Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Agenda: PM's Optimism Early Election?

Clark’s relentless optimism indicates early election

Prime Minister Helen Clark’s relentlessly positive spin on the economy and domestic politics suggests an early election is inevitable.

On Agenda this morning Simon Dallow highlighted certain gloomy economic indicators: New Zealand’s current account deficit has hit 6.4% of GDP, and commodity prices, the dollar and the sharemarket are also falling. The Government is facing charges of under-resourcing the police, and has this week backed down from its standards-based assessment policy in secondary education.

Bur Clark insisted such issues were “not having any particular effect on it (the decision on whether to call an early election).” She even identified a shortage of skilled workers and the pressure on transport and energy infrastructure as “new issues we couldn’t have dealt with before because they couldn’t come on the horizon….we have so many exciting issues to deal with and I think there’s going to be a buzz around that (Labour Party) conference as they plan to take Labour into the long term.”

Dallow pointed out that state sector wages have grown by two to three million dollars per day, for the last five years under Clark’s Government, and almost $2 billion went on sub-degree courses that weren’t even completed. But the Prime Minister insisted that spending was tight. Taken as an indication of election strategy, this shows her readiness to foreclose National’s appeal to voters interested in tax cuts, while pitching Labour as responsible financial managers.

“This Labour-led Government isn’t going to throw money around that it doesn’t have, in fact we’re simply amazed at the voodoo economics coming out of right-wing parties which believe you could right now chuck vast amounts of tax cuts on the present monetary situation, that would be ridiculous and would certainly prompt more interest rate rises,” she said.

And while the Budget looks like it may not be the spend-up anticipated by some, Clarke said it would provide more details on the Government’s home ownership and retirement savings schemes. We will also “definitely hear more this year” about tertiary education saving accounts.

On the Maori seats, Clark’s also “feeling pretty positive”- though it’s spending on those electorates will increase five-fold.

But Clark’s optimism in the face of gloomy global and national financial indicators as well as domestic politics cannot last long as an election strategy. This suggests there will be an early election.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More


Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list

Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>


Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>





Featured InfoPages