Budget 2016: Did Bill English try to pull a swiftie on ‘The Nation’?

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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On TV3’s “The Nation“, Lisa Owen asked Finance Minister Bill English if funding for health and education had been cut on a per-capita basis. The response from  English was jaw-dropping;

“…if you look at the figures, let’s say for health, a variety of economists say that we needed about 700 million a year just to keep pace, yet health is getting about 570 million a year. You’ve frozen the schools’ operational budgets, so to be absolutely clear, per capita spending on health and education, it’s down, isn’t it?”

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Bill English replied;

“No. Look, I couldn’t say for sure whether it’s up or down. “

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The nation - lisa owen - Bill english - budget 2016 - homelessness

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What?! The Finance Minister was saying to the New Zealand public that he “ couldn’t say for sure whether it’s [per capita spending] up or down“?! So how does he allocate money within the multi-billion dollar budget? By roll of a dice?

It deserved a response…

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: NZ Herald <letters@herald.co.nz>
date: Sat, May 28, 2016
subject: Letter to the editor

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The editor
NZ Herald

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On 28 May, Finance Minister Bill English was interviewed on TV3’s “The Nation“. Host Lisa Owen asked English if funding for health and education had been cut on a per-capita basis;

“…if you look at the figures, let’s say for health, a variety of economists say that we needed about 700 million a year just to keep pace, yet health is getting about 570 million a year. You’ve frozen the schools’ operational budgets, so to be absolutely clear, per capita spending on health and education, it’s down, isn’t it?”

English replied,

“No. Look, I couldn’t say for sure whether it’s up or down. “

Which he repeated;

“It’s not a measure we apply… Now, per capita, I can’t tell you whether it’s up or down. “

It beggars belief that a Finance Minister, responsible for a budget of $77.4 billion of taxpayer’s money, appears not to know if per capita spending on health and education is up or down.

This would be akin to mum and dad doing the weekly grocery shopping – and not knowing how many children to buy food for.

It simply is not credible that a Finance Minister would be unaware of such basic information.

So which is it – incompetence or evasion?

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-Frank Macskasy

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[address and phone number supplied]

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References

TV3 The Nation: Interview with Bill English

Fairfax media:  Budget 2016 – $700m needed for health to stand still – CTU

NZ Herald: New Zealand Budget 2016 – At-risk students targeted, operational funding frozen

Budget 2016: Core Crown expenses

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You might be suffering from capitalism

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= fs =

25 COMMENTS

  1. Did Bill English try to pull a swiftie on ‘The Nation’?

    Yes of course Frank,

    Anyone who gets within earshot of PM Key gets “Keyitis”, an infectious brain disease.

    This causes a permanent lose tongued disease that makes the affected recipient unable to keep focused on their short term memory, and often in confusion ends up contradicting themselves, and getting totally confused.

    Treatment; Due to this being a highly contagious disease, the patient should be euthanized as soon as possible before the illness spreads in any close knit community.

      • Thanks Frank,

        We will await the juicy entrails of this twisted tale of a compulsive liar, in volume two.

        Great letter you wrote our IOA sent back to the Electoral commissioner also we await their response as they try (impossibly) to convince that our election ballots cannot be rigged or altered without identifying it occurring because the manager last week admitted they cannot confirm if any ballot has or has not been altered.

        The commission claimed there voting system was “well widely respected” ha ha ha, so we need a radical change before next election and call for a legislative change like many other countries now have done so already.

        More on this next week to.

    • I don’t think there is such a disease as Keyitis, Cleangreen. It is merely a case of being able to keep a straight face while telling lies, and when caught-out, give plausible answers without sounding the fool. Smirk face can do neither.

  2. Bill English , a.k.a ‘ The Double Dipper From Dipton’, is living in some parallel universe in a far off land.
    He is in complete denial of the absolute ‘cock up’ that he has made trying to be a finance minister and it a classic example that all political science lecturers should use to show the dangers of having some one in power who clings to a very narrow market driven ideology, combined with a lack of ability to think critically.
    Combine that with a lack of empathy,a huge sense of self entitlement , a massive ego and a self belief way beyond ability and you have a major shit storm building that is going to take Labour , The Greens and N.Z First a long time to sort out.
    The desperation is now peaking with Key nastily threatening to be an out and out dictator.
    Cowardly blaming the Council, when they themselves have played silly buggers with Len Brown , deliberately sitting on their hands for 5 years, instead of getting on with aiding him to develop the rail and transport systems Auckland so desperately needs .
    On top of that they have wilfully encouraged mass immigration into the city without consultation with the Auckland rate payers .
    And thicko Bill says they have simply been hit by the ‘perfect storm’.
    The same excuse was trotted out when he was asleep at the wheel with the Solid Energy debacle, not to mention a plethora of other examples.
    Simply put, they want Auckland to sell all it’s assets to their private sector mates and disband what is left of any Unions.
    Once that’s done, their job is done .

    • Grant, this is one of the best comments I have ever read, anywhere, regarding Bill English and his fellow National MPs’ willful, infuriating ignorance and arrogance.

    • Grant, you provide a very astute analysis of Bill English’s character, agenda and motivations. The personality traits you describe apply to National Party members and supporters as a whole. They evidently believe in advantaging themselves at the expense of the majority of society. It is ironic that English purports to be a Christian, yet his actions and his Government’s policies reveal their greedy, self-serving, disingenuous and manipulative attitude and behaviour, which has resulted in New Zealand’s current socioeconomic disarray.

  3. It deserved proper treatment from a competent interviewer.

    Sadly we are dealing with TV3.

    Kudos to you, Frank, I don’t have the stomach to watch their drivel.

  4. SHE (Lisa) ACUALLY TRIED VERY HARD TODAY TO STOP THE KEYITIS SUFFERER FROM RUNNING AWAY WITH HIS MOUTH AND MADE A POINT OF STOPPING HIM AND NAILING HIM WITH JUAST ONE WORD AND I WAS TAKEN BACK AT HER BOLDNESS SHE MUST BE PISSED.

    THIS WAS ONLY THE SECOND TIME I ACTUALLY WATCHED ANYTHING THING ON CH3 SINCE THE BOYCOT LAST YEAR AND MOST WAS CRAP EXEPT FOR THIS BIT.

    Yes I don’t really think Bull English has Keyitis rather he just copies the lying toe rag of a slimy PM as a replacement when keyster gets the boot.

  5. I wouldn’t call it a swiftie, that’s far too kind.
    I would call it an arrogant perverted con-trick.
    Not surprisingly the business lobby love it.

  6. I watched the programme and also saw the interview with Robertson too, and comparing, you’d think he was the Minister and English the ‘wannabe’.

    • I noticed that. Although Lisa Owen was quite persistent, and did ask some pertinent questions… she did stay within the bounds of TV land politeness and gave dutiful pause and was careful not to speak over English.

      Not so with Roberston… there she became animated , passionate and spoke over him many times.

      There’s only one woman these days who is capable of interviewing these clowns , making them look like fools if they deserve it and tearing them to shreds with just a look of her eye and that’s Kim Hill.

      Which is sad because we used to have quite a few good interviewers that didn’t mess around with being overly nice or majoring in semantics.

      • Yes we have witnessed the complete gowerisation of TV news.
        The desolation is complete.

  7. Bill has got some political con 101 class lessons from John Key over recent times, hence he thinks he will get away with this.

    Indeed, it is jaw dropping, but has anybody out there noticed, I mean in “voter-land”, in amongst the crowds at the shopping malls, sports fields and at the DIY shop?

    No, they do not even notice, they do not even care, the government can do whatever it likes, the ministers can talk the greatest nonsensical and hypocritical BS, most do not even listen, do not read, are too busy with their shopping, their careers, their frolicking around and whatever hobbies they may still follow.

    The political landscape is one of smoke and mirrors, and this is taken for real, and once the next election campaign comes, they will simply listen to Paul Henry, Mike Hosking and other hacks, and say, ah yeah, we need tax cuts, you’re back in, John.

    • This is precisely what politics are here in America, at least in the deep south where I’ve spent my entire life. Reading about what’s been happening in NZ now that the conservatives, rather than the liberals are running the country (or whatever term NZ uses to describe the right-and-left wings, seriously my knowledge of NZ politics isn’t exactly broad, I had no idea what the PM of NZ was named until I stumbled upon TDB’s article about Keys pulling a waitresses hair). Everything, from his claiming to be Christian while acting like anything but, to his disrespect for anyone who’s not a white, Christian man, to his supporters inevitable attempt at damage control by down playing Keys actions mirrors exactly what the Tea Party (as the farthest right wing group in America) and many other less fanatical but just as bad conservatives do whenever they are caught red-handed being complete douches (I hope using that term isn’t offensive enough to get me banned. Seriously, I know very little about NZ, but I’m trying to learn and I won’t make the same mistake twice if it is an offensive term). We have a hard enough time keeping the conservatives from ruining our country when there are liberals who can try to check the conservatives’ power, but if they gain control of the presidency and supreme court after the upcoming election, they will control the entire government. No good can come of that. What’s happening in NZ should be a cautionary tale for American voters, but I doubt anyone will listen. From your comment, I concur that NZ must have the same problem with the apathy of voters that America has. One of the reason the conservatives have been gaining control is that American voters simply don’t care. To be fair sometimes people want to vote but can’t due to the conservatives’ tactics to inhibit the right to vote for all citizens, but the only reason these tactics work is because people who can vote and change the country simply don’t care if it doesn’t directly affect them. And please don’t think I’m glorying in the fact that NZ’s government is as broken as America’s government. It’s just nice to know Americans are not alone as we ride in this handbasket taking us to hell. Welcome Aboard. 😉

  8. Thanks Frank for taking the time to write the letter to the Herald and also this post.

    I really appreciate what you do.

  9. The Double Dipping MP for Dipton is certainly joining his Dearest Leader in giving the National Party a bad name.

  10. Steven Joyce uses his prevarication start , “What I can say to you is …” like it’s going to be followed by some profound truth.

    What I can say to Bill English is don’t be treating us like idiots. If you can’t can’t say for sure whether it’s up or down because you can’t work it out, you’re the idiot.
    If you can’t say for sure whether it’s up or down because you don’t want people to hear you telling the truth because the truth’s not a nice picture you’re a slimy political snake.

    • Steven Joyce uses his prevarication start , “What Steven Joyce uses his prevarication start , “What I can say to you is …” like it’s going to be followed by some profound truth.

      Key does it all the time as well

      “yeah, nah, ekshully, what I can say is…”

      They either went to the same media coaching school or one idolises the other.

      • It’s called “alchemy God complex” RC.

        Creating reality out of utter bullshit.

        “The reality is…
        “The facts are..
        “the truth of the matter is…

      • “They either went to the same media coaching school or one idolises the other. ”

        That would be Crosby/Textor media coaching school.

        Winston has summed it up nicely today calling Key a dictator, in reference to Keys abject failure of the Auckland housing scenario and his commandments to the Auckland City Council.

  11. bill english is a catholic farmer from southland who has, for some Inexplicable mystery, become the minister of finance ( perhaps to perpetuate The Great New Zealand Institutionalised Lie? ) so every molecule in his stumpy little body will be pulling swifties.
    He, like all the other worthless, greedy fuckers, should be getting a little exercise while tuning in their vocal cords to harmonize with the sounds of the pursuing, blood thirsty hoard of flaming torch carriers.

  12. So if were were to try and bring this issue to a simple slogan, like Joseph Goebbels used to try and do.
    “Bill English doesn’t know what’s up and what’s down!”

    But, we the Kiwi public, have the choice to how we judge Bill English’s budget, National, ACT, Maori Party and United Future and it will be all about the way that National, ACT, Maori Party and United Future treat the weakest members.

    “Ultimately, you judge the character of a society, not by how they treat the rich and the powerful and the privileged, but by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated.” https://www.facebook.com/TED/posts/10155075167340652

    In Kiwi society under National, ACT, United Future and Maori Party how do they treat the the rich and powerful?

    In Kiwi society under National, ACT, United Future and Maori Party how are the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated. treated?

    How about those living in cars, or 21 in a two bedroom house? Or those young people shut out of house ownership under National, ACT, Maori Party and United Future? How about the working poor?

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