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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A heartening poll on GST and the tax cuts – what a pity it mirrors the views only of Aucklanders

February 13, 2010

Good news for The Boss and the rest of us in the National caucus today. Or rather, it’s good news up to a point, when you accept that Auckland is not the best place to try to gauge what the country thinks.

Herald readers have given the thumbs-up to the proposals announced this week to raise the goods and services tax and cut income taxes.

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Hone thinks of quitting – hurrah (but can he give up the pay and the perks?)

November 7, 2009

Well, well, well. Hone Harawira is thinking of quitting as an MP.

Surely not! The bugger has been relishing the nourishment from the public trough for too long and Alf is putting his money on him staying to enjoy the perks for another three years.

More’s the pity.

But if he did quit, would it be because he recognises he has behaved disgracefully and should fall on his sword? Or his spear? Or whatever is sharp enough to pierce his outrageously thick hide?

Nah. The bugger is spitting the dummy because he has a problem governing in coalition with we Nats.

The Dom-Post tells us –

Firebrand Maori Party MP Hone Harawira – under attack for an explosive email – says he could quit at the next election over his party’s support for National.

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Pointers to a bleak but not black Budget

May 8, 2009

Those who like sniffing out clues to what will be in the Budget would have learned nothing significant from The Boss yesterday, when he talked to Business New Zealand in Wellington.

Essentially, he destroyed any illusions about it being a generous budget that might have survived the release of the crown accounts for the nine months to March.

The accounts showed there ain’t much scope for extra spending without borrowing, and John Key and Bill English are reluctant borrowers.

On the other hand, Key (the previous day) was trying to disabuse us of the idea it will be black budget.

“I wouldn’t describe it as black, in fact we are spending a lot of extra money on health and education, but beyond that there is not a lot more to go around,” said Key.

Finance Minister Bill English said he would be scaling back some of the spending promises made by Labour, but there would still be increases.

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Consumer confidence is lifted – but by what?

April 25, 2009

Looks like Alf’s optimism is rubbing off. Or maybe each respondent to a survey feared being biffed into a tumbrel and hauled off to the stocks if they expressed pessimistic views.

Whatever the reason,

New Zealanders are more optimistic about the next five years than at any time since October 2007, according to a just-issued consumer confidence poll.

The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating polled 1060 people this month about the economic outlook. The rating is up 4.6 points on the 100 it was at in mid April 2008.

Spokesman Gary Morgan said the April rating was up strongly. “It is the first time since October 2007 …. that New Zealanders are more confident than they were a year ago.”

A total of 55%, which is 7% up on the previous year, and the highest since surveying began in 2004, expect ‘good times’ in the next five years.

While 53% expect times to be tough for the next 12 months, 27% see a better 12 months.

In a year, 51% expect their family to be better off, compared to 18% who expect to be worse off.

It might be a case of folk believing things can only improve from here.

Looking back over the past year, 40% said their family was financially worse off than a year ago, while just 25% said they were better off.

But Alf would like to think people have confidence in the Key Government, and are more influenced by John’s cheery outlook than the gloomier view expressed by his deputy and minister of finance, Bill English, as he conditions us to accept the breaking of the tax-cuts promise.

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.