National’s Budget Surplus is a sick illusion

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Budget surplus lift fills the coffers as parties prepare election platforms

Just 11 weeks out from the election political parties’ spending and tax cut plans have been given a boost by new figures showing the Budget surplus tracking at $4.5 billion – $1.5b ahead of forecast..

But Finance Minister Steven Joyce has moved to downplay the impact, saying surpluses are needed to pay for commitments already made over the next four years.

The latest Treasury figures show the surplus before gains and losses (OBEGAL) for the 11 months to the end of May running at $4.5b compared to a forecast surplus of $2.94b driven mainly by improved business tax returns.

This ‘budget surplus’ is a sick illusion built upon underfunding the needs of the vulnerable and the poor who don’t vote.

When you have 41 000 homeless, 10 000 in prison, a suicide rate that critics claim is 3 times higher than officials acknowledge, when you have 250 000 kids in poverty, 550 000 suffering hardship, entire generations locked out of home ownership, 1600 dying each year from freezing houses, a mental health service that is functionally broken, when you have poverty and inequality gnawing away at our egalitarianism and a social infrastructure underfunded to near collapse and physical infrastructure that has gridlocked – when you have all of that, there is no budget surplus!

 

 

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Yes Martyn

    While we were concentrating on other issues; this Government have been quietly cutting back financial contribution to every department they operate.

    So this sudden announcement of surpluses is more sadly just covering over their continuing policy of austerity.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if they were honest for once instead of covering their insidious belt tightening of social services that are directly affecting every person in NZ currently.

    For just one day wouldn’t it be nice if we heard that government have now reached the point where they are now stopping the austerity?????

    No they wont as the government are being run by the overseas financial lenders namely from Goldman Sachs that in order to retain their a rated lending status they need to keep on pairing back costs to keep borrowing.

    This was what they did to Greece and we are also having this quietly happen to us here, so don’t be fooled by this lying evil administration and swallow that garbage of “surpluses, as they are just robbing from someone else to keep their rating up to an a level par while we all will continue to loose more and more of our country’s assets, and our public services.

    Just yesterday on RNZ it was announced that a briefing paper advised government to sell our own landcorp we all own, so we need to ask who made the briefing paper, you can bet it came from a private agency and tied to goldman sachs.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/country/334499/review-advised-govt-to-sell-landcorp

    Review advised govt to sell Landcorp
    1:11 pm on 5 July 2017

    The government has been advised to sell the large state-owned enterprise Landcorp Farming, in a strategic review released under the Official Information Act.

  2. In very plain language, any fuckwit could run a surplus if they;

    Ceased paying the bills
    Gave up worrying about maintenance on things they own
    If they know they should get insurance but don’t
    If they should go to the dentist because that rotten tooth is hurting, but they don’t
    If they should replace those bald tyres but the they don’t,
    If they steal, commit fraud and live in a fools paradise!

    That’s running a surplus, the National Party way!

    • YES THEY ARE CUTTING BACK ON EVERY AGENCY NOW!@!!

      HERE’S SOME PROOF.

      I JUST CONTACTED THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT THIS WEEK TO FIND THEY ONLY HAVE SKELETON STAFF THERE NOW.

      ONLY ONE MANAGER WAS ON THE ROSTER, WHERE THERE WERE 10 IN 2014 FOR EVERY SEPARATE TRANSPORT SYSTEM.

      THEIR FINANCIAL BUDGET WAS SLASHED YEARS AGO SO NOW THEY HAVE NO STUDIES PRODUCED SINCE 2014.

      WE CANT RELY ON NZTA AS THEY ONLY HANDLE ROAD POLICIES NOT RAIL,NOR. AIR OR SEA TRANSPORT.

      MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT ARE BEING SET-UP BY GOVERNMENT TO SHUT DOWN IT APPEARS, SO THIS GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH SABOTAGE AND DESTRUCTION OF IMPORTANT PUBLIC TRANSPORT AGENCIES.

      WE ARE IN A BAD WAY IN NZ NOW I FEAR FOR OUR FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY.

      NACTIONAL = SABOTEURS & TREASONOUS TRAITORS.

      • Under the National corporate fraud has flourished as is the ability for the fraudsters to hide their offending by easily being able to make other employees redundant who start asking questions.

        Look at the recent fraud by Jo Harrison stealing $725,000 from the ministry of transport, having those making accusations being made redundant within 2 months of their (correct) accusations of senior fraud.

        To compound the basket of concerns: Martin Matthews, the-then CEO at the Transport Ministry who was taken in by Harrison is now the country’s Auditor-General. Hardly re-assuring, given that he has a track record of (a) being taken in by fraudsters, and (b) of handling that debacle in a less than stellar fashion.

        http://werewolf.co.nz/2017/03/gordon-campbell-on-the-transport-ministry-scandal-quad-bikes-and-frankie-cosmos/

        Yep, we have our own swamp!

  3. Not to mention the $90 billion government debt National has racked up on the NZ Inc. credit card. Imagine how much they’d be screaming if Labour had done the same thing instead of responsibly paying off the previous enormous debt National had saddled them with…

    • Quite right,the national debt under National’s so called watch has blown out to an astrological amount and little is ever made of it.Their fiscal management is appalling, how they can announce a surplus is beyond belief.

      • Yes i remember National screaming ” a decade of deficits ” in 2008 after Cullen had left them REAL surpluses and the national debt had been paid down and public services were funded not cut and a plan to deal with G.F.C.

        Labour should be making this horrendous debt level an election issue instead of it being swept under Nationals rug.

        • Yea, Labour should be screaming from the roof tops as to how the National government has managed to amount such a horrendous amount of debt .

    • If you are worried about the countries debt then you should be celebrating the surplus. A few more years of surplus will bring the debt levels down.

      • Hardly. That debt needs repaying one way or the other. “Surplus” doesn’t mean anything, and nor does it offset the interest we are charged.

        Of course we could just take that debt on ourselves through quantitative easing and pay back the overseas financiers. Easy enough to do so, but would take us out of the control of overseas banksters, and set up the synchronised screams by the likes of the NZ Initiative that quantitative easing = hyperinflation.

        That irrational type of thinking doesn’t take into account that a fiscally responsible government can reduce the potential consequence of hyperinflation caused by QE by taxing incomes over $500,000 at 70%. I mean, who needs half a million a year to live in NZ? $170k is more than enough to have a comfortable/privileged lifestyle. $500k is extravagant, so 70% tax on income over $500,001 is hardly going to cause hardship.

        In short, QE is sustainable, as long as the corresponding withdrawal of money from the local economy is done correctly through taxation.

      • The so called surplus is a pin prick in comparison to their accumulated debt and there doesn’t seem to be any intention on the government’s part to retire debt any time soon.
        It’s a bit like National’s approach to super schemes over the years,not interested and just can’t be bothered.

      • When the government is in surplus then the population is in debt and that is not good.

        There’s more to fret about when households are sending up bubbles from the bottom. One redundancy away from disaster. One inadvertent pregnancy away from poverty and shabby genteel.

        The government should not be running surpluses. We, the people, should be. And those in Treasury know it.

        Household debt default is a horror rushing tiptoe to the brink of disaster. One slip and the whole fake wealth fabrication goes overside to sleep with the fishes.

        After that there will be no ‘surpluses’, if politicians want to have anything left to govern. Bail out and devalue. Bankruptcy and economic floundering.

        I can only hope neither National nor Labour oversees that. Both are too hidebound and backward looking to know how to claw their way out.

  4. Surely a surplus is a good thing. It gives each of the political parties extra spending options in the areas you have mentioned. This is better in an election year than National having spent it all on their priorities, and leaving no room for other policy initiatives from other parties.

  5. A ‘Budget Surplus’ is indeed an attempt to give New Zealanders the misleading illusion that all is fine and well in New Zealand. To me “Budget Surpluses’ are much like surveys. Some years ago Auckland Transport conducted a ‘survey’ in our area regarding the bus services. But that ‘survey’ was just another formality to give us Auckland commuters that democracy exists even in Commuter Auckland. In reality the survey, which was two or more years ago, concluded just recently in our area having a reduced bus service. The powers that be in Auckland Transport had already made their decision two years ago of a reduced bus service but either deliberately or they suffered from selective amnesia failed to tell the commuting public of their final decision.
    And so when we are told there is a ‘Budget Surplus’ by a government that has a spend-thrift attitude on mostly Vanity Projects for making it(the government)look good to NZers and anyone who is remotely interested in NZ overseas then we all know it’s an illusion and just a formality in the lead up to the next election.
    The words “Budget Surplus” is just that i.e words. They, the words, do not contain any substance. They will not help the low paid NZers and sure as Hell they will mean diddly squat to anyone living in poverty.
    I am sure we NZ voters have noticed governments that churn out these so-called “surpluses” but in reality they may as well be a mirage that will evaporate once the votes are counted.
    Lets just hope time has run out for the National government and the National Party. The government has demeaned NZ and NZers through arrogance and hatred of all who question them.

  6. Additional to my earlier posting: If there is a ‘surplus’ in NZ then why is not this government giving NZers a liveable wage? Oh right it’s because the Double Dipping MP for Dipton has said NZ cannot afford to give NZers a liveable wage.
    Meanwhile $20billion has been spent on the NZ military.
    Wow Bill English…. you certainly have shown your contempt of NZers through and through. Besides you have called NZers “pretty damned useless…” And those sorts of words will not be forgotten at the voting booths in 2 months time.

  7. Love the graphic. Perfect example of who they stole the surplus from.

    Not only that Bill English had a record 8 deficits in a row.

    Ballooned government debt over 93 billion.

    The National party is the economic and social doomsday party!

    As for climate change, with their fake credits, Palm oil, constant taxpayer money going into corporate welfare for oil speculation at the expense of our environment and reputation.

    Look at France. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/france-petrol-diesel-ban-vehicles-cars-2040-a7826831.html

    “France will ‘ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040’

    France is not the only country which aims to ban combustion-powered cars. The Netherlands and Norway previously said they wanted to get rid of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025 and Germany and India announced similar plans ahead of 2030.

    Mr Hulot also announced plans to end the importation of products such as palm oil and unsustainably grown soya, which contribute to deforestation around the world and particularly in the Amazon forest, South-East Asia and in Congo.

    The former journalist and wildlife TV presenter said deforestation represented 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

    He said it would be “schizophrenic” to encourage industrials and manufacturers to reduce their emissions while accepting that millions of trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, are being chopped down.”

    Contrast that with our The National Party approach to destroy our clean, green, image and just kinda pretend it’s still that! They are environmental criminals with their head in the sand, propelling our country into the Stone Age!

    • Macron is perhaps a French John Key – to be watched very carefully by the French left. At present, he’s riding a populist wave, using big rhetoric to portray himself as a friend to both left and right, but his popularity will decline as his neoliberal policies start having real effects on the working poor and as people come out of their daze. Already there has been an outcry at his speech from the seat of kings in Versailles, an historically inappropriate location. They’re loosening labour laws and attacking social security in order to “stimulate the economy” and get their deficit down, but a strategy of austerity will only increase inequality and instability within France.
      He will do what he can to push measures to tackle climate change onto future administrations, you watch. He has to be seen as doing something at present, in part due to the most significant climate agreement being named after Paris.
      The loss of Britain from the EU increases the influence of France in the collective, but it’s still a shaky and uncertain time for the european union.
      Maybe he will prove me wrong, but I would be very cautious about that one.

  8. I’m wondering how this plays out for Labour and the Greens with their “budget responsibility rules,” which means they must keep spending “within the recent historical range of spending to GDP ratio”.
    For all the feel good rhetoric, if they don’t intend to start some sound extra spending, how will things really change?

  9. Hell! having to look at Bill English’ mug and listen to his bullshit for eternity. Not even the distracting agony of pain to relieve the torture!

  10. “Gnawing away at ‘our’ egalitariansim”? It’s long gone. Now, fast forward to the civil conflict and non-nation state that has emerged…

  11. Our great “surplus” which National brags about comes at such a high cost that I doubt whether most New Zealanders even remotely understand what it is all about.
    It is not about good economic management, it is all about creative accounting and robbing Peter (the 99%) to pay Paul (the 1%).
    The “surplus” is as illusionary as David Copperfield’s tricks.
    The illusion persists because our MSM want us to believe it so their National cronies will win a fourth term.
    P.S. I mean David Copperfield the magician not the Charles Dickens character.

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