Labour-Green ‘budget rules’

Labour and Greens, headed by Jamews Shaw and Grant Robertson, have launched a joint attempt to present themselves as economically responsible.

Liam Dann at NZH has Big Read: Can these politicians be trusted with the economy?

They aren’t revealing tax policy detail or spending plans, so what exactly have Labour and the Green Party cooked up with the Budget Responsibility Rules they’re signing up to today?

The parties have formally committed to staying in surplus, paying down debt and keeping core crown spending at about 30 per cent of GDP.

“It’s an important signal,” says Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson.

“We understand that voters in September are looking for parties that are responsible with the finances but will also address the big issues around housing and health and education.”

The rules aren’t specific on policy – for example, the statement on tax is pragmatic and vague enough to allow the Greens to keep campaigning on a carbon tax.

But they do represent a statement of intent, one which is politically notable for the way it has been handled, in tandem by the respective party machines.

The message is clear, simple and directed at business and the financially comfortable middle classes who have been stubbornly loyal to National for the past nine years: vote for us and we promise won’t ruin the economy.

As the headline suggests, it is a big and detailed read.

Not addressed is an obvious difference between Labour and the Greens – Andrew Little has made it clear Labour won’t increase tax (but with some caveats) while Greens have a big shopping list.

Greens announced through Facebook:

We’ve created new budget rules with the New Zealand Labour Party to help us build a sustainable and stable future for everyone.

This links to:

Budget Responsibility Rules

The Budget Responsibility Rules will allow us to govern responsibly.

Economic sustainability goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability. Both are about living within our means and leaving the world better than we found it.

Our Budget Responsibility Rules show that the Green Party and the Labour Party will manage the economy responsibly while making the changes people know are needed, like lifting kids out of poverty, cleaning up our rivers, solving the housing crisis, and tackling climate change.

  • Deliver sustainable surpluses
  • Reduce debt
  • Prioritise long-term investments
  • Be careful with expenditure
  • Build a fairer tax system

We will judge the success of our policies by improvements in the living standards of New Zealanders, improvements in key environmental indicators, and improvements in the economy.

We will establish a body independent of Ministers of the Crown who will be responsible for determining if these rules are being met. The body will also have oversight of government economic and fiscal forecasts, shall provide an independent assessment of government forecasts to the public, and will cost policies of opposition parties.

For New Zealanders to have enduring quality of life, prosperity, and security, governments need to manage revenue and spending decisions carefully. Good fiscal management is a core part of what it means to be a good government.

The Budget Responsibility Rules enable us to govern responsibly and transparently with Labour, while we invest in our priorities.

Read the full Budget Responsibility Rules here.

 

 

Leave a comment

26 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  24th March 2017

    A- ‘Economic sustainability goes hand in hand with environmental sustainability.’

    B- Deliver sustainable surpluses
    Reduce debt
    Prioritise long-term investments
    Be careful with expenditure
    Build a fairer tax system

    C – The message is clear, simple and directed at business and the financially comfortable middle classes who have been stubbornly loyal to National for the past nine years: vote for us and we promise won’t ruin the economy.

    So lets do the maths:

    A + B = a negative wipe-out.

    C- A t B= 0

    If Billy English can get his maths right at budget time he can take these Einstein’s out big time.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  24th March 2017

      ‘vote for us and we promise won’t ruin the economy’…….all very well,but do you actually have any plans for what you WILL DO…to make NZ a better place.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  24th March 2017

        You are being pratish…I left the spelling mistake in from the copy, lol. Typical lefty mentality.
        Now to answer your question, I’m presuming that’s what you are asking.
        YES, VOTE NATIONAL!!

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  24th March 2017

          surely even you a relatively simple soul can understand a vague promise about a macro topic is not compelling.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  24th March 2017

            Yes, I’m a simple soul. Wouldn’t have a clue what you are talking about.

            Reply
        • Zedd

           /  24th March 2017

          @corky
          you missed the last word of your rant.. ‘OUT!’ 😀

          Reply
  2. Pete Kane

     /  24th March 2017

    And the Rt Hon WRP?

    Reply
    • Griff

       /  24th March 2017

      WRP
      Will go with Labour or National .
      Will not go with the Greens .

      Will not have any leverage with any other party because he is a toxic pill and every one knows it.

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  24th March 2017

        If he goes with Labour he goes with the Greens. In any case he’s a self serving politician, he will go where he gets the most baubles.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  24th March 2017

          He needs to come home to National for a comfortable political death given his age.
          National will give him the best palliative care going.

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  24th March 2017

    What is the definition of “core Crown spending”?

    Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  24th March 2017

    Seems like this is a good idea from the Greens/Labour, but definitions are important like Alan says. What I think the Greens are saying and what they believe they are saying will be different things. I’ll have to read the document.

    Reply
    • artcroft

       /  24th March 2017

      First paragraph relating to budgeting states

      “Our surpluses will exist once our policy objectives have
      been met”

      I guess once climate change and poverty have been taken care off, we’ll be back in to surplus. So no more surpluses in my life time I guess.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  24th March 2017

        But they’ll keep crown spending at 30% of GDP. A statement which doesn’t leave much wriggle room. So they can’t go off to bribe beneficiaries with huge benefit increases.

        Reply
  5. Andrew

     /  24th March 2017

    “The parties have formally committed to staying in surplus, paying down debt”

    What a crock of s**t. No government can commit to staying in surplus without implementing massive austerity measures in times of recession.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  24th March 2017

      National promised surpluses and never…delivered.They always deliver…excuses…howver.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  24th March 2017

        The election will put that perception to the test…will heaps of people think like you?
        Stay tuned, folks.

        Reply
      • John Schmidt

         /  24th March 2017

        Government is in surplus. Private sector debt is another matter.

        Reply
      • Andrew

         /  24th March 2017

        We are in surplus, what on earth are you talking about?

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  24th March 2017

      wheres the recession?Is National leading us into one?You may be …right..in fact,I’m sure you’re…right!

      Reply
      • Andrew

         /  24th March 2017

        You mean like the one that Labour put us into in 2007 and early 2008? There will be another recession, you can be assured of that, it will be another GFC type event. Don’t know when, but there will be.

        Reply
  6. Nelly Smickers

     /  24th March 2017

    TBH I’m seriously thinking about *blocking* Jules…everything she tweets me is so darn negative 😕

    Reply
    • Oh Nelly … and so darned TRUE! But wait … the price was $1.7B last I heard …

      It’s a one-off though … “Alice was designed specifically for the size and conditions at Waterview and she isn’t suitable for any other projects in New Zealand. Her parts are being sold back to the German manufacturer.”

      I bet we did really well on that deal …!?

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  24th March 2017

        Yup – I’m with you on that one PartiZ…..i bet we showed *Jerry* a thing or two XD

        Reply
  7. “The parties have formally committed to staying in surplus, paying down debt and keeping core crown spending at about 30 per cent of GDP.”

    Hmm but they wont raise taxes….. yeah, right.

    Reply

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