A pretty good budget

I despair about the circus leading up to and surrounding yesterday’s budget. Media even investigated the person on the cover photo of the printed budget in a bizarre sideshow. And there were a number of ‘what’s in it for you’ angles, despite lolly scramble budgets largely being very historic,

But for what really mattered, I think that yesterday’s budget was pretty good, delivered by someone who increasingly looks like a pretty good Minister of Finance, Grant Robertson.

A significant boost to mental health related initiatives is long overdue, and very good to see,

Indexing benefits to wages is also a long overdue fix to the erosion of benefit value over the years.

There’s a bunch of other stuff that can be praised or quibbled about, but generally it seems ok to me.

There is always a limit to how much a Government can spend of our money, and there’s a limit to tolerance of how much we are taxed. Robertson and the Government seems to me to have found a fairly good balance. They will never please all of the people all of the time, but I don’t think there’s much to be worried about.

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39 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  31st May 2019

    Media even investigated the person on the cover photo of the printed budget in a bizarre sideshow.

    That was a strange choice. One woman & her daughter. Hardly representative of NZ’s population. And it reportedly turns out they’ve upped stakes & moved to Australia because the cost of living in NZ is too high?

    Reply
    • Yes it was a strange choice of photo. But what have the media achieved by spending so much time and effort making stories out of it?

      Reply
      • David

         /  31st May 2019

        Because its news and its mildly entertaining, if the news was just sober analysis of the budget who would bother.
        Turns out there is little analysis as well but there you go.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  31st May 2019

        I only saw one mention of it, in Stuff I think. I wondered how they found out who she was. As to what has the media achieved by spending so much time making stories of it – it implies she’s given up on this government, I guess. So therefore it creates the kind of shit stir they like to make for clicks?

        Reply
        • RNZ interviewed the woman yesterday on Checkpoint, and there was a separate interview this morning on Morning report.

          Reply
        • David

           /  31st May 2019

          I guess if Ardern went for gimmickry and signalling for their cover they deserve a bit of stick.
          National no doubt had Mum Dad and 2 kids, the Greens would have some sandle wearing soap dodger hugging an owl, NZFirst would have Winston in a pinstripe suit with a cigar standing in a pool of cash.

          Reply
    • Ray

       /  31st May 2019

      I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder.
      Gimmicky name aside it does seem to continue the work of National of lifting the poor and disadvantaged.
      On the other hand if the Minister is found to have had any part on setting the police on the opposition for exposing the failures of his ministry then he is toast. I am really surprised he hasn’t offered his resignation as he he is required under the cabinet rules.

      Individual ministerial responsibility for departmental actions
      3.27 Ministers are accountable to the House for ensuring that the departments for which they are responsible carry out their functions properly and efficiently. On occasion, a Minister may be required to account for the actions of a department when errors are made, even when the Minister had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the actions concerned.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st May 2019

        ‘ National of lifting the poor and disadvantaged.’…..comedy is not your forte…Ray!

        National use tokenism and ‘good intentions’ while they attempt to sell NZ and NZ’ers out.

        They run an ‘open’ economy! 😦

        Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  31st May 2019

        At it’s best a rebadging of Bill’s Social Investment approach, but without pesky things like measurements and targets.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  31st May 2019

          🙂

          The name is a bit of a giveaway, isn’t it ?

          Reply
  2. David

     /  31st May 2019

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/budget/113135224/closing-the-loop-depends-on-delivering-wellbeing

    Crampton puts his finger on a problem oft overlooked by governments wanting to be seen as caring, splurging vast sums which have a habit of being captured by providers and administrators not their clients. English and Bennett put a lot of effort into measurements allowing precious resources to be better directed, I dont see this happening unfortunately with this crowd. I had a tenant who was a provider and they were always worried they would lose funding if they didnt perform…kept them focused on their clients.
    Labour has dropped a lot of measurements and hasnt replaced them, while politically convenient its out of step and poor form.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  31st May 2019

      .The Budget appears to have covered some of the promises they made prior to the election but I wouldn’t put it in the wow category. Anyone know if the claim our overseas aid has doubled in value with this Budget is true?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st May 2019

        No. They just moved aid to the pacific from places like Africa, opened a few new embassies , just like McCully did. As its its the old story ..too common with labour unfortunately..money is allocated to a budget area , but ‘ spending rules’ meant its underspend. ( how many projects can they fund that are worthwhile?)
        Just like what happened with The Student fees promise, thats a $200 underspend over 4 years.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st May 2019

      ‘English and Bennett put a lot of effort into measurements ‘= tokenism.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  31st May 2019

      What a weird choice of graphic. Are those bread rolls? Pies? Boiled lollies?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st May 2019

        $1 coins, The dominion has to cater for a reading age of 10.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  31st May 2019

          Oh. Ok. I tried expanding the image but still couldn’t make out any detail & the colour didn’t look like our gold coins.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  31st May 2019

            Buy the newspaper…Im sure its clearer when you have the front page in your hand.
            I just worked it out , from the context. Dont you ever watch the Chase?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  31st May 2019

              Nope. Fark I hate that damn show. Every freaking night. For how many years is it now?

  3. adamsmith1922

     /  31st May 2019

    Robertson is rated as competent only because so many of his colleagues aren’t. Bill English actually initiated much of the work that underpins this budget, but Robertson and Ardern hype it as their invention. English was a much better Finance Minister than Robertson will ever be.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st May 2019

      sure English was just wonderful…borrowed billions to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.

      Only thing English initiated was to follow the Friedman line…enrich the few at the expense of…many.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  31st May 2019

        English just used to ramble on about an ‘Actuarial basis for welfare’ by another name – which he meant a 16 yr old single mum could cost millions and in theory they could target these people with extra help for buying a house and study – Just like Paula did . In practice they pulled up ALL the ladders that had been put in over decades for teen mums .

        Sometimes English would tell big lies like the analytics could tell them individual welfare problems, which it couldnt , and didnt.

        Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  31st May 2019

    ‘A pretty good budget’

    Well i guess it depends which side of the fence you sit on ?

    I’d give it 9/10 for addressing the ‘well being’ issues…. rather than just ‘lolly scrabbling’ to the 50.1% who Natl managed to fool for 9 looong years :/

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  31st May 2019

    It’s a budget that largely addresses distribution at the expense of productivity. So no surprise from a Labour Government. The only sops to productivity are handouts to favoured businesses rather than cutting obstacles and these will almost certainly have negative outcomes if competently assessed.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st May 2019

      productivity was stagnant for the 5 years before the Col took office.

      Where was any initiative from 9 years of Nats running things?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st May 2019

        Yet another squirrel.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st May 2019

          you short of…nuts?

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  31st May 2019

            tautoko Blzr 😀 😀

            suddenly Natl are playing the ‘we now care, about all those we dumped on.. in Govt.’ card 😦

            Totally NO credibility.. BUT; ‘you cant fool all the people all the time’ ! 😀

            Reply
  6. Gerrit

     /  31st May 2019

    Scary part of the budget is the expenditure is based on 2.5% compounding growth. Yet nothing in the budget is is set aside to aid that happening.

    So yes, the budget is short of nuts for blazing squirrels.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st May 2019

      don’t be scared….there’s always the Nats option…borrow billions for later generations to..repay.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  31st May 2019

        OR leave the country in the crap & then critisize the incoming Govt. for their efforts to sort it all out:

        Housing, Education, Mental Health, Welfare, overcrowded prisons, failed drug policies.. etc. etc. etc.

        just a reminder; Natl claimed to be the ‘great economic managers’.. they only managed 1 or maybe 2 surplus’ in 9 loooong years. The Clark Govt. did 9 straight & this Govt. are also looking to do likewise !

        All the rhetoric of Natl, just doesnt stack up. IF you actually look at it, rather than constantly trying to condemn the Commie/Socialists & ‘loony left’ for actually achieving it 🙂
        …. go figure folks…… :/ 😀

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  31st May 2019

          btw: I once got into a heated argument with someone.. who refused to believe I never have, nor ever will vote Natl.

          I closed by saying.. “I’d rather eat a pile of steaming dog turd….” 😀 :/

          Reply
  7. Corky

     /  31st May 2019

    This budget was called the ‘Well Being Budget.” It was aimed at addressing a variety of social ills afflicting our nation.

    But hold on, I doubt immigrant communities figure prominently in social dysfunction statistics.

    As a GENERAL rule immigrant families are nuclear, and not fractured like ours. They work or create work – welfare dependency isn’t part of their life style. Education is prized and expected. Children start working from an early age. Mum and dad aren’t on the piss or herb at the weekends, they spend time with their children. Grandparents are a big part of family life.

    They don’t waste time angsting on gayness, gender reassignment, global warming and recycling. They aren’t interested in doing hakas at the drop of a hat. They don’t expect the government to spend $7 million teaching their kids to paint.

    So why aren’t we taking advice from immigrant communities as to how we could solve our social problems?

    The answer is liberalism doesn’t work that way. We dull our instincts as to what is common sense, and what’s outright stupidity. We believe all people should be treated equally ( talent wise) But most of all, our dysfunction creates jobs. What would we do without it?

    Reply

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