There is disturbing activity taking place on National’s website. The Party is self-censoring itself and quietly, without fuss, removing certain embarrassing information from it’s website.
In the last few weeks, this blogger has been referencing quotes from Dear Leader Key on various issues.
One such quote was from John Key, who admitted that Labour left the country in a positive economic state to weather the oncoming 2007/08 Global Financial crisis;
“The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.”
The original URL – http://www.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx – no longer links to the original page on National’s website, and instead automatically refers the User to a general page on the website;
An alternative URL – http://old.national.org.nz/mixed-ownership.aspx – leads to a page on the National website that is mostly blank;
An empty page signifying empty promises? Appropriate.
Whilst this blogger has no screen-shot captured from the original article, entitled “Mixed Ownership”, Google’s webcache has retained a copy of the deleted page;
Selling shares in five companies so we can invest in areas of need.
Responsibly managing the Government’s finances is one of National’s four priorities for this term in office.
We plan to offer minority shares in four energy companies and Air New Zealand to New Zealander investors, while retaining at least 51 per cent Government ownership. This will help ensure the Government can spend money in areas of need – such as upgrading our hospitals and schools – without loading more debt on to our economy.
What is the Government’s share offer?
We’re going to change the ownership structure of five companies over the next three to five years, by offering shares to Kiwi investors.
This ownership structure is called mixed ownership, and we’re going to apply it to:
- Mighty River Power
– Meridian Energy
– Genesis Energy
– Solid Energy
– Air New Zealand, which is already successfully operating under mixed ownership.
The Government will maintain majority control of each company – at least 51 per cent – and New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue for the remaining shares. In fact, we’ve made it law that no shareholder other than the Government can own more than 10 per cent of each company.
We expect selling minority stakes in the five companies will return between $5 billion and $7 billion to the Government. In addition, the Government will continue to receive dividends on at least 51 per cent of each company.
This will broaden the pool of investments for New Zealand savers and deepen capital markets, helping Kiwi companies access the funds they need to grow.
Listing on the stock exchange will also provide stronger commercial discipline, transparency, and greater external oversight for these companies. And it will give each company access to an alternative pool of capital for growth, other than the Government.
Mixed ownership is a win-win for New Zealanders and for the companies involved. Our decision not to pursue “shares plus” provides certainty to investors about the future of the share programme.
New Zealanders will be at the front of the queue
We’ve always said that Kiwis will be at the front of the queue for shares in each company. The Government will make buying shares easier for New Zealanders, while encouraging long-term share ownership.
To find out more about how we will achieve this, visit: www.governmentshareoffers.govt.nz
Why partial share sales are important
Government assets are forecast to grow over the next four years, from $244 billion to $258 billion. By selling less than 3 per cent of the Government’s total assets, we can inject between $5 billion and $7 billion into priority assets like schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure New Zealanders need. And we’ll be able to do this without loading more debt on to our economy.
Selling shares in these companies is not about reducing assets, it’s about finding a solution to help pay for their growth in coming years, while getting on top of debt.
We’ve established the Future Investment Fund, which will allow us to invest every single dollar raised through partial asset sales, in new assets.
In Budget 2012, we allocated the first $558.8 million from the Future Investment Fund for:
• Modernising schools – $33.8 million (of $1 billion total)
• Health sector needs, including redeveloping hospitals – $88.1 million
• Helping KiwiRail become commercially viable – $250 million
• Creation of the Advanced Technology Institute, to help New Zealand’s high-tech firms grow • $76 million for capital costs.
Getting on top of debt – by responsibly managing the Government’s finances – is one of our priorities for this term in office. Our economy is growing, new jobs are being created, and our public finances are improving.
The Government’s partial share offers will free up between $5 billion and $7 billion that we can reinvest in taxpayers’ large and growing asset base, while reducing our need to take on extra debt to provide the important services New Zealanders need.
The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion. Our total investment liabilities, which cover both public and private liabilities, are $150 billion – one of the worst in the world because of the high levels of private debt in New Zealand.
Like every household in New Zealand, we know how important it is to live within our means by budgeting carefully and deciding on our priorities.
Our programme of minority share offers means more assets with less debt.
What effect will this have on power prices?
In the nine years Labour was in government, power prices went up 72 per cent – or an average of 8 per cent a year – and the Government owned 100 per cent of the assets.
We believe it’s not who owns the energy companies that influences prices, but the regulatory environment, which the National-led Government changed to increase competition.
In our last term of government, we reformed electricity industry regulation, removed inefficiencies and brought rising generation costs under control. Prices only increased by 14 per cent in National’s first term.
In addition, the very effective “What’s my number” campaign by the Electricity Authority has made it easier for Kiwis to understand the choices they have, and the savings they can make by shopping around for electricity.
As a result, in the 12 months from May 2011 to April 2012, 422,256 customers changed electricity retailers (or an average of 35,188 each month).
We’re helping keep pressure on the companies to retain customers by offering competitive pricing.
Labour would load our economy with more debt
The opposition has resisted this policy at every stage, yet when they were last in office, Labour applied a mixed ownership model to Air New Zealand.
In addition, between 1984 and 1990 they sold off 100 per cent of $9 billion worth of state assets, including Telecom and the Post Office Bank.
By opposing the partial sale of shares in these companies, Labour is opposing investment in much-needed infrastructure and assets. Their plans would see the Government borrowing $5 billion to $7 billion more from overseas lenders at a time when the world is awash with debt and consequent risk. This is just another example of their irresponsible big-spending ways.
New Zealanders let them know what they thought of this at the last election. Support for National, which campaigned on selling minority shares in five companies, increased at the 2011 election, while Labour received the worst party vote in its history.
Was the “Mixed Ownership” article removed from National’s website because it contained an embarrassing, inconvenient truth? Namely, that Key had acknowledged Labour’s capable stewardship of the country’s economy when he said,
“The level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008. It’s now $53 billion, and it’s forecast to rise to $72 billion in 2016. Without selling minority shares in five companies, it would rise to $78 billion…”
Which was probably not helped when Key basically shafted his own government’s track record in debt when he added;
“Like every household in New Zealand, we know how important it is to live within our means by budgeting carefully and deciding on our priorities…”
No wonder the page was removed from National’s website. It had inadvertently become a de facto election advertisement for the Labour Party.
The statement regarding “the level of public debt in New Zealand was $8 billion when National came into office in 2008″ was already ‘making the rounds’ on the internet, as blogger after blogger was picking up on the statement and republishing it, as this Google search showed;
So whoever decided to removed the page is too late. The cyber horse has well and truly ‘bolted’ and John Key’s comments will remain for a very long time. And very useful comments they are, to disprove the misleading, deceitful rubbish that certain fanatic National/ACT supporters bandy about.
Other items have also been removed from National’s website.
The URL – https://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/ECONOMY/Kiwisaver_Policy_Paper.pdf – leads to;
The URL – https://www.national.org.nz/files/2008/ECONOMY/Tax_Policy_Paper.pdf – leads to;
Curiously though, Key’s 2006 speech to the Shore National Party luncheon was seemingly so historically worthy of preservation, that it remains intact on the National Party website;
Finally (?) the URL – http://www.national.org.nz/OOF/flyer.pdf – is also a dead link;
It was an election flyer bearing the promise that “National’s Brighter Future Plan will help businesses create 170,000 new jobs over the next four years“.
Now why would the Nats delete that page, I wonder?
Google cache: Mixed Ownership
National Party: Kiwisaver Policy Paper
National Party: Tax Policy Paper
National Party: Speech to North Shore National Party luncheon
National Party: 170,000 New Jobs flyer
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 22 May 2014.
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From Bill Birch, in 1999,
Note these two items,
We aim to grow the economy by 10% in the next three years
Create 100,000 new jobs
National’s track record in the three years leading up to the November 1999 election, and Labour’s track record from January 2000 onward,
Pretty self explanatory really.
Fast forward eleven years and four elections later,
We aim to grow the economy by 4% by 2013
Create up to 170,000 new jobs
Key facts – In the December 2012 quarter compared with the September 2012 quarter:
The unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points, to 6.9 percent.
The number of people unemployed decreased by 10,000 people (down 6.0 percent).
The employment rate fell 0.8 percentage points, to 62.6 percent.
The number of people employed decreased by 23,000 (down 1.0 percent).
The labour force participation rate fell 1.2 percentage points, to 67.2 percent.
The number of people in the labour force decreased by 33,000.
Source: Dept of Labour (MoBIE) & Statistics NZ
There we have it: 23,000 jobs lost.
And 33,000 fewer people in the Labour Force (left the country, given up looking for work, etc)
Bill Birch – meet Bill English. Different Ministers of Finance; same bullshit; more empty promises.
Any predictions for National in 2023?
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Previous Blog post
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- Rob, The Standard blog
21 May 2011
This Budget restricts the increase in public debt to manageable levels. Treasury’s December forecasts showed a dramatic and indefinite rise in debt levels. This is unacceptable to this Government because we do not want to saddle future generations with the cost of short term policies.
We will initiate a programme to lift productivity, improve competitiveness and sharpen New Zealand’s future economic performance.
We will consolidate the Government’s fiscal position, keep debt under control and ensure that Crown finances are properly managed.
This Government came into office with a plan to lift New Zealand’s economic performance.
I move on to our plan to balance the Government’s books. … This Budget will begin to restore the Crown balance sheet to its previous health.
The measures I have outlined will form key elements of our strategy to ensure that New Zealand emerges from the downturn stronger than it entered it.
The Government is determined that future taxpayers will not be burdened with higher debt which is unmatched by increases in productive assets.
To achieve this, the Government has made some difficult decisions.
The measures outlined this afternoon, the expenditure restraint shown by this Government, deferment of the tax cuts and deferment of Super Fund contributions, will keep the increase in public debt within acceptable levels. …
[This Budget] marks a turning point for New Zealand. Ten years of economic growth and expansive appetites for debt and Government spending have ended. Today we have outlined the challenge to rebalance the economy from debt and consumption to investment and exports.
The Budget will improve New Zealand’s international competitiveness.
It will get our debt under control and turning down.
It starts to create a government sector that provides better services and delivers better value for taxpayers.
It will help create new and sustainable jobs.
It will begin to build a platform for a much more ambitious New Zealand.
Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.
Ooops – Dammit! Sorry, my mistake. Wrong speech. That’s the budget speech from 2009. This is the one I meant:
The worst of the global crisis has for now passed and the economy has begun to grow again. In fact, New Zealand has weathered the economic storm better than many other developed economies.
Government policy struck the right balance between blunting the sharp edges of recession and maintaining control of public finances.
The Government is committed to policies that will reduce our vulnerabilities by tilting our economy away from debt and consumption toward savings, investment and exports.
These policies underpin the updated Treasury forecasts showing steady growth of around 3 per cent over each of the next four years.
The forecasts also show that this growth will raise real incomes of the average household by about $7,000 over the next four years, and create 170,000 jobs.
I now turn to the Government’s fourth objective, that of maintaining firm control of the government’s finances, so we can return the budget to surplus and reduce our rising debt.
The fiscal outlook has improved from last year, due to the economy returning to growth and the positive impact of Budget 2009 decisions.
The projected operating deficit for the next financial year is $8.6 billion or 4.2 per cent of GDP.
It is projected to improve steadily in each subsequent year, and to reach surplus in 2015/16, three years ahead of last year’s projection.
As a result of this improved outlook the debt projections have also become more favourable
We now have our debt under control and unemployment is beginning to fall.
We will emerge as one of the countries that other nations aspire to be more like.
There are risks to the recovery. A mountain of debt hangs over a number of our export destinations, and will also influence the markets that lend to New Zealand.
We cannot take for granted the contribution that the Australian and Chinese economies have made to our growth.
However, we are on track to a position most developed economies will envy.
This includes more new jobs, falling unemployment, rising family incomes,
quality public services and sound public finances.
Mr Speaker, This Budget continues to build a platform for a much more ambitious New Zealand.
Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.
Oh My. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me today. That’s the wrong speech again! That was the 2010 speech. This is the 2011 speech. Really this time:
Today I introduce a Budget that will further strengthen the long-term performance of the economy.
It supports economic forecasts that show growth returning to its highest in over five years and 170,000 net new jobs being created by 2015.
Our main task remains to return New Zealand to sustained prosperity. The economy has been underperforming since before the global financial crisis. Indeed, per capita GDP has not grown since 2004.
The OECD, the Savings Working Group and others have pointed out that we need to make the economy more competitive and lift national savings.
Currently, most businesses and households have successfully lifted their own savings. While that has hurt retailers for now, in the long term it is a good thing.
The main sector not saving is the Government.
The deficit in 2010/11 will be large, at $16.7 billion or 8.4 per cent of GDP. This includes a range of one-off costs, including the earthquakes.
The measures announced in this Budget will put both the Government’s finances and the economy on a much sounder footing despite a series of adverse events and a slower economic recovery.
The projected operating deficit will fall dramatically over the next three years. It will be in significant surplus from 2014/15.
This is a year sooner than the position forecast last year.
Budget 2011 shows how, from the depths of the global financial crisis when a decade of red ink was in prospect, and despite the devastating Canterbury earthquakes and other setbacks, the Government has laid the basis for future prosperity.
It is within sight of budget surpluses and falling public debt.
It has funded reconstruction of Christchurch, our second largest city.
It has in prospect the strongest growth for a decade.
It has materially improved the tax system.
It has placed KiwiSaver onto a sounder, more sustainable footing, and instilled a culture built on savings rather than debt.
And it will provide future New Zealanders with real choices about further lowering taxes, adding quality public services, or both.
We set a path for responsible government spending from the start of our term, and we maintain that path in this Budget.
This Budget continues to build a platform for a much stronger, more ambitious New Zealand.
Mr Speaker, I commend this Budget to the House.
Sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it. Right down to the recycled prediction of 170,000 new jobs. Why are the promises and predictions of 2011 any more realistic or believable than the failed promises and predictions of 2010 and 2009? How can anyone listen to Bill English, John Key and the Nats making these abundantly meaningless claims time after time without laughing? Know what they say eh. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…
Reprinted with kind permission by Lprent, The Standard
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National’s latest budget promise,
“Ms Tolley says that’ll go towards the aim of a 25 percent reduction in re-offending by 2017.”
By 2017? Five years away?!
Who will remember National’s promise in five years’ time?
Just as, how many people remember this budgetary promise, made only last year,
One year ago, National’s promises included,
- 170,000 new jobs
- wages growing 4% each year, for the next three years
- 4% growth by 2013
Let’s put National’s 2011 Budget to the test,
1. 170,000 new jobs
In June 2011, employment and unemployment stats showed the following,
Unemployment rate: 6.5%
By March 2012, employment and unemployment stats showed the following,
- Increase in employment: 16,000
- Rise in unemployed: 6,000
- Rise in unemployment rate: 0.2%
- Verdict: fail
Instead of 170,000 new jobs, there have been only 16,000 – and unemployment has risen at the same time.
2. Wage Growth
Promised: Budget 2011;
Actual: In the year-to-March 2012 Quarter;
Salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased by 2%
Overtime wage rates increased 2.5%
Private sector salary and ordinary time wage wages increased 2.1%
Growth in wages has been half of that predicted by National.
3. Annual Growth
Promised: Budget 2011;
4% by 2013
Actual: in the year-to-March 2011 Quarter;
Gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.5%
Actual: In the year-to-December 2011* Quarter;
For the year ended December 2011, gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.4%
Economic activity increased 0.3% in the December 2011 Quarter
(* March 2012 Quarter figures not available until 21 June 2012.)
Verdict: At 1.4% to December last year, GDP growth is unlike to have reached 4% by March this year. Probable fail.
Moral of the story; take National’s Budget predictions with several very large grains of salt. They are likely to be more propaganda than precision.
After all, will Anne Tolley even be around in five years to be held accountable for her wish list?
We’re still waiting for the 170,000 new jobs.
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