Tag Archive: Finance

Budget 2018: A win for Labour

Finance minster Grant Robertson has announced the first budget of the new government, and it was kind of underwhelming. 

PM Jacinda Ardern and Robertson made good on their promise that this would be a predictable budget, and despite the media hyping it up, it was predictable, and went just how they said it would.

Health received a major funding boost, while Education, Foreign Affairs, Justice and the DoC all received less extravagant funding boosts.

None of that is why I call this budget a win for Labour, however. Instead, it’s Robertson’s 3.1 billion surplus thanks to his debt responsibility rules.

The left won’t be happy with the responsibility rules, as there is now 3.1 billion which they can’t spend, but, the rules have led to a 3.1 billion surplus, and this should throw off the idea that Labour can’t be trusted with the economy.

This is generally one of National’s key advantages and ways to attack Labour, but now that there is a solid 3.1 billion surplus, the wind will have been knocked right out of their sails there.

Robertson has done well with this budget, if you ask me.

Robertson expects surplus

Finance minister Grant Robertson has announced that the upcoming budget on May 17th will see a surplus. 

This is a very big win for Labour. Often, their biggest problem, and National’s biggest asset, is that there is a belief Labour cannot be trusted with the economy.

However, this looks like it has come at their election promise of the lowering of prices for GP visits, something they’ve received a lot of criticism for.

Whether that choice to cut the GP visits promise for a surplus was the right one, or a good one, remains to be seen.

Robertson and debt

Hamish Rutherford at stuff writes:

 Grant Robertson’s first Budget will demonstrate the scale of his challenge to meet election promises while staying within his self-imposed spending limits…

…Unless the Government decides to drop major spending plans or raise revenue through new taxes, it should quickly consider changing the commitment, or abandoning it altogether.

While still in opposition, the Wellington Central MP laid out a plan which would see debt, as a share of gross domestic product, fall to 20 per cent, over Labour’s first five years in office.

Labour is spending big, and Rutherford is correct when he says that Labour should consider changing their debt plans.

However, if you remember correctly, back in February, Robertson stated that the low level of public debt was “was the best thing about the New Zealand’s economy” (despite having criticised the level of debt during his time in opposition).

Now with his statement that public debt is in a comfortably low level, he’s in the green to scrap the debt objectives.

Smart move from the finance minster.

Adams takes Finance

Welp, I got it wrong again.

Rather than Judith Collins, Simon Bridge’s closest contender for the leadership, Amy Adams, has picked up the finance role.

It makes sense. Bridges needs to keep Adams onside, and giving her the plum finance role is a good way to do that. National simply must not have a split similar to Labour’s David Cunliffe-David Sherear split.

However, Judith Collins is an asset for any opposition, and Bridges would be wise to give her a promotion.

However, what Bridges plans for her and the rest of the caucus, will remain for now, a mystery.

 

 

Grant Robertson’s U-turn on debt

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff writes:

Out of nowhere, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has made a significant U-turn, reversing what seemed to be a core Labour position.

After years of criticising National for a significant growth in Crown debt to more than $60 billion over the last decade, Robertson now seems to think the state of public debt is the best thing about the New Zealand economy….

As sharemarket turmoil in the United States spread around the world, Robertson said in an interview that he had real confidence in New Zealand’s economic fundamentals.

“Essentially the low level of public debt is a really important part of it.”

This from a man who said that under National debt had “skyrocketed”. Barely two months ago he told Parliament he “will not be lectured” by his predecessor Steven Joyce about debt levels.

This is a serious screw up from Robertson. Expect National to be on the attack during today’s question time.

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