Here it is: Cunliffe’s backpedalling has started


Get used to the phrase “subject to fiscal responsibility”.

As in, “This Christmas, new iPads, smartphones and wide screen TVs for everyone….. subject to fiscal responsibility.

In other words, we’re back to empty promises that politicians make  to people that only listen to the bit that sounds good – not the escape clause.  

David Cunliffe has used one of his first major speeches as Labour leader to further outline his party’s major focuses for its first 100 days in office if it wins the next election.

In a strident speech to a receptive audience at the Council of Trade Unions conference in Wellington this morning he promised to scrap National’s “anti-worker” employment policies “in the first hundred days” and ensure workers a “better share of the benefits” of a strong New Zealand economy.

There would be no more “fire at will” and no more “attacks on vulnerable workers” or “undermining health and safety” or a youth wage.

“In the Labour government that I lead John Key’s attacks on workers will be gone by lunchtime,” he said.

It is always fun to preach to the choir.

Did Cunliffe actually say anything substantial?

[Labour] would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $13.75 and seek further increases on an annual basis if the country could afford it.

The $30m a year cost to extend a “living wage” to core Government employees would be accounted for in its first Budget “subject to the provisions of fiscal responsibility”.

That’s like putting  an offer in on a house “subject to bank and solicitor approval”.

Anyway, the appearance of “subject to fiscal responsibility” has made a surprise return to Cunliffe’s speeches as he realises that if he keeps waffling on about what he’s going to spend, spend, spend it will eventually come back to bite him.

But not now.

Everyone will get more under a Labour government.

….”subject to fiscal responsibility”


via Stuff

via Stuff


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  • Pete George

    There’s one out clause he hasn’t mentioned ….”subject to a parliamentary majority”.

    Is he saying (in effect) that he will only form a government if all coalition partners agree to all of his 100 day promises?

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Labour will get absolute majority. In the regions people are begging the messiah to change this government.

      • cows4me

        Oh dear Sir, surely there’s an institution somewhere that will take you?

        • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

          I am already in Labour.

          • cows4me

            Alas it appears all hope is lost, I would assume you are getting your affairs in order.

          • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

            I have been promised a policy researcher role for Curryleaf. I will be working on “Innovative Tax Policies for restoring social justice”

          • cows4me

            Oh, so you’ll be a arsehole then.

    • Roger

      Yes and particularly at Mangatainoko?

      Begging him to STFU most likely.

  • James Growley

    “[Labour] would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour from $13.75 and seek further increases on an annual basis if the country could afford it” The country??? No mention here about the employers being able to afford it. What if they can’t – do we just close up and send to WINZ? I guess that what the lunatics want anyway, everyone on a benefit and dependent on the state…………

  • Harroputza

    “subject to fiscal responsibility” linked with Labour policies is as good as saying it will never happen, because none of their policies are fiscally responsible…

  • Shoreboy57

    Just $15. What the fuck happened to the living wage?

  • Phar Lap

    Seems should Cunliffe the leader of a rabble rousing union controlled Liebour party,ever get the treasury benches .He will have to talk to his union masters who will run NZ.Seems the CTU mouthpiece called Kelly ,will pull Cunliffes strings.

  • And this posturing little fool still doesn’t realise that Ms Kelly has his testicles cupped in her right hand. The smallest squeeze …..

    • Roger

      Nup – can’t work; he has got any.

  • stephen2d

    This idiot will be eaten alive and exposed in any TV debate or any exchange with Key or his senior ministers. He is better at selling his BS on his own and when not challenged. Watch him crumble and deal with his ego when faced with facts and figures.

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    No mention of the financial cost to the country and businesses. No mention of how it will be funded. No mention of increasing productivity or GDP. How Mr Cunliffe is this remotely affordable. Oh what a surprise – it wont be fiscally responsible so not going to happen. Idiot and idiot followers of the ‘t’.

    • niggly

      Is that “t” , as in Cunliffe’s name, also as in “idiot” too by chance?

  • Never in the dark…..

    I didn’t hear the content, but I could hear the soundbite on the radio down the hall. Reminded me of the of speeches by a certain Führer who came second in his last outing.

  • johnbronkhorst

    The $30m a year cost to extend a “living wage” to core Government employees

    Considering he is out by about a factor of 10…it will cost more than $300 million. He is therefore better than Michael Cullen at using a calculator……BUT not much!

  • Now that the “Posturing Union Lickspittle” has begun back pedalling on the wonderful promises he made to get elected, would it be useful to have a verbatim list of his promises as expressed during the ‘road show’? That way we can compare, point by point, as he downplays each?

  • blokeintakapuna

    There would be no more “fire at will”

    Unless you’re on my election team and utter a truism that might have a “perception”

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I have done all the policy costings for Curryleaf on the backside of the envelope. Everything adds up. By imposing the rich pricks’ tax we will be collecting a billion dollar extra in tax revenue. We can spend them all on our promises.

    • Dave

      Hmmm best you write them on the back of a postage stamp SCS, don’t want too many numbers confusing Curryleaf!! I have drafted it for you below.

      Ah, sell for $1,000,000 bank 30% in DS’s US bank account, 20% for Helens UN slush fund, tell Russell you got $475,000 Keep it simple for him SCS

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Clever thinking eh…Curryleaf’s new found enthusiasm for “Overseas Kiwi Levy” is now growing by the minute….how about I slap a levy of $3000 every time you renew your passport?

        • Dave

          Have an Australian one Thanks SCS, so it wont affect me. Who in their right mind would leave themselves open to the gouging and troughing of Labour, and their advisers such as Cullen…… SCS.

  • cows4me

    The prick’s like Obummer. ” I’ll have a discussion but only if you agree with me first”.

  • steve and monique

    Empty promises, and a carrot on a stick for the mentally slow. FFS how can you pay for all his parties great ideas, without either taxing every poor sod who works, or breaking the bank. Guess ” Show me the money” will be used again and again.

  • Patrick

    Dear David,

    Can you please answer the below questions.

    1. How many workers have been unfairly dismissed under the so called “fire at will” legislation?
    2. How many workers have suffered harm under the so called undermining of health and safety?
    3. How many prosecutions have resulted from the harm in (2) above?
    4. If the answer to (3.) above is none, if not why not (to use the immortal words of David Shearer).
    5. How will the determination be made whether or not the “country can afford it” with respect to annual increases in the so called living wage.
    6. Has Treasury ratified & costed the Labour Party figures with respect to the burden that will be placed on the taxpayers to achieve the so called living wage for Government employees.
    7. How do the Labour Party intend to obtain greater efficiencies from the Public Service employees to justify the increase in the so called living wage?
    8. Will those Public servants paid above the living wage agree to a reduction in their income to match the so called living wage, after all the driver for this is equality isn’t it?
    9. If the answer to (8) above is no, how does the Labour party propose to implement the so called living wage for higher paid Public servants.
    10. If the higher paid Public servants are not going to be paid the so called living wage……if not why not (to borrow from David Shearer again).?
    11. Where did the $18.40 figure come from? Has this figure been ratified as an actual necessary amount or did someone somewhere pull some shit out of their ass?

    • OT Richter

      All good questions. Pike River is the answer to 2 & 3.

      Given that pay scales/parity are important (and transparent) in the Public Sector I wonder if he has factored in all the workers that are currently on $18 an hour wanting a $3/hr payrise and so on right up the pay scale.

      • 1951

        Maybe that (answer to 2&3) should be sheeted home to the various Govt., depts. that managed to de-burden themselves of any responsibilities under Aunty Helen’s reign?. Nothing to do with changes National govt., has made
        I dear ‘The Horrid’ reprint Patrick’s letter tomorrow & await reply.
        Yeh right.

      • Patrick

        OT, admittedly the Government of the day bears overall responsibility for issues on their watch & from the little I have followed re Pike River it seems National could have done a whole lot better on governance matters but the genesis of the issues that caused the disaster needs to be sheeted home to those responsible, the Green movement for their insistence on “Green” mining practices & the various people involved in the Government of the day, namely one Trevor Mallard. He was in a position to repeal the National policies put in place in the early 1990s but despite being in power for 10 years Labour did nothing. Now we get political grandstanding from Cunliffe, another at the heart & soul during Clarke’s reign.
        We need to do a whole lot more around ensuring workers are always safe & make sure corporate manslaughter charges can be successful where applicable but grandstanding on paying workers more money in a blatant attempt to bribe them for their votes is piss poor.
        Reminds me of my days working in construction when the Union would pull us off the job on “safety grounds,” which usually amounted to a load of twaddle & a power trip by a Union delegate.
        The same Union had little to say about the workers smoking dope & then working at heights erecting scaffolding or riggers doing similar.
        We had a scaffolder die due to an accident caused because he was stoned, all we got from the Union was a “woe is me, think of his missus” story. Pity they didn’t act more proactively to prevent the drug taking in the first place.

        • OT Richter

          Yes, but at the end of the day, safety starts and stops at the workplace and is wholly dependent on the attitude of the workers and management. Sure, legislation will force/ensure some behaviours, but it is common sense, experience and thinking about what you are about to do that really counts.

          • Patrick

            I fully agree & based on that why did the workers not refuse to go into the Pike River mine? It has become quite apparent that issues with methane gas had been an ongoing problem for some time.
            I have not followed the court cases closely enough to know whether this issue was explored.

          • johnbronkhorst

            Why did workers put plastic bags over the gas detectors, that were there to warn them of dangerous gas build ups?

  • Bryan

    the last time Labour made a massive increase without the lift in GNP to match we ended paying 22% interest on housing loans and that is what happens when you get a bunch of socialists running the country, because they have no idea how wealth and money are created and how to produce more and smarter

    • OT Richter

      The shift from rental property to term deposit is looking better by the day. God help us if Cunliffe and Norman have anything to do with this country’s finances.

      • Patrick

        God help us “when” not “if” – it is coming OT, believe me it is coming.

      • Muffin

        Term deposit…. What currency though, I would have to go for Swiss

  • thor42

    I wouldn’t call it “backpedaling” – I’d call it LYING.

    When Cunliffe made those extravagant promises, there was *no mention* of “subject to fiscal responsibility”.
    They were *unconditional promises.* If you break or renege on such a promise, you are a LIAR.

    Now he adds that “disclaimer” and still expects people to trust him and believe him??? Tui ad coming right up.

    • OT Richter

      He is simply adding the disclaimer to try and put the more financially intelligent voters at ease. Fact is, the unions will force him to implement no matter what the cost.

    • Patrick

      Pollies call it wriggle room – they love to have lots of it too.

  • Roger

    The living wage is a total balls up. Here’s a good article explaining exactly how the thing was established. Basically it is a construct of a particular family situation. There is no simple hourly rate and to suggest there is is a massive fraud by the Left. Still why am I not surprised.

    Check this.