenge is on the cards. Read more »

Could Jacinda and Twyford save Labour

With less than 1500 members Labour is trouble. Unlike the equally parlous labour movement there aren’t a lot of parties with which they can merge and others on the left would really rather Labour died so they can get on with leading the socialist rebellion.

Duncan Garner wonders whether Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern can save Labour.

Would Jacinda Ardern and Phil Twyford be a better leadership team? Both are from Auckland. Both have performed well this year. Both know the issues. But sources tell me this won’t happen.

The caucus is resigned to heading into the election with Little at the helm. There is a growing acceptance within that Little won’t lead them to victory.

My sources also tell me Little has failed to raise any money and that’s crucial. Also, who can even tell what Labour really stands for any more.

Not just Andrew Little, but also Nigel Haworth, who told the recent regional conference in Whanganui that he hadn’t raised a single cent. Labour supporters should be asking both Little and Haworth about fundraising, especially after their promises of a year ago.   Read more »

So, where is your alternative Robbo?

Yesterday Grant Robertson wrote an opinion piece for the NZ Herald criticising the government for their budget.

It is full of bumper sticker slogans  and broad brush statements. Take this one by way of example:

You can bet Bill English’s bottom dollar that in the lead up to next year’s Budget the Herald will be running stories about skyrocketing house prices, locked out first home buyers and people living in cars and garages because they can’t afford the rent for proper accommodation.

Well of course the Herald will be doing that, because like this year you will have run a campaign soliciting whingers and bludgers to tell their half of the story and pimped them to the Herald. Surely you can’t believe that we don’t know what you are doing?   Read more »

Why weren’t Grant and Andy drinking working men’s beer?

Andrew Little and Grant Robertson sat down to drink beer and try to look blokesy to middle New Zealand.

But they failed.

For a start Robbo seems to have some sort of magical fairy beer in his hands. Did Grant really want to present himself as the piss fairy?

On closer inspection it seems that they were drinking Tuatara craft beer, not Lion Red.

So not only did they not choose a real working man’s beer they chose some liberal elite poofy craft beer.

It shows how really out of touch they are with middle New Zealand.   Read more »

Budget magic the Labour way

The problem with socialists is that they think that money is delivered by fairies by magic.

Kind of like the magic beer in Grant Robertson’s beer bottle.

It’s a Brilliant. Effing. Idea.   Read more »

Labour’s problem at Question Time is because they are playing the political equivalent of Kiwi Cricket

I was listening to Question Time yesterday while driving and was left with the distinct impression that Labour has no strategy when it comes to Question Time.

Have a look at this question from Stuart Nash to Judith Collins.

Why on earth is Labour targeting Judith Collins? She is just playing with Nash, like a cat plays with a mouse. He knows it, she knows it and the fools in Labour sit there and watch Nashy take one for the team.   Read more »

After slamming the government Robbo, with his next breath, says Labour will increase taxes

As I said previously Grant Robertson knows as much about finance as Jacinda Ardern does about child rearing.

After slamming the government over tax cuts in his next breath he announces Labour will fight the election proposing tax increases.

Labour is planning to announce tax increases before the next election to help fund its spending plans but will leave the detailed work until it is in government.

Their spending promises are shaping up to be massive. Billions upon billions, and the only way they can fund that is by stiffing us with tax increases.

In a pre-Budget speech to a business breakfast on Monday, Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said a Tax Working Group would be set up after the election to develop ways to correct the imbalances between the productive and speculative parts of the economy.

“While we want a comprehensive review there will be some interim steps that we will announce before the election … to ensure that we have the revenue to address pressing issues, particularly in health, education and housing,” he said.

“I think it’s only fair to New Zealand we go to the next election with some sense of the direction of our tax policy. We want the Tax Working Group to do the detailed work but I think it’s only fair for New Zealanders that they see the path we are on.

Read more »

Grant Robertson knows what’s in the government’s budget (clue: nope)

Grant Robertson knows as much about finance as Jacinda Ardern knows about raising children.

Both have spouted off in the past couple of days but Robbo has declared that Labour will fight the next election with the promise of a tax working group.

The Government’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce, Labour’s finance spokesman Grant Robertson says.

Mr Robertson is accusing the Government of making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts, but failing to include them in the Budget.

“We are not as a country in a position to be offering tax cuts when there are families living in cars and garages,” Mr Robertson said in a pre-Budget speech in Wellington today.

“I have a specific challenge to John Key and Bill English when it comes to tax cuts – if you really believe they are the right thing to do for New Zealand, cost them properly and put them into Budget 2017, rather than dangling them about in an election campaign as a promise from Neverland.”  Read more »