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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Why Bill won’t be feeding the Cullen Fund

May 6, 2009

The Government coffers took another blow in the nine months to March, when tax revenues (lower than forecast) and investment losses (higher than forecast) dragged the budget operating balance $7.7 billion into deficit, just a week or so ahead of Finance Minister Bill English presenting his 2009 budget.

No-one should be too surprised, as a consequence, if English decides to stop pumping money into the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (also known as the Cullen Fund, although Alf regards this as bad language and an expression to be avoided in polite company).

Those payments – in all likelihood – will be suspended because the dosh would come from borrowing and raising the public debt. Not smart.
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Why we should brace for a stiff budget

April 3, 2009

A quick glimpse at the latest Financial Statements of the Government Of New Zealand reinforces Alf’s view that constituents (and public servants) should be bracing for a tough budget.

With four months to go to the end of the Government’s financial year, the operating deficit has been turned from a $3.1 billion projected surplus before the election to an $8.4 billion deficit.

That’s a whopping big difference from the picture painted when we Nats were preparing our package of tax cuts and so on before the election.
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