Dollars and sense – Joyce’s hypocrisy

By   /   November 1, 2017  /   17 Comments

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You’d think that after the humiliation of being dumped from government, that National’s ex-Ministers would keep a relatively low profile in the next few months.

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You’d think that after the humiliation of being dumped from government, that National’s ex-Ministers would keep a relatively low profile in the next few months.

You’d think that National’s former ministers and backbenchers would be familiarising themselves with their newly-appointed roles as impotent  Opposition MPs.

You’d think that National’s members of parliament would be nursing massive, Jupiter-sized hang-overs after drowning their collective sorrows at being turfed out of office by the ungrateful peasantry.

Not so.

Former Economic “Development” Minister in the Former National Government, Steven Joyce, has been busying himself  critiquing the recently-elected, newly-sworn-in, Labour-Green-NZF coalition.

Even before the dust settled on the recent election; the subsequent swearing-in ceremony at the Governor-General’s residence on 26 October, and only three days since the new government ministers have barely moved into their new offices, Joyce has been making mischief like a spoiled brat.

On 30 October, Joyce demanded;

“Mr Robertson has done two long-form interviews over this weekend and yet New Zealanders are still none the wiser about the cost of the coalition’s programme and the impact on their back pockets.”

He added,

“They also have a right to know whether the new Government’s spending plans in actual dollars will match the cast-iron commitments Labour repeatedly made before the election.”

Now bear in mind that this is the same National (ex-)government that, in 2008, campaigned on tax-cuts despite the Global Financial crisis already impacting on New Zealand’s economy that year.

On 6 October 2008, Key was only too happy to dangle the tax-cuts carrot in front of a gullible electorate, to win power;

John Key has defended his party’s planned program of tax cuts, after Treasury numbers released today showed the economic outlook has deteriorated badly since the May budget. The numbers have seen Treasury reducing its revenue forecasts and increasing its predictions of costs such as benefits. Cash deficits – the bottom line after all infrastructure funding and payments to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund are made – is predicted to blow out from around $3 billion a year to around $6 billion a year.

The rest is history. National won the 2008 election. Tax-cuts were enacted in April 2009 and October 2010.

All that despite a massive budget blow-out deficit of $15.4 billion by March 2009;

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The tax cuts were (and still are!) costing us around $2 billion per year, according to figures obtained by the Green Party from the Parliamentary Library.

New information prepared for the Green Party by the Parliamentary Library show that the estimated lost tax revenues from National’s 2010 tax cut package are between $1.6-$2.2 billion. The lost revenue calculation includes company and personal income tax revenues offset by increases in GST.

“The National Government said that their signature 2010 income tax cut package would be ‘fiscally neutral’ — paid for increased revenues from raising GST. That hasn’t happened. The net cost for tax cuts has been about $2 billion,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“Borrowing $2 billion in 18 months to fund upper-income tax cuts is fiscally irresponsible.

“National’s poor economic decisions have led to record levels of government debt and borrowing.

“They have also broken a promise to the electorate when they said their tax cut package was going to be fiscally neutral.”

Whilst it can be justifiably argued that New Zealand’s debt increased because of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and two Christchurch earthquakes – both of which were out of National’s control – the loss of revenue through two unaffordable tax cuts in ’09 and ’10 were of it’s own making.

Against this backdrop of gross fiscal irresponsibility, Steven Joyce has  pontificated that “New Zealanders are still none the wiser about the cost of the coalition’s programme and the impact on their back pockets“.

It could also be argued that “most New Zealanders are still none the wiser about the cost of National’s tax-cuts and the impact on their social services“.

Steven Joyce lecturing the incoming coalition government on fiscal integrity and transparency would be like Robert Mugabe advising the U.N. on human rights.

Or like Steven Joyce telling the “truth” about a non-existent $11.7 billion “hole”.

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Postscript – A letter to the Editor

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz>
date: 31 October 2017
subject:Letter to the editor

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The editor
Dominion Post

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Opposition MP, Steven Joyce, has been busying himself attacking the recently elected Labour-Green-NZ First Coalition government.

Despite barely moving into their new offices on 27 October, three days later Joyce was complaining;

“…New Zealanders are still none the wiser about the cost of the coalition’s programme and the impact on their back pockets. They also have a right to know whether the new Government’s spending plans in actual dollars will match the cast-iron commitments Labour repeatedly made before the election.”

Mr Joyce should settle down and take a deep breath. The coalition government has only been sworn in since 26 October.

The new government’s policies will be better costed than National’s unaffordable tax-cuts of 2009 and 2010. Those tax-cuts cost this country $2 billion p.a. according to the Parliamentary Library.

John Key happily over-looked NZ’s growing budget deficit, as reported on 6 October 2008;

John Key has defended his party’s planned program of tax cuts, after Treasury numbers released today showed the economic outlook has deteriorated badly since the May budget. The numbers have seen Treasury reducing its revenue forecasts and increasing its predictions of costs such as benefits. Cash deficits … is predicted to blow out from around $3 billion a year to around $6 billion a year.

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-Frank Macskasy

 

 

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References

Fairfax media: Jacinda Ardern’s new government sworn in

Radio NZ:  550 staff move office at Parliament this weekend

NZCity:  Ardern won’t budget on coalition costs

Mediaworks:  Spending plans ‘totally affordable’ – Jacinda Ardern

NZ Herald:  Recession confirmed – GDP falls

NZ Herald: Key – $30b deficit won’t stop Nats tax cuts?

Interest.co.nz:  Budget deficit worse than forecast – debt blows out by NZ$15.4 bln

Infonews:  Government’s 2010 tax cuts costing $2 billion and counting

Fairfax media:  Which side of the fiscal hole debate are experts standing on?

Additional

Frankly Speaking: Time-line

NZ Herald:  National and Labour’s nine years in charge – what the data shows

NZ Treasury: Debt

Previous related blogposts

“Less Debt and Lower Interest Rates” – Really?

Solid Energy and LandCorp – debt and doom, courtesy of a “fiscally responsible” National Govt

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (wha)

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (whitu)

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= fs =

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17 Comments

  1. Observer Tokoroa says:

    Steven Joyce is Bent

    Everything the man touches comes from his Ass – and returns to his Ass. He is the perfect recycler.

    He is a huge embarrassment to the disillusioned ratbags known as National.

    However, the equally confused RNZ interviewers whose names end in “er” (espiner, soper, etc) always go to the Joyce disaster for further hogwash and pomposity.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      100% OT, classically said.

      My wife got a letter from Sleeze-ball Joyce asking her for money claiming she was a Nationall party Member and supporter.

      She is as mad as hell & ready to sue him for false assertions as she has never voted for national in her life so he needs to be checked into a Mental institute.

      Ha ha Steven Joyce wants a donation!!!!!!!!

      After he lied to our community he can take a hike he tried to destroy our rail the creep.

      From: Steven Joyce [mailto:hq@national.org.nz]
      Sent: Tuesday, 31 October 2017 2:03 PM
      To: —————-
      Subject: Fighting fund

      —————,
      As we prepare to return to the new Parliament next week, National’s 56 MPs will make up the largest opposition in New Zealand’s history. We will be working hard to hold the new government to account, and ensure they don’t squander the progress that New Zealanders have worked so hard to achieve.

      Donate to our Fighting Fund today.
      Labour and its coalition partners are planning a huge number of policy changes, and there are very few details available. However it is clear that many of them would take New Zealand backwards from our strong economic position which is currently the envy of much of the western world.
      They also haven’t been upfront on the costs for their coalition agreements – these are the bills that hardworking taxpayers, like you, will have to cover out of your collective back pockets.
      In the last week the coalition has also announced a Regional Fuel Tax, a potential Sugar Tax, removing standards and accountability in our schools, and scrapping the tax threshold changes due from April 1 in our Family Incomes Package.
      The new government is already bloated, with an executive of 31 Ministers and Undersecretaries.
      Hard-working New Zealanders can’t afford this coalition Government.
      We’ve heard from thousands of New Zealanders like you over the last few weeks, wanting to know how you can help.

      So today we’re launching our Fighting Fund – chip in $15, $25, $50 or whatever you can and it’ll help us as we begin taking on this Labour-Greens-NZ First political experiment. We need you with us.
      Donate
      National is the only party with the policies to deliver a strong and stable economy that really works for New Zealanders. We are confident and optimistic about the future our country. Let’s not let Labour take us backwards.
      Thanks,
      Steven
      ________________________________________

      This email was sent to clean.air@xtra.co.nz. We believe that email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with our members & supporters, but you can click here if you would like to unsubscribe from these messages.

      If you’re not interested in continuing to receive email updates, there are other ways to stay connected. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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  2. Historian Pete says:

    Why we are hearing from Steven Joyce is that he is positioning himself for the inevitable rolling of turnip -farmer look-a-like Bill English. Joyce operates from the song sheet of Hitlers Propaganda minister Joseph Goebels . The guiding principal is to tell the “Big Lie”, which a gullible public imagines no one would say unless it was true.ie. an $11,500,000 shortfall in the coalition budget.Without a doubt Joyce is the most odious of the National Party line-up , although there are a few other players that will necessitate a photo finish !

  3. Michelle says:

    Bloody hypocrite Joyce is after seeing his government extravagant spending how much was spent on changes to the CYFS to give it that stupid name (vulnerable childrens) and don’t forget how many millions went to pay consultants. And the Waikato DHB 17 million wasted on a virtual health rubbish project and then we have the 25 million on the flag that got flagged, and where is our trade deal with the 11.5 million on the Saudi sheep farm setup, and them there is money Pulla redstock got for discrediting top public servants and the list goes on and on so Joy boy has a bloody cheek. And who is going to fix their big mess again?

  4. WILD KATIPO says:

    Dildo Joyce.

    The ‘Minister for Everything’ .

    Mr ‘ Fix It ‘.

    Well he didn’t fix the Northland by election , he didn’t fix the promised 10 bridges, he didn’t fix the Roskill by election and he didn’t fix the general election ,… did he.

    And he didn’t fix his ‘ hole’ problem , nor his ‘ pretty legal ‘ problem.

    What he did fix was other peoples careers demise through subterfuge , ie John Campbell , media bias towards his party .

    All in all ? , – a rather large political trougher at the tax payers expense. And he can squawk as loud as he likes from the opposition benches , he will be gone when National loses the next election. The man is fickle.

  5. cs says:

    As much as I am a stern critic of National, to be honest, at a time of recession it makes good Keynesian sense to have a tax cut to sure up demand and prevent a depression.

    Secondly, I think the progressive left needs to stop worrying about public debt. It is just a number and we can never default on it. Did the sky fall because National increased our public debt a bit? Did the bond vigilantes swoop down and demand higher yields on our bonds? Did it massively crowd out private investment raising interest rates to extortionate levels? Did the NZ government go bankrupt? Labour may well want to increase debt a bit – by arguing that it is massively irresponsible shoots yourself in the foot and is a bit like an own goal cause it will constrain us from increasing government spending in the future with our own anti-debt rhetoric.

    I encourage people to go an read about MMT and what public debt actually is – bonds – and how it doesn’t do a lot of the things claimed – crowd out, raise interest rates, cause defaults in sovereign currency issuing governments etc.

    Finally, sovereign currency issuing governments don’t need to tax to spend. That’s how they artificially constrain themselves these days I agree and how they redistribute access to real resources between different actors in the economy but they don’t need to. Nor do they need to borrow to spend. With that counterintuitive thought I leave you to go and read more on MMT.

    The debate over government debt is self-defeating for the Left. Stop going on about it.

  6. roy cartland says:

    The first, and indeed only, line of any Minister on this should be “why are we still listening to Steven Joyce? He gave up his credibility during the election and can be ignored”.

    • Observer Tokoroa says:

      Winston, Shaw and Adern should never ever respond to the bent Joyce or the demented English. For they are Liars.

      Also they corrupted the Election by offering massive bribes to the wealthy.

      In fact, once the first 100 days have passed into Legislation, Commissions of Enquiry should be initiated into the modus operandi of National’s nine wasteful, biased and botched years.

      A purge of media should take place simultaneously. So that the media brain washers can be thrown down the national drain forever.

      The worst government in New Zealand history.

  7. Samwise says:

    Keep scrutinising them, frank. TheNats have had their chance and blew it big time. For Joyce to be whinging now is a sick joke.

  8. Louis says:

    You’re a real journalist Frank, an excellent one in fact, why are you not on mainstream news as well?

    • Thanks, Louis. Why am I not on mainstream news as well? Hmmm, I guess no one’s ever asked me…

      Well, I may not get paid to do this, but as a ‘labour of love’, it’s hard to beat!

  9. Jake says:

    Very funny watching Joyce, Tolley, English doing their best to keep their positions in National. They are gone burgers. Just sit back and wait…

  10. Michael says:

    At the end of the day, Joyce is talking from a position of experience. If anyone can see a deficit in Labour’s spending, it is Joyce. He was in Government for nine years and so I think people quickly forget that he did a pretty good job. Rather than complain, perhaps the left wing media should stop and listen to Joyce. I’m sure that in time they will find out he was right all along.

    As Mike Hosking recently said, Labour, NZ First and the Greens, by the very nature of their borrow and spend ideologies, do not know about fiscal discipline.

    • richarquis says:

      The left wing media? There is no such thing. A few blogs are not the equivalent of the national media. And then quoting Hosking while criticising the left over ideologies in a single sentence? He’s the biggest ideologue of the lot.

      What a completely absurd post you make, completely unaware of the depths of its irony.

    • Strypey says:

      Michael has provided us with a good example of what Joyce is trying to achieve, if you repeat a set of lies often enough, as if you really believe them, some 44% of kiwis will eventually agree with you. You will know these poor, brainwashed saps because their only argument in favour of the lies is that they are self-evident (from being repeated so much).

  11. Marc says:

    Nothing else was to be expected, the Nats will pretty much have the same team, the same spin and rely on their support base, which is admittedly somewhat solid.

    They have wealthy donors, have much of business behind them, they have the powers that be behind them, and they are fitting in with the neoliberal global narrative and agenda.

    If anybody would expect a substantial change of affairs under Jacinda and Winston, they will be badly disappointed.

    The main problem is, the Nats have their mostly selfish voter base, wanting much of the same they got the last nine years, the Labour and NZ First supporters are not that well off, some are poor, or lower middle class, a few are just urban liberals wanting a ‘fairer’ form of capitalism, and none of those people will march in the streets, will unionise and therefore build a formidable support base, that would be a counter weight to the selfish interest of the powerful business lobby, its supporters, hangers ons and benefactors.

    Only if Labour, Greens and NZ First would have a solid, determined, outspoken voter and support base, that is organised, that will stand up and fight, will they prevail and achieve some needed changes.

    Otherwise we will bet a few small treats, but much window-dressing and nice talk, a few tweaks to the status quo, but not much more, same as under Auntie Helen.

  12. Afewknowthetruth says:

    This is where it starts to get REALLY interesting:

    ‘Latest QV figures show average housing values in Auckland and Christchurch are below where they were 12 months ago’

    https://www.interest.co.nz/property/90660/latest-qv-figures-show-average-housing-values-auckland-and-christchurch-are-below

    because the National Ponzi schemes were predicated on ever-rising house prices. And when house prices fall in NZ’s two biggest cities, roughly half the national population could get caught in the kind of negative spiral that has characterized Japan since the early 1990s.

    Needless to say, local government will not cut its spending (or the ludicrously high salaries paid to the idiots that are employed in local government) so roughly half the nation’s ratepayers face the prospect of ever-increasing rates for properties that are falling in value. Thanks a lot National and the morons that kept them in power for so long.


 
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