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PM's Presser 21/3/11: Budgetquake

PM's Presser 21 March 2011


John Key press conference
Click for big version

Today's post-cabinet press conference concentrated on the Government's proposal to pay for the costs of the Christchurch earthquake and rebuilding through spending cuts on other areas (excluding education and health). There was discussion the effect changes such as restructuring might have, where cuts should be found, the Prime Minister's response to the IMF delegation visiting the country and whether large cuts could be well thought out in the time available. Mr Key said that question would ultimately be decided by a general election.

The Prime Minister began the press conference by announcing his support for UN-backed action in Libya, which he described as "necessary, proportionate and legal". He said that New Zealand would be implementing the UN sanction regime, although he did not believe there were Libyan state assets in New Zealand that could be frozen. Although not covered by the sanction regime, education authorities have been advised to cease dealings with Libya for the time being.

The Government will also be donating one million dollars to relief efforts in Japan through the Red Cross.

The Prime Minister also wish Labour MP Trevor Mallard a speedy recovery following a bike crash on Saturday.

Fact check: The Prime Minister states that "the bulk of New Zealanders" earn 40 to 75 thousand dollars a year.

According to Statistics New Zealand's New Zealand Income Survey results for the June 2010 the median income (the amount which half the people in the country earn below) was $529 per week, which equates to $27508 per year. According to the survey's technical notes the collected data was cash only, pre-tax (gross) income wherever possible, and did not include any non-cash fringe benefits.

Or by this table the median weekly income for those in paid employment is $767 ($39884 per year).

So either way It's not possible to muster a majority starting at $40,000 and going up.

Update: This spreadsheet [XLS, see table 5] gives the median weekly income in the June 2010 quarter as $800 ($41,600 per week).

Which leaves Scoop at a bit of a loss as to what the Prime Minister means.

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