International Cat Speculators Since 2006


Idiot posted this idiotic table a few days ago.

“Necessities” “Nice to haves”
  • Tax cuts for the rich
  • Mediaworks bailout
  • New BMWs
  • Ministerial helicopter rides
  • Foreign yacht races
  • Qualified ECE staff
  • Legal aid
  • Hospitals
  • Democracy

Let’s go through it, shall we?

  • Tax cuts for the rich
National actually cut taxes across the board. Of course, it’s very hard to cut taxes without much of the “spend” going to those who pay the most tax in the first place.
It would have been nice for National to have cut tax to the poor. Well, let’s examine that for just a second. A quick check of the IRD Working for Families tax calculator reveals that someone working 30 hours a week with one child and a non-working partner will gain hundreds of dollars a week from the tax system.  That works out to well over ten thousand dollars a year. That is an exceedingly generous payout and one that National has refused to cut back. Yet they receive exactly  zero credit for this generous (and quite unaffordable) promise on the left.
Many of the tax changes were driven by the need for a low company rate (and aligning the personal, company and trust rates to discourage avoidance), something that makes investment (i.e. job creation) by overseas companies attractive. More jobs and companies means more tax. So the intent of cutting the tax rate is ultimately to increase the total amount of revenue gathered.
But regardless, the facts are simple. If you want more of something, you tax it less. If you want to discourage it, you tax it more.
  • Mediaworks bailout
The funny thing is that the country is better off because of this deal, both because one of our largest media companies has not been collapsed and because the government will ultimately end up with more revenue through the deal.
  • New BMWs
Last I checked, when the civil service followed through on a contract of the existing goverment this didn’t count as a “Necessity”. In fact, this story has gained legs not because John Key made sure the deal went through but because he did nothing to prevent it. Political embarrassment? Sure. Indication of government performance? Laughable.
  • Ministerial helicopter rides
In the USA, the head of state has a full time fleet of large aircraft for his personal use.
In New Zealand, our head of state gets flown somewhere to create time in his schedule and the opposition goes crazy.
  • Foreign yacht races
As with the car thing, it’d be super-duper nice if the previous government hadn’t created a deal to hobble the next government, but that’s what happened. If anything, this particular saga should be a reason to keep Labour out of power but maybe that’s just me.
Nice to haves
So now we come to the stuff that we should have that apparently National isn’t supporting.

  • Qualified ECE staff
Well, as I argued here, what National is supporting is the idea that Early Childhood centers in higher income areas shouldn’t be able to hog the limited number of qualified staff.
What National is also doing is trying to bring under control what has become the most expensive area of education. While many may dispute over the value of kindergarten education, we know one thing for sure – it is not as valuable as teaching kids to read, write and do maths.
  • Legal aid
The legal aid budget was $111m 3 years ago. Today, it’s $170m. Trying to bring that under control would seem to be common sense.
  • Hospitals
  • Democracy
Yea, hospitals and democracy. Source for this claim? None. Zero. Zilch. I even did a few google searches on hospital cuts and got pages of hits for things nothing to do with New Zealand.
So to conclude:
We should get rid of this government because they didn’t act like the Labour party, kept their promises and commitments, and tried to bring out-of-control spending under control in various areas. Also, they’ve been the subject of some really whacked out attempts to paint them as evil.
Sad thing is, this government hasn’t been the best. There’s plenty of things to criticise them on. So why does the left chose to highlight things that hold no water?
No wonder their support is at such a low ebb.
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Comments on: "National’s priorities from the eye of the left" (2)

  1. Of course, there are NO cuts in ECE. National has actually INCREASED spending in this area. What has happened is that they no longer fund 100% ECE trained teachers because this has not been shown to be particularly valuable. Instead, they have opened ECE funding up the the play centers and the kohangas, thereby making it far easier for poorer folk to access for free, or a minimal payment.

    This means that some ECE centers have now too many teachers and are overpriced. In time this will mean these teachers will be spread outbto ECE centers that are short of teachers, as you point out.

    It annoys me that Labour keep persisting in this blatant misrepresentation and the media just keep repeating it uncritically.

    • There’s multiple layers of misrepresentation actually.

      Because many of the so-called “unqualified” teachers are in fact people who have many years experience under their belts, while many of those “qualified” have nothing more than a bit of paper.

      What Labour did was effectively tell a whole bunch of teachers that their skills and experience were worthless. Which is blatantly disgusting.

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