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

 

Robson-on-Politics 28 June 2006

7 days of National misery

The first report on the state of the economy in 2006 found that the value of goods and services produced in Aotearoa rose 0.7% in the three months to March 31, a bitter blow to National which had so gleefully predicted recession.

GDP report after Greens pulled the rug

That positive news came less than 12 hours after the Greens knee-capped the Nats' plans for two long years of non-stop touring the provinces highlighting the Cabinet's indifference to the farming sector over the working dog microchipping issue.

It wasn't just the dogs the Greens saved, but the Cabinet itself from a damaging, unwinnable, and debilitating rift with farmers, the backbone of our exporting sector and on whom we all largely depend to mend our balance of payments problem.

Current account highlights why progressive governments save

But the really heavy blow to the heart of everything the Right stands for came on Thursday morning with the publication of the March Quarter current account report.

The report examines the balance on New Zealanders' merchandise and services trade with the world, together with the balance on investment income (the difference between the income NZ-based companies get from their overseas' investments and the income foreign-based companies get from their assets in NZ).

There was deterioration across the board as the former State-owned enterprises that Labour so gaily gave away in the '80s continued their endless flow of dividends offshore and the radical income tax cuts of previous Lab and Nat governments continued to fuel consumer imports at the expense of national savings and investment.

While the Lab-Progressive government has been running surpluses big enough to pay down inherited government debt levels, and also to put money away ahead of the ageing of the population, the non-government sector lived on the credit card to the tune of $14.5 billion in the 12 months to March 31.

Standard & Poor's pulled the rug on the Right's tax policies

The report prompted ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, to issue a statement saying the "chronic, high and unsustainable" current account deficit is putting pressure on New Zealand's credit rating.

"Credit analyst Kyran Curry said that importantly, the government had maintained a steady course of fiscal discipline, which had provided the vital buffer needed to mitigate the effects of the country's high external debt. Consequently, maintaining a strong (government) fiscal position remains a critical factor underpinning the AA-plus foreign currency rating," NZPA news service reported. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/search/story.cfm?storyid=0008BD4A-09D5-149A-976783027AF1010F

This is stinging criticism of Nats

_These are incredibly strong comments.

For those that still don't get it, perhaps because they never read this on the front page of their newspapers because it wasn't on the front page of their newspapers, this criticism was 100% directed at National, its allies and its mainstream media cheerleaders:

The ones who tirelessly relitigate last September's election contest in which the losing side had threatend to establish a government which would join the credit-card funded overseas' borrowing binge to deliver unsustainable, indiscriminate and across-the-board income tax rate cuts that would mainly benefit childless high income earners.

National's policies would fuel consumer imports and destroy the government's savings and investment programmes and would be met with an immediate rating downgrade which would, by definition, deliver higher mortgage rates for every working family.

Last Nat government got downgrade after tax cuts

The last time we had a National-led government (supported by United, ACT and over half the MPs elected on the NZ First list, it delivered income tax cuts. It also sold off the family silver (Contact Energy, Auckland International Airport etc.).

It was also the last time Standard &Poor's put our ratings on a 'negative outlook' (10 September 1998).

http://www.nzdmo.govt.nz/creditratings/

It took this coalition government two-and-a-half long years to get our rating back to its current stable outlook, but it is clear S&P is very worried about the risk of National, United, NZ First, et al delivering on their threat to put in place unaffordable tax cuts.

Labour + United + NZ First = 60 seats

I don't believe in gossip, but I heard someone say there might remain the odd poll-driven fruitcake in Labour's ranks who would do a deal with United and NZ First to wreck the economy by mimicking National's overseas debt-funded income tax rate cuts if they thought that is what it would take to win the the 2008 election.

I find that hard to believe. But, anyway, we need not worry because Labour+United+NZ First=60 seats, a seat shy of a majority.

And after failing to listen to the commonsense of Progressive on microchipping farmdogs, commonsense that had it been heeded would have avoided the 'Greens save dogs' and 'Labour's dogged incompetence' headlines, I feel sure any Labour opportunists that may still exist will pay attention to that critical 61st vote on something as progressive as protecting the tax base and working families' mortgage rates.

http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2284

Infometrics expects growth of 3% a year

On Friday, Infometrics released its quarterly forecasts which predict that economic growth will recover to over 3% a year by early 2008. Infometrics believes conditions are "pretty positive for a rebound in exports" and "manufacturing activity confirm a turnaround is occurring in this sector."

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0606/S00374.htm

National is headed for its 4th consecutive defeat

National is headed for its 4th consecutive election defeat in October 2008. It hasn't managed to be that incompetent since 1946. National isn't up to leading New Zealand.

Its dangerous, simplistic and unworkable debt and tax policies are only part of the problem. The party is acting like a permanent opposition party on everything these days from foreign policy to Maori-Pakeha relations.

National has 2 policies on foreign aid & vote buying

In the past seven days we saw one Nat complain the Japanese were using their aid to developing countries to "buy" developing countries' support on commercial whaling while another Nat called on the Lab-Progressive government to threaten our neighbours with NZAid cuts if they don't vote with us to conserve whaling populations.

National thinks it can tell overseas judges what to do

National's foreign affairs spokesman, meanwhile, seems to think the NZ government can interfere in court decisions of other democratic countries when those decisions aren't to our (or the foreign government's) liking.

Nats spoil reconciliation in Tamaki Makaurau

And while the whole of Auckland has been impressed with the dignity of Ngati Whatua, whose property rights were trashed by governments for 100 years but who have shown only respect for all Aucklanders with their desire to heal, build and move forward, some Nats have been going around trying to whip up uncertainty about what the Ngati Whatua Settlement might mean for North Shore property values. I rekon the Maori Party will vote against Wayne Mapp's anti-workers' Bill.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election