Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Audrey finds the pork as Larbour's big spend continues!


The New Zealand Herald's Audrey Young today publishes a full list of Liarbour's 'pork.'
The tax cuts, with other highlights announced on Budget day, have added $12.29 billion to Labour's brag-bag of policies.
When added to the previous $3.99 billion identified on Pork Watch, Labour's Porkometer has reached $16.28 billion.

I've yet to find actual department spending totals but it all seems to confirm reports that Liarbour has doubled government spending in its nine years of office.
Audrey also lists some individual projects adding:
The cost of promises included in the Porkometer do not include every Budget item. They are items that parties themselves have highlighted and bragged about. Totals have not been annualised. They may be spread over many years. That is because parties tend to announce funding over four, five or more years.
Last week's Budget allowed for a total of $4.75 billion extra in operational spending in 2008-09 and $23.37 billion extra over four years. It also allowed $1.16 billion in capital spending and $1.91 more over four years.

LABOUR'S SPENDING PROMISES
Additional highlights:
* $10.6 billion over four years on personal tax cuts.
* $553.8 million over five years on faster broadband and digital strategy initiatives.
* $326.3 million extra in education including $182 million for extra teachers.
* $220 million over 15 years for Wellington City Council housing upgrade.
* $180 million for extra police.
* $155.2 million over four years to improve student allowances and eligibility.
* $72 million over four years for free off-peak travel for Supergold card.
* $37.8 million over three years for first phase of Hobsonville development.
* $30 million over three years for transport initiatives in Northland and Tairawhiti.
* $25.1 million over four years for Maori and Treaty initiatives including $5.3 million extra for the Office of Treaty Settlements.
* $24.6 million boost to caregivers of children.
* $23.3 million over four years to establish animal ID and tracing system.
* $18 million over four years to boost subsidy for hearing aids.
* $9 million over four years to monitor financial service providers.
* $7 million over two years to restore 19th century Mataatua Whare in Whakatane.
* $7 million to develop a Maori cultural venue on Wellington waterfront.
Now, I'm not averse to a bit of capital expenditure and it may be a worthy project, but coming on top of the list above, this all seems a little excessive: A $70 million extension to the National Library, which the Dominion Post notes comes on top of other government building projects in central Wellington and has created a 'building boom' there.
It is heartening to see Cullen's goverment economising, making do and tightening its belt, just as we are, the poor buggers having to pay for Liarbour's largresse!

12 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

As usual, for the right "pork" = "whatever a Labour govt spends money on." Let's look at some of this "pork:"

$10.6 billion over four years on personal tax cuts.

National has promised even more of such "pork."

$553.8 million over five years on faster broadband and digital strategy initiatives.

National sees you that "pork" and ups it by $1 billion.

$326.3 million extra in education including $182 million for extra teachers.

Nothing from National on this. Presumably they agree with Audrey and FFM that money spent on education is "pork." I so look forward to being governed by such people.

$220 million over 15 years for Wellington City Council housing upgrade.

Presumably National will be adopting its previous policy of "Let them rent cake."

$180 million for extra police.

And so on. A parade of election bribes, it isn't.

On a personal level, I'm most annoyed by this one:

A $70 million extension to the National Library...

It appears that like many right-wingers, when Fairfacts hears the word "culture" he reaches for his revolver. Note this from the linked article:

There were warnings as the first sod was turned that it would run out of space before the turn of the last century.

ie the fucking National govt of the time played cheapskate, as they do, and saddled us with a fat bill to sort it out further down the track, as they do.

dad4justice said...

Rather sad that there seems no money for Klarkula to tackle mounting child abuse. Oh that's right,she doesn't have children, why worry,move along now lad.

Anonymous said...

FM, are you saying that across the board personal tax cuts are actually government spending (and pork to boot)? You must be as you've listed them under spending promises. Fascinating. Using that definition tax increases are really government spending cuts, which you support. Glad you've clarified that.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

Fair comment PM, In an earlier draft I had said Audrey's definition of pork was a little too wide. But I cut it out as I do have a tendency to ramble and produce extra long posts :)
Some of the projects seem fair and reasonable.
And perhaps/probably the library project is justified, though maybe not straight away.
But them all coming all at once, well there does seem to be a lot of spending going on.
Thus, the overall effect is government spending going up by twice or more than the rate of inflation.
It is now double what it was in 1999.
It will be hard for National to find the cuts we need, I accept.
I think Cullen has been quite skilful in producing a budget that will make it harder for National. But that was the whole point.
A budget that will save Liarbour's bacon and thwart National rather than one aimed at benefiting NZ and New Zealanders.
Audrey Young does well in highlighting the various spending intiatives.
Pork might be the wrong word to describe many of them.
I wonder what Fran O'Sullivan and Bernard Hickey might find to axe.

Anonymous said...

are you saying that across the board personal tax cuts are actually government spending (and pork to boot)?

across the board tax cuts most certainly are NOT pork. But Labour have promised absolutely no across the board cuts.

They're just shovelling money to their low-productivity, low-value voters. That's not a tax cut: it's a bribe.

National has promised even more of such "pork."

Nope. National promised flat cuts. That's not pork, by definition.

Everything in that list should be cancelled. Everything except the $180 Mil for the cops.

Then, at least $20Billion in flat tax cuts should be applied immediately - ideally by capping maximum individual or corporate tax at $10,000.

Anonymous said...

It will be hard for National to find the cuts we need, I accept.

I don't! I will be really, really easy.


I think Cullen has been quite skilful in producing a budget that will make it harder for National. But that was the whole point.

Yeah, but it has had the opposite effect. National will just keep pointed out how corrupt and undemocratic Labour is: then after the election they can act swiftly and finally to resolve all these problems.

Taking govt spending back to 1999 dollars seems like a very achievable aim to me!

Anonymous said...

Thank God Government spending is not inflationary!

I wonder if part of the governments desire to ram through the Emissions Bill is to generate the revenue to pay for all of their projects?

Psycho Milt said...

A budget that will save Liarbour's bacon and thwart National rather than one aimed at benefiting NZ and New Zealanders.

I certainly agree with you on that, FFM. But if you ever find a governing party that doesn't do that, let me know and I'll vote for them!

They're just shovelling money to their low-productivity, low-value voters.

Ah, yes - how foolish to put money towards the "low-value" people who actually do the work of our economy, rather than towards "high-value" contributors to society like the guys running Bridgecorp and Blue Chip...

Anonymous said...

"A $70 million extension to the National Library...

It appears that like many right-wingers, when Fairfacts hears the word "culture" he reaches for his revolver. Note this from the linked article:

There were warnings as the first sod was turned that it would run out of space before the turn of the last century."

And the current building leaks.

Clunking Fist said...

Cultures good. Let's just keep throwing money at it until there's none left.

No wait, there's always MORE money to squeeze out of the private sector. After all, their money grows on trees.

Anonymous said...

It's time to start printing money!

Anonymous said...

Audrey finds pork?
Well, what do you expect!
When it comes to government spending, Liarbore are all greedy pigs!

pdq