St. Steven and the Holy Grail of Fiscal Responsibility





National’s Steven Joyce is up to his old tricks, pontificating and lecturing the new Coalition government on “fiscal correctness”

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Which called for this timely reminder to the former Minister of Finance…


from: Frank Macskasy <>
to: NZ Herald <>
date: 22 November 2017
subject: Letter to the editor


The editor
NZ Herald


Former Finance Minister, Steven Joyce, rails against the Coalition government’s plans to introduce a regional fuel tax for Auckland, claiming;

“Because if they controlled their costs properly they’d be able to have the sort of money, the $150 million a year that a regional fuel tax would generate, they’d have that in surplus if they just ran the council properly.

… ‘hey get your costs under control’.” (Radio NZ: “Auckland Council could avoid fuel tax – National Party”)

This is the same minister whose previous government racked up $70 billion in debt during their nine years term – exacerbated by two unaffordable tax cuts in 2009 and 2010, and increasing debt by $2 billion each year. (Scoop media:  “Govt’s 2010 tax cuts costing $2 billion and counting”) In effect, National borrowed money – up to $450 million per week in 2009 – from offshore to put into the pockets of mostly top income earners.

Which made a mockery of John Key’s claim in August 2008 that National’s planned tax-cuts would be “hermetically sealed” from the rest of National massive borrowing plans. (NZ Herald: “Nats to borrow for other spending – but not tax cuts”)

Let’s hope the Auckland Council doesn’t follow National’s appalling record of “controlling their costs properly”. It would bankrupt the city.

-Frank Macskasy

[address and phone number supplied]


Each time the Nats open their mouths to carp about the Coalition’s reforms, it is a delight to remind them of their own pitiful track record over the last nine years. And for Steven Joyce, I offer his very own:






It appears that Mr Joyce has taken offence at something I’ve said. The poor fragile flower has blocked me from his Twitter account;




It is highly reassuring to know that  I have been noticed by those in high office. And amusing to realise just how incredibly thin-skinned they are.

My work continues.





Radio NZ:  Auckland Council could avoid fuel tax – National Party

Scoop media:  Govt’s 2010 tax cuts costing $2 billion and counting

ODT:  Government now borrowing $450 million a week – claim

NZ Herald:  Nats to borrow for other spending – but not tax cuts

Twitter:  @stevenljoyce

Other blogs

Werewolf: The Myth of Steven Joyce

Previous related blogposts

Joyce, TPPA, and wine exports

Key & Joyce – competing with Paula Bennett for Hypocrites of the Year?

Steven Joyce – Hypocrite of the Week

Letter to the Editor – Steven Joyce, Hypocrite of the Year

Steven Joyce rails against low mortgage interest rates; claims higher interest rates “beneficial”

Dollars and sense – Joyce’s hypocrisy






= fs =


  1. Oh Frank that was so delightful mate,

    Beginning with SS Joyce’s herald’s trumpeting out of there arses, just like the buffoon SS Joyce does every day himself.

    Best article for ages there.

    Talking about SS Joyce claiming that Auckland should be “controlling their costs properly” we found he in 2011 forced Kiwi rail to rob all HB/ Gisborne rail maintenance funding and re-direct that funding to Auckland commuter rail, and that was what caused the Gisborne rail washouts, that now is estimated to cast four million to fix!!!!!

    SS Joyce is a wrecker of infrastructure and should be arrested for destroying “public assets wilfully endangering the communities.”

    he should also be charges with crimes against the people.

    No wonder why Winston ‘the hero of our rail’ hates SS Joyce so much now.

    KiwiRail admits lack of maintenance led to wash-out
    Thursday, 14 February 2013, 1:35 pm
    Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party
    Phil Twyford
    Transport Spokesperson
    14 February 2013
    KiwiRail admits lack of maintenance led to wash-out
    KiwiRail has admitted that its failure to maintain old and damaged culverts was behind the wash out that closed the Gisborne-Napier line, while cuts to its maintenance budget are putting the network at further risk, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
    “Across the country KiwiRail missed its target of replacing 71 old culverts last year, and only replaced 49. This is cause for alarm.
    “The Gisborne-Napier wash-out shows what happens when essential maintenance work is not carried out.
    “KiwiRail cut and deferred $200 million of network maintenance last year. At the very time it needs to be upgrading its network and improving efficiency, the Government’s unrealistic ‘Turn Around Plan’ is putting enormous stress on the organisation and forcing it to cut maintenance.
    “KiwiRail has told Parliament’s transport committee it has 12,197 rail line culverts around the country and has done a risk assessment identifying 53 high priority culverts but ‘…in spite of every effort to mitigate risk, some incidents of wash out may still occur…’
    “National’s plan for rail is not workable. KiwiRail has missed its financial targets for two of the last three years. It is being forced to make cuts that are a false economy.
    “At a time when the Government is wasting billions of dollars on its ‘motorways of madness’, it makes no sense to cripple the national rail line.”

    • CG, if you liked that, get a load of what I have coming…

      I thought the demise of the Nat guvmint would reduce topics to write about. Oh, how wrong, wrong, wrong, I was. I am going to have so much fun in the following days, months, years to come…

      • Frnk, I cant wait mate, Got up this AM hheard the slicky smooth vioce of Kim Hill on RNZ and swa your article and this is heaven so kee goinng mate, some national Party folks may actually then hear the real truth as to what SS Joyce has been ruining over the last nine years.

        Over on TS a blogger has a good bit on how SS Joyce has been warned by treasury that the over $100 Billion he has allowed the bebt to ballon out to will come back as a real hole to really bury us all.

        Labour/NZF should be investigating this now and letting the public know just how bad Joyce has loaded us with all this debt for generations now.

        No wonder he is harking on about “fiscal responsiblity” as he has caused usall to swallow his actions now so he needs to be put in the dock for money mis-management.

  2. Frank, have you ever thought about starting your own show on community web based (You Tube) streaming services?

    I like John Oliver and his show, on HBO, but whatever he does, it is also freely available via You Tube.

    Others use You Tube to spread their ideas and videos, it could be very appealing to some social media users, to have a show developed and streamed, that presents this kind of stuff in perhaps a slightly humorous or sarcastic way.

  3. Your heart is in the right place but the stick you are using to beat Joyce with is a neoliberal one. Public debt is low in Nz. We cannot ever default on it even if it were high. When faced with a demand shock like an earthquake or a gfc deficit spending like tax cuts is the right, progressive, Keynesian thing to do. What would you have prefered? A severe recession? The neoliberal stick can equally be used on a labour government when a downturn occurs. Go and do some reading about why balanced budgets tend to be a bad idea. Mmt my friends, it is the way forward.

  4. And for what it’s worth, right now the Nz economy needs more fiscal stimulus and spending on public services. Raising the government debt a bit will have zilch effects on interest rates and the offshore borrowing you talk about is in Nz dollars anyway. How can the government ever run out of those? Investors love our bonds. It’s a lovely risk free return. Don’t constrain the options of our new coalition by banging on about the need to fiscal prudence. Even the imf these days is calling for more fiscal stimulus on a global level.

  5. Frank, love your work – stick it to them!

    But something’s lacking – your Foot in the Mouth award should have, in brackets something like this under the rationale:

    (and being blithely unaware of his own hypocrisy)

  6. I have been smiling non-stop since that lovely day in October. How gaseous is the inadequate oppositional wind that still can’t recognise they lost, because they were so ______ (fill your own favourite word in here) inept?, incapable?, corrupt?, immoral?, unhinged????? Carry on Frankly!

  7. Hypocrisy has always been part and parcel of the National Party, a fact that seemingly flies far over the heads of their supporters… that said, I hold that people generally SOLELY vote in their own self-interest so maybe it’s sadly pretty much what you’d expect. There was nothing surprising in their near militant “opposition” of Labour – it’s exactly what you’d expect from them. Hopefully Labour holds themselves to higher standards (the bar is VERY low), but we’ll see.

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