Bugger the surplus – Fred and Mabel want to know what’s in the Budget for them

May 15, 2014

Dunno what they are making of the surplus in the Eketahuna Club tonight. Alas, Alf is stuck in Wellington so won’t be able to check on how it went down with his mates.

He happened to be among the Nats who applauded enthusiastically when our splendidly capable Minister of Finance got to that bit – the surplus – fairly early on in the speech.

To be frank, it’s a tiddler as surpluses go.

But Alf suspects they don’t actually give a toss what’s on the bottom line, back home in the club. It’s all fiscal flim-flam, Alf’s mate Fred is apt to scoff. What Fred wants to know is how much will he be taxed and what will he and his family get back for the hard-earned dosh the tax gatherer takes off them.

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Brash, budgets and bollocks – a story about task force spending has downplayed the savings

July 16, 2010

At first blush, Alf was tempted to think it’s a bloody good thing we Nats dumped Don Brash and opted for John Key as our leader.

Alf has a lot of time for dear old Don, but it seemed the bugger hasn’t kept his 2025 task force costs under control, and the task force’s budget is miniscule compared with the Government’s budget, which Bill English is keeping under very strict control.

If Don happened to be our PM, in other words, who knows how deeply into the shit we would have sunk by now.

Alf’s musings on the prospects of a budgetary blowout in the billions of dollars were triggered by a headline in the Dom-Post:


Brash blows fees budget

Bugger me, Alf muttered (as he is apt to do on being astonished by disconcerting news about his colleagues and mates).

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We won, Labour lost, the tax cuts will help us win again – and the Maori Party has been kaiboshed

May 21, 2010

Alf enjoyed the stuff John Armstrong has written in the Herald today.

Armstrong reminds us – in effect – that a Budget above all else is a political document.

Accordingly –

Yesterday’s Budget was the first salvo of the 2011 election. It was all about shutting Labour out of next year’s contest, long before the campaign starts.

Yep. And Alf enjoyed watching the Labour buggers wriggling uncomfortably yesterday as they sensed the political implications of the Budget speech.

Betcha they were contemplating another three years on the carping side of the chamber.

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There’s nothing wrong with making the rich even richer – but that won’t stop Labour bleating

May 18, 2010

Alf welcomes the PM’s political offensive on behalf of the wealthy.

He has urged the rest of the country not to be jealous if the rich get more from Thursday’s Budget tax package because the rich are crucial to the economy.

It’s bloody good advice.

Mind you, Alf happens to think the poor are crucial to the economy too. We need them to work for the wealthy, preferably for low wages to enable the wealthy who hire them to get even wealthier.

Even better is to have plenty of the poor buggers on the dole, so those with jobs become less inclined to push for higher wages, because they can be easily replaced.

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F’off Goff

May 29, 2009

Bollocks to Phil Goff and his rabble.

If they bothered to listen to the Budget speech – or had read the Readers Digest version set out in the Executive Summary – they would have learned:

The previous Government increased its spending markedly over recent years. In the absence of any policy response, the future path for Government spending, together with the weak outlook for revenue over the next few years, would result in permanent budget deficits and in Government gross debt rising from 20 percent of GDP to 70 percent of
GDP by 2023.
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Mallard gets his just deserts

May 28, 2009

Bruiser Mallard can lay claim to being the first MP this parliamentary term to be tossed out of Parliament’s debating chamber by Speaker Lockwood Smith.

Deservedly so. He went too far while questioning Education Minister Anne Tolley about the importance of literacy and plans to set up trade academies around the country to give young people practical training opportunities while at school.

Mallard pathetically challenged Tolley to spell “academies” and asked how she could promote higher education standards, yet put out a signed document on the issue “riddled with spelling errors”.
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Tax promise won’t be hard to break

April 11, 2009

Looks like New Zealanders are economically savvy enough about the recession to let the Government off the hook on its tax promises.

Because of the state of the Government’s books, it’s pretty obvious there must be more borrowing – the public debt will rise and there’s a real risk that credit rating outfits like Standard & Poors will want to lower our credit rating.

These pressures call for Government spending to be reined in, with implications for the quality of public services.

Previous surveys have shown Kiwis tend to prefer the delivery of good public services – especially health and education – rather than tax cuts.

A new survey gives a similar result.

The weekend Herald reports today:

Two-thirds of New Zealanders say they don’t want the Government to go ahead with the next round of personal income tax cuts if it involves further borrowing to fund them.

Actually, that’s bollocks. Alf was never asked. Nor – he imagines – were most New Zealanders.

But two-thirds of those who responded to survey questions (no details are given of the numbers polled) presumbably said they don’t want the Government to go ahead with the next round of personal income tax cuts if it involves further borrowing to fund them.

Of those surveyed, 47 per cent reportedly think the first round of personal income tax cuts that began last week should not have been made if they need to be funded by borrowing, considering the economic climate.

Bill English has previously said future economic circumstances would dictate whether the 2010 and 2011 tax cuts went ahead and taxpayers will be given an indication in the May 28 Budget.

A spokesman for the Finance Minister told the Weekend Herald: “We haven’t got any specific response to the survey other than repeating that he believes that lower taxes are good in the long run for the economy but any decision about the tax cuts proposed for next year and the year after will be made in the Budget.”

Bit of bugger, but the survey has given Labour’s David Cunliffe a platform for claiming it’s “lunacy” that the Government is it still considering going ahead with the tax cuts.

“There is no case in the current circumstances for further tax cuts. This proves that New Zealanders agree. I’m very pleased Kiwis have shown a sense of decency and fair play, even in the upper income brackets even though they stand to benefit.”

A bit rich, given the Clark Gang’s laxity with Government spending.

Not surprisingly, the bigger your income, and the smaller the demands on your household spending, the more likely it is you will be prepared to forego the tax cuts.

Households and individuals with incomes between $100,001 and $150,000 a year were the least keen about the next round of tax cuts with 70 per cent opposing.

By household type, people living alone were the least keen, followed by couples with no children and one-parent families with two children.

Sixty-one per cent of National Party voters thought the cuts should not go ahead compared with 69 per cent of Labour voters.

English is obviously keeping his powder dry. But it looks like it won’t be too hard to persuade people the tax cut promise must be broken.


Public servants on a slimming regime

February 18, 2009

Finance Minister Bill English today announced he will deliver the 2009/10 Budget on May 28.

BustedBlonde , meanwhile, was delighting her readers at Roarprawn with an account of public servants having to lop big bucks from departmental spending plans and tailor their work (and play) habits accordingly.

It would be “a responsible Budget,” English said in a media statement (silly, really – would anyone expect him to signal an irresponsible budget?).

There was further rhetoric of the sort Finance Ministers can’t resist when grand-standing about their Budgets.
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