Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash didn’t mention what winners will receive, when he proudly called for entries for a new public award “to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector”.
Nor did he mention the cost to taxpayers of this initiative.
Point of Order’s checks with the website where more details have been posted suggest the cost won’t chew too heavily into the budget surplus.
Nor will award winners be greatly enriched. But they can look forward to a “free” feed – which means taxpayers will pick up the tab – at Parliament.
This exercise in political grandstanding accordingly will incur only a modest cost, although we suspect no cost-benefit analysis has been undertaken to justify it. Continue reading “Nash spends modestly on fishing industry awards – and (all going well) they might net a few positive headlines”
Government ministers are exulting over how the NZ economy is performing— and their own work in making it stronger.
David Clark, standing in for Grant Robertson in Parliament on Tuesday, rejoiced at how solid the “underlying fundamentals of the NZ economy are”. He said the government accounts for the June year showed how the coalition had achieved “strong financial results, while also making significant investments in well-being and infrastructure”.
Robertson, singing from the same songbook, celebrated NZ’s economic strength and resilience being recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy.
The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook shows NZ’s growth forecasts have held steady at 2.5% in 2019, rising to 2.7% next year, against the 1.7% for the rest of the so-called “Advanced Economies”. Continue reading “Ministers enthuse at their economic prowess but polls suggest the public recognises a failure to tackle poverty”
The latest political poll from Newshub Reid Research appeared to show a huge swing from its previous sampling in June, with a 9.2% fall in support for Labour (from 50.8% to 41.6%) and a 6.5% surge in support for National (from 37.4% to 43.9%).
Back in June, Labour was enjoying a post-Budget surge. Subsequently in July, Colmar Brunton polling rated National at 45% and Labour 43%.
So this swing in Reid Research’s work could be seen as a correction—-except the overall trend is as worrying for the coalition as the slump in the Prime Minister’s rating from 49% to 38%.
This is also reflected in UMR’s polling for Labour which has shown her popularity declining for five consecutive months. Continue reading “Voters (focussed on the govt’s performance at home) are not dazzled by Jacinda’s stardom on the global stage”
Two press statements from the National Party side of Parliament help to illuminate the magnitude of a $7.5 billion budget surplus.
The surplus was announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson in a statement headed Government accounts show strong economy.
The Crown accounts for the year to June 2019 show a $7.5 billion surplus. This is due to the stronger economy, and also includes a number of one-off factors including revaluation of the country’s rail assets.
Net debt has fallen further to sit at 19.2% of GDP, down from 19.9% a year ago and below the 20% target in the Budget Responsibility Rules.
Robertson went on to say the accounts show he and his government have the balance right. Continue reading “The govt’s $7.5bn surplus – how Sepuloni could have made it bigger, only for the DHBs to stick their hands out for more”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has made a rod for his own back in reporting a budget surplus of $7.5bn for the June year. Immediately there were calls for tax cuts from “hard-working NZers” at the same time as powerful lobby groups demanded higher spending on health, education, infrastructure, you name it.
The surplus was the biggest in a decade, more than double the forecast.
The problem for Robertson is that the economy is slowing, and the government could find the tax take this year under-shooting this year’s budget forecast.
So the Finance Minister is left with the old refrain:
“The books are in good shape”.
Which won’t win any new votes. Continue reading “The surplus looks plump, sure enough, but NZ’s living standards are a better measure of our wellbeing”
The inevitable hail of editorial outrage has descended on the head of PM Boris Johnson after yesterday’s Supreme Court decision overturning the Queen’s prorogation of Britain’s Parliament. He in turn has hastened back from the UN to resume the battle in a reconvened legislature.
The general line is gross-abuse-of-convention-thank-God-for-the-Supreme-Court. For example, the Financial Times concluded in thunderous tones: “The 11 judges unanimously concluded that Mr Johnson’s five-week suspension of parliament was an unlawful attempt to silence MPs, at the very moment the UK, through Brexit, faces the biggest shake-up in its constitutional status for decades. “ Continue reading “Boris rides the storm”
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the meeting between the Prime Minister and the US President in New York this morning is a diplomatic coup.
“Securing a 25-minute long meeting with the US President during the UN Leaders Week is an achievement in its own right given the pressure on the President’s scheduleAll the more remarkable was the level of attendance on the American side. The President was accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the newly appointed National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.What is clear is a very positive discussion was held on a range of international issues and areas of shared interest, including on advancing our bilateral trade interests.
“In the world of diplomacy, this level of engagement is gold. The President’s meeting also followed a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Prime Minister’s representation of NZ on climate change, and the Christchurch Call.The so called mega-Monday has been a very good day for delivery of NZ interests on the world stage”. Continue reading “PM’s triumph on the world stage takes the spotlight off shabby stuff at home (at least, for now)”