Tag Archive: Labour

The Newshub poll

Newshub released a poll today, and it was same old, same old. 

National was up 0.6% to 45.1, Labour was up 0.3% to 42.6%, the Greens were down 0.3% to 5.7%, and NZ First was down 1.2% to 2.4%

This poll follows a trend we’ve been seeing throughout the year. National narrowly ahead of Labour, NZ First below the 5% mark and the Greens just bobbing above the 5% threshold.

Crucially, despite National being ahead, they still have no parties they can work with to get into government.

National would be at 58 seats based on these numbers, and even if you add ACT’s one seat, that’s still two shy of the all-important 61 seat mark to get a majority.

Labour would be at 55, but add in the Greens and you’ve got 63 seats and a government.

So the Greens would be kingmaker. And while it’s technically possible for a National-Greens government to be formed, what do you think the chances are of such a left-wing party going with a centre-right party?

When National was tossed out of government in favour of the new Labour-Greens-NZ First coalition, they declared that they would be the “strongest opposition in history.”

And while that may be true, the strongest opposition in history may be there, in opposition, for a very long time unless they get themselves a coalition partner.

 

Mega prison ruled out

After some deliberating, the government has ruled out expanding Waikeria prison into National’s proposed “mega prison” which would have around 2500 beds, corrections minister Kelvin Davis has confirmed. 

However, that is all they have ruled out for the moment.

So, while there won’t be 2500 beds in the prison, the question of whether the prison will be expanded at all remains.

New Zealand’s prison population is currently at an all time high – around 10 thousand, and the current prisons are beginning to get crowded as the prison population continues to grow.

Without the expanded prison, as New Zealand’s prison population grows, questions will continue to float around about where the prisoners will stay.

Labour is keen on reducing the prison population by 30% within the next 15 years, but for the moment, the continuation of National’s policies here for the moment will see the prison population continue to grow.

So, whether it’s expanding prisons to fit the burgeoning population, or the reduction of the prison population as a whole, a fix will be needed soon.

 

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.

A deadline extension on GP fees

David Clark, minster for health, has stated that their policy of cheaper GP visits has been delayed due to budget constraints. 

The policy, which would have seen the cost of GP visits across the board come down from July 1st, now appears to be on hold.

The opposition have slammed this as a broken promise.

Personally, I wouldn’t go quite that far just yet. The government has said that the policy will instead be “phased in.” The government isn’t saying it’s off the table yet.

So, for the moment, this looks like a deadline extension.

That said, this is perhaps the vaguest possible deadline extension possible as there’s no deadline set for making the policy happen, the government is just saying it will be “phased in.”

I really wouldn’t be surprised to see the government conveniently forget about this policy.

However, for now, I’ll give the government the benefit of the doubt and I’ll wait and see what will happen.

Let’s give them six months. If we haven’t heard anything about when or how this policy will become real within the next six months, then we will know that this is a broken promise.

So, I guess I will be blogging on this again in six months.

Davis has been acting prime minster

That’s some news right there.

Kelvin Davis, has in fact, been acting PM for the past week while Ardern and Peters have been in Europe.

Who knew?

The man hasn’t got any media coverage at all.

Now, it is worth noting that he has been better than the last time he was acting PM, where he got exclusively negative coverage, but I don’t really think that him having zero coverage is brilliant, either.

To put in perspective, I didn’t realise he was acting PM until today – and I practically check the political news of New Zealand every half hour.

Hopefully he will finally put on a solid show next time he is acting PM.

 

Not all that bad for the coalition

A new Colmar Brunton poll was released today, with the results being misinterpreted. 

Labour fell five points, from 48% to 43%, while National gained one point, going from 43% to 44%.

The other three points that Labour lost both went to their coalition partners, the Greens and NZ First, with NZ First climbing two to 5%, (A result which would see them still in parliament if that was their share of the vote come 2020) and the Greens rising 1 point to 6%,

Unfortunately, the fact that in reality, the coalition is down just one point has been not been covered, with most outlets prioritising the fact that National is ahead of Labour.

And it’s also worth noting that Simon Bridges has just a 10% preferred prime minster rating, while Jacinda Ardern has 37%.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Labour and the coalition – in fact, a difficult month marred with controversy, I’d say they did pretty well to only have gone down one point.

 

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.

Davis stuck between a rock and a hard place

Corrections minster Kelvin Davis is being asked to sign off on a new, 1 billion dollar prison to accommodate our growing prison population

Unfortunately for him, the Labour government has committed to slashing prisons numbers by 30% within the next 15 years.

This puts Davis in a difficult position.

Allowing the plan to build the prison will be a sure sign of defeat at Labour’s first hurdle – and they’ll get criticized for it.

Don’t allow the prison to be built, and he’ll face criticism for allowing prisons to get overpopulated. Davis will then face ire from within the prisons – the people Davis is supposed to represent, and the people who he needs on his side.

Choose on option, and Davis will crop criticism. Choose the other option, and Davis will still crop criticism.

Not a fun situation.

Advice for the political parties

Today, the political year kicks off. Naturally, I, a 14 year old, decided to offer my valuable (read: worthless) advice to the politicians who have been doing this for years and years.

Let’s get right in then, shall we?

Labour: If you make a promise, make bloody well sure it happens. With an unusually large opposition facing the ruling party, this government needs to be on the double with making sure that crisis are averted, and quickly.

National: Show unity. Not having columns going up suggesting a leadership coup is critical at this stage. For the moment, National must show that they are 100% behind Bill. Otherwise, National also needs to put the best of the best up asking the questions come question time. Now is not the time to give the newbies experience; the year must start off right for National.

NZ First: Distinguish yourself. With the rumors swirling around that this will be Winston’s last years, showing that NZ First is not a one man party is critical. Whether it’s Ron Mark, Tracey Martin, or Shane Jones, they all need to show their prowess.

Greens: Get  Chloe Swarbrick in the media. Had Jacinda not come onto the scene, Chloe Swarbrick could have been the millennial’s star this election. But Jacinda is slowly becoming old news, giving an opportunity for Swarbrick to take the show. Having her in good media will give the greens a bump in polls and bump in confidence.

ACT: Make sure what you do counts: With David Seymour your only MP, whatever questions you ask, whatever you do on your select committees, make sure it counts. You won’t have many chances, so don’t waste them.

There ya go. A 14 year old’s advice to the political parties.

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