Finance Minister Grant Robertson has sought to calm the increasingly fierce battle over the Reserve Bank’s proposal to force trading banks to hold twice as much capital on their balance sheets as they do under the current regime.
Stuff reports Robertson on Wednesday issued a message to the sector that the issue required “mature debate” about the settings for banks.
“I want to remind all parties that we are still in a consultation process. I am calling on all interested participants to listen to and work with each other constructively as this work is carried out.”
He didn’t identify the party he thinks is falling short of “maturity” in the process, or failing to work constructively on it.
But he did hint where the process might end up when he emphasised:
“The aim is to strike a balance which ensures a safe and efficient banking system that NZers need and deserve”. Continue reading “RBNZ and the trading banks: it’s all a matter of striking the right balance”
Here is a puzzle: why are ordinary New Zealanders not as excited about the state of their country’s economy as Finance Minister Grant Robertson whenever he talks about it in Parliament?.
Surveys have shown both business and consumer confidence sliding in recent months.
This week Robertson has been citing reports from international institutions to contend everything is going swimmingly for the NZ economy despite some risks, the greatest of which is a sharp economic contraction in China.
But, hey, not to worry, because “I have huge confidence in the businesses and the workers of NZ that are supported by a government that’s investing in skills, in research and development, in infrastructure”.
Continue reading “Oh goody – our GDP growth rate is solid (but are we envied by countries which enjoy a better standard of living?)”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson was pretty chipper about the state of the NZ economy when he took questions in Parliament on the latest GDP data. He reckons the economy continues to grow “solidly”, in the face of global headwinds.
Noting the economy had expanded 2.7% in the March year, with growth of 0.6% in the last quarter, he was particularly pleased with the construction sector’s 3.7% growth.
“In summary – plenty to be cheerful about”.
He was especially chuffed the latest GDP data shows NZ continues to outpace many of its international peers. It grew faster than Australia, Canada, the UK, the euro area, and the OECD average. Continue reading “In the days before wellbeing our focus was on GDP – and hey, Robertson reckons we should be cheered by the latest data”
The Point of Order Trough Monitor has drawn attention to a fresh batch of handouts from the public purse, reminding us that the Provincial Growth Fund isn’t the only trough in the capital.
Fair to say, in the case of Education Minister Chris Hipkin, the press statement which triggered the trough monitor related to the government’s spending on tertiary fees in the past year.
The statement was deftly crafted to camouflage the cost to taxpayers. Rather, it brayed that first-year students have been spared the repayment burden that would have resulted from hundreds of millions of dollars in loan borrowing.
On the other hand, Winston Peters unabashedly has announced fresh handouts from a fund in his Racing ministerial bailiwick and encouraged racing clubs to apply for a place at the next serving from this trough. Continue reading “Yes, there’s lots of money in the PGF – but keep an eye on all the other troughs”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson could not disguise the rapture that had seized him, when he was questioned this week in Parliament on reactions to the budget.
He was excited, apparently, because the government had received an “overwhelming” response from the people of NZ to the wellbeing budget. There had been a vast amount of correspondence.
He cited the Salvation Army as seeing the budget as “a step on the path towards lifting New Zealanders out of poverty” and the Children’s Commissioner likewise believing it “takes seriously the need for a step-change in the way we support the wellbeing of NZ children”.
Good stuff, then, even though it may sound a bit weird to Kiwis who had believed their country’s living standards rank reasonably well against those of other developed nations. Continue reading “Outside of Parliament, the cold water thrown over the Wellbeing Budget should dampen Robertson’s rapture”
As the dust settles after last week’s budget (or should that be on last week’s budget), it has been hard to find any commentators who thought it was “transformational”. Those who might be identified as Left-leaning didn’t break into raptures; some who claim to be independent (Duncan Garner, for example) were critical (“what should have been a triumph became a nightmare”); and on the right a headline over a Matthew Hooton essay (“Well-being just Wellington BS”) was fairly typical.
Of course, there were some like Audrey Young in the NZ Herald who thought it was a “marketing triumph for Ardern and Robertson so far”, although she sensibly applied a caveat that slow growth “could nix feel-good factor of the well-being Budget”.
Across the Tasman, commentary on the NZ budget was highly laudatory, particularly from those pundits who were still red-faced from predicting a Labour shoo-in at the Federal election. Continue reading “Bhutan was into well-being long before NZ – and the bureaucrats could be an obstacle here”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson exuded confidence in Parliament on Tuesday that his budget this week will tackle “NZ’s long-term challenges”.
He emphasised “long-term” in answering a patsy question from a Labour back-bencher. He mentioned “a big difference in this year’s Budget“, which is is that “we have integrated evidence and a range of indicators of well-being at every stage of the budget process”.
Hence the Well-being Budget will enable the government “to track New Zealanders’ success on all of the things that they value”. Continue reading “Robertson talks about the Well-being Budget – and hints we should brace for the long haul”