A reality check on the budget

By   /   May 29, 2017  /   12 Comments

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The simple truth is that the bulk of high wage and salary earners, low-wage employers and parasitic landlords are National Party supporters. This is their budget.

As the dust settles on National’s 2017 budget it’s worth a pause to check the reality against the government spin over previous weeks and the headlines generated before any proper analysis had time to occur.

The headlines so desperately sought by National for its “Family Incomes Package” are a well-crafted myth.

While it’s true that many families will be better off, in reality this is a budget for the richest New Zealanders. How come?

  1. Adjusting the tax thresholds means those on the highest incomes get the most (if you earn over $127,000 you get $33.22 per week) while those on the lowest (if you are on $15,000 you get $1.30 per week) get a meaningless amount.
  2. Increasing payments under Working for Families means the National government is increasing wage subsidies for employers who pay unliveable wages. Instead of changes to the Employment Relations Act to strengthen workers’ rights when negotiating with employers, National is making the whole country pay to subsidise poverty wages.
  3. It’s a similar story with the increases in the accommodation supplement. On the face of it this is the biggest boost for families on low incomes but this is a subsidy for landlords charging exorbitant rents during a housing crisis. (Minister of Finance Stephen Joyce says the government will be keeping an eye on landlords to make sure they don’t just increase rents to grab the whole accommodation supplement. Yeah right!)

The simple truth is that the bulk of high wage and salary earners, low-wage employers and parasitic landlords are National Party supporters. This is their budget.

Meanwhile in other parts of the budget the National Party machine rolls on. Three things deserve a special mention.

  1. Increased spending on health and education is not keeping pace with the needs of New Zealanders in these sectors. They continue to go backwards.
  2. The massive increases in spending on prisons (more places to put the victims of National’s economic policies) is the utterly predictable result of joblessness with its associated hopelessness and alienation.
  3. The huge spending on roads, roads and more roads. National’s tar seal addiction is stronger than any P addict.

Better funding for public schools, hospitals, primary healthcare and public transport would be of huge benefit for New Zealanders across the board but would undermine National Party supporters who provide profit-driven alternatives.

More widely it is a budget focused on papering over market failure across all aspects of the lives of New Zealanders. It protects private profit while the rest of us pay the social cost.

It’s a budget for the rich.

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12 Comments

  1. Priss says:

    “Adjusting the tax thresholds means those on the highest incomes get the most (if you earn over $127,000 you get $33.22 per week) while those on the lowest (if you are on $15,000 you get $1.30 per week) get a meaningless amount.”

    They can get away with that because high income earners vote, and they vote selfishly.

    The moment the poor and the dispossesed discover the power of their vote, then we’ll see some REAL CHANGE.

    • garibaldi says:

      They won’t discover the power of their vote Priss, and they never will. The reason is they are either too uneducated or too disconnected to understand. This sad situation will not improve and the controllers of ‘democracy’ don’t want it too. All is going to plan for them.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      “The moment the poor and the dispossesed discover the power of their vote, then we’ll see some REAL CHANGE.”

      Trouble is they get sold off one against each other on the job market, education market, personal entertainment market and so forth, and are mostly lone fighters, who dream of the “Kiwi Dream” and to strike it lucky one day, either by getting the dream job with a dream income, meeting Mr or Mrs Perfect with a house, Ferrari and boat, or by simply winning Lotto.

      Collective awareness is hard to find, to be honest. And few would dare sacrifice their time and energy for something that they have not learned to do. They are simply in too high numbers brainwashed into individualism, consumerism and that divide and rule is necessary, to keep control over the uncontrollable “disaster” or “chaos”.

  2. XRAY says:

    Isn’t it ironic that whilst some in the media and the blogs chose to paint this as National stealing from Labour and some put the boot into Labour it was never anything like a Labour budget.

    To me on budget day it was abundantly obvious this was a transference of tax cut money, to the wealthy. And to rub salt into the wounds the accommodation supplement was purely intended as a top up for investors. They have been squealing how rent increases have lagged far behind house price increases. Joyce merely accommodated investors with tax payer funded largesse

    Nothing should ever ever be taken at face value from the National Party and in particular, this National Party but they have such a skill in selling this bullshit to the media. I thought we all knew that by now!

    What this budget purported to be was simply a very big lie wrapped in a thin layer of truth. Still the corporate media have swallowed it or just run it for their masters unquestioningly. And I was disappointed you chose to as well.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Re the Accommodation Supplement increases from 1 April 2018, we who are a bit informed do not need to look far to why this has been done:
      https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/insulation/compulsory-insulation/

      From 2019 on rental homes in privately owned homes have to be insulated, which will add significant costs, in the form of a new investment, to landlords, and many have NOT been happy about this. ‘

      So Steven Joyce and his Hillbilly mate Nick (the Dick) Smith came up with a smart SOLUTION.

      Looking after your voters, that is what was behind the Budget, as it was prepared and printed.

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    “3. It’s a similar story with the increases in the accommodation supplement. On the face of it this is the biggest boost for families on low incomes but this is a subsidy for landlords charging exorbitant rents during a housing crisis. (Minister of Finance Stephen Joyce says the government will be keeping an eye on landlords to make sure they don’t just increase rents to grab the whole accommodation supplement. Yeah right!)”

    Don’t get me started on this again. I am dismayed at the ignorance that prevails among the media, even on RNZ, where apparently nobody understands what the Accommodation Supplement actually is, that is how much it is, and how an increase will actually reduce another top up called ‘Temporary Additional Support’ (or the same the old ‘Special Benefit’).

    It was even mentioned in the Budget, by the Master of Spin and misrepresentation himself, Finance Minister Steven Joyce:
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansD_20170525_20170525

    “In addition, changes to the Accommodation Supplement areas will provide further gains for some families.

    These are in addition to the tax and Working for Families changes already announced in the Package.

    This increase in the Accommodation Supplement is expected to directly benefit around 136,000 low income households around New Zealand. It will also reduce the reliance on Temporary Additional Support that some families currently receive to top up their Accommodation Supplement.”

    The poorest can only manage on benefits where they also get TAS (Temporary Additional Support, formerly also the Special Benefit), and having them paid a bit more Accommodation Supplement, and then cutting their TAS, that leaves them not a bit better off than now.

    Hence Joyce’s admission on Morning Report that about 100,000 will continue to live under extreme housing stress:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/331615/about-100-000-will-still-be-under-housing-stress-joyce

    As for the Accommodation Supplement, it does usually barely cover half of a person’s or household’s actual rent, and there are maximum amounts, that also do never cover the rent that most pay in places like Auckland, it never does. So those on benefits and low incomes have to pay the rest of the rent from their other income (main benefit or low wages).

    But the MSM do not get it, as even this morning Susie Ferguson was in an interview with PM English still asking, whether he thought it was wrong to think tenants would not “pocket” the Accommodation Supplement.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201845486/accommodation-supplement-raise-a-win-for-families-pm

    (Listen at about 3.45m into the audio!).

    NO tenant will “pocket” it, it goes straight to the landlord for rent, my dear, got it?!

    Meanwhile landlords CELEBRATE the increase:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201845492/landlords-celebrate-extra-income-from-accommodation-supplement

  4. Helena says:

    I have been going from link to link trying to find an answer for why we, along with all other peoples, are in such dire straits and I have ignored what we all know that .01% own all the wealth. Even our Government is selling off assets such as agricultural land and water (we don’t see the money so where does it go?). I’ve gone from the Georgia Guidestones where carved in stone is the .01%’s world population target. I have listened to Bill Gates saying vaccinations can effectively decrease population numbers. I’ve looked up at the sky and seen the trails which linger for hours. I’ve gone into the whistleblower sites such as, for example Elena Kapulnik. and heard about Dulce Base and the Secret Space Programme and Space Warden. I’ve listened to David Icke’s videos on why refugees (especially the militant ones) following the Koran are being pushed into countries around the world which also neatly ties into John Coleman’s 21 Goals of the Illuminati.
    The last piece of the puzzle for me was the spiritual side to all this, particularly important now that Francis has dedicated the church in Rome to Lucifer. I found the answers, for me anyway, why we, the people, will never be treated fairly and honestly by this or any other government. Lucifer does indeed control the Beehive. Some of us might remember the Pope saying he would baptize an alien, if called upon to do so. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
    I tried to read the Bible years ago but for me it was incomprehensible. Sherry Shriner explains who and what she is and what her beliefs are. Importantly, Sherry has also studied the Bible Codes and put them alongside what’s happening in the world today.
    Now I understand: http://www.sherryshriner.com/

  5. Mike in Auckland says:

    All those who wonder why the government suddenly came up with a decision to increase the Accommodation Supplement, which is nothing but a rent subsidy, that goes straight to the landlord (even if the tenant has it go through his account), there is a REASON behind this decision.

    Take note of this, which came with a law change a year or so ago:
    https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/insulation/compulsory-insulation/

    “Insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes from 1 July 2019.”

    “Ceiling and underfloor insulation must be installed, where it is reasonably practicable to install. It must comply with the regulations and be safely installed. Wall insulation is not compulsory.

    Any new, replacement or top-up insulation installed after 1 July 2016 in a rental home must meet the regulations that will apply to all rental homes from 1 July 2019.

    A landlord who fails to comply with the regulations is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000.”

    A fair few landlords had been complaining about this, and it seems to have sunk through, to the government MPs and Ministers, hey, they thought, we need to “fix” this, give them a subsidy, which will also enable them to increase rents.

  6. ALH84001 says:

    The budget is a rort. Be prepared as the fish hooks start to become apparent.

  7. mosa says:

    Totally agree with you John on this tissue of lies that is the 2017 budget.

    They say they are lifting people out of poverty to just above subsisting and that is where they will stay with no plan to to deliver an economy that should be providing a real quality of life, fairness and hope for something better.

    National are failing and destroying the lives of New Zealanders and enriching the few.

    It won’t last and the current government will fall but i fear that it won’t be at this election.

    To quote Jeremy Corbyn ” for the many not the few ” could not be more relevant in New Zealand.