Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dr Evil's budget

Just imagine the fun he would have had announcing "ten point six BILLION DOLLARS" ha ha ha ha ha" (the amount of "new" spending in the Budget - see below).

I never look forward to Budget Day.

Mostly it is because the media outlets walk around the streets and go into homes to speak to people and ask them "what do you want from this budget"? In other words, how can the state look after you, when in all reality the state should be looking after as fewer people as possible and as little as possible.

So when the Herald came out this morning it was no surprise there were people with their hands out:

The O'Neills

Mrs O'Neill took paid parental leave when the baby came, but got only $330 a week for 14 weeks, which has just ended. (NOTE: it didn't say was fortunate to receive, rather but got only.)

"I've always worked, I've never been on the dole, I've always paid my taxes, but the Government may or may not help you at the end of the day. It's really unfair. (NOTE: what's unfair? That the government may or may not help you? Or that it will help you to the tune of $330 per week but you wanted more?).

"So a better maternity scheme is something I'd like to see."

The couple have cut back on "luxury foods" and buy only cheaper cuts of meat, and Mrs O'Neill expects to have to go back to work when Paora is 6 months old.

"I'll be having to go back to work a lot sooner than my year that I wanted to take off." (NOTE: she has to work to support her family! Sacre bleu!!!).

The Johanssons
Adolf and Martha Johansson are realists. They don't expect the Budget to make up totally for higher living costs, but they do expect something. (NOTE: Realists, this'll be good. Oh, they "expect something". Huge let down.)

"I wouldn't say we are worse off by a great margin. We've had to tighten up."

Mrs Johansson said the Working for Families package had already made a difference.

"I wait for that thing to drop into that account, then I know we're going to eat this week," she said. (NOTE: another one reliant on government welfare).

The Morrises

David and Maud Morris are looking for help for their young adult children in today's Budget. (NOTE: others wanting/relying on state help for their children).

"It's just about impossible for a young couple to get a house in Auckland." (NOTE: not in Otara it's not. Oh, he's coming to that).

They have handed over their Lynfield house to two of their children in their twenties - a son married with a baby who is almost 1, and a daughter and her husband. (NOTE: Excellent! Finally we have a family doing what all families should be doing - looking after their own rather than relying on the state).

"Our children are getting subsidised rental and I don't think they save any money at all," Mr Morris said. "They both have good jobs - one is in a bank and one is in a security company, making quite good wages, but they don't have much left at the end of each week." (NOTE: so they want the government to help!!).

When their three children were growing up, Mrs Morris was able to stay at home with them for 17 years. (NOTE: yeah, and when I was growing up so did my Mum but that was 35 years ago. Move on).

"Today there is no way for a mother to stay at home." (NOTE: wrong, wrong, wrong. My wife stayed home for the first four years of our daughter's life and it was hell. We didn't have a cent. But we were determined to make it work. We relied on some family help and settled on the needs, not the wants. The wants are now coming).

David and Maud Morris would like Dr Cullen to introduce "income splitting" - allowing a couple to split their joint income equally. They have worked out that this would cut their son's taxes by $5000 a year. (NOTE: not a bad suggestion, but still unbalanced).

They also want more help for first-home buyers, and are not impressed by the "shared equity" scheme that will lend up to 30 per cent of the value of a house with a maximum house value of $305,000 in Auckland. (NOTE: Neither am I!!).

"Even in Otara they are more than that," said Mr Morris, "so that's not going to help very many people." (NOTE: Well if you were smart Mrs Morris you would sell your house to a family trust for market value; obtain $305,000.00 funding for your children; and write off the balance of the price through a gifting programme. It's not very hard. By the way, that's $250 for the advice thanks :)).

But the worst thing about Budgets are the Dr Evil like pronouncements, no more evident than as set out at The Standard:

New Spending in the Budget:

  • $172.3 million for improving DHB efficiency
  • $2 billion for DHBS
  • $164.2 million for HPV immunisation
  • $160 million for more elective surgery
  • $60 million to improve the health workforce
  • $79 million for child and youth oral health
  • $30 million for healthy housing
  • $446.5 million for community and volunteer organisations
  • $215.5 to reduce class sizes
  • $63.6 million for early childhood education
  • $1.8 billion for teachers’ wages
  • $266.1 million for schools operations
  • $189.5 million for more Police
  • $251.9 million for Mt Eden prison
  • $91.7 million for probation officers
  • $4.7 million for the Police Conduct Authority
  • $17.2 million for Maori Wardens
  • $220 million for social housing
  • $35 million for shared equity housing scheme
  • $42.9 million for Hobsonville Housing project (expected to make a profit)
  • $72 million for SuperGold card benefits
  • $6.7 million for pension portability.
  • $700 million for the NZ Fast Forward Fund
  • $205.4 million to other research and development initiatives
  • $168 million to lift literacy, language, and numeracy skills of works to increase productivity
  • $591 million for tertiary education operating costs
  • $15.5 for capital investment in universities and polytechnics
  • $155.2 million for student allowances and other support
  • $340 million for broadband investment (part of a wider $500 million broadband package)
  • $690 million for purchase of railway operations
  • $93 million for upgrades to rail stock and tracks
  • $15 million for aviation safety and security
  • $33.5 million for Canterbury Transport Regional Plan
  • $30 million for regional transport in Northland and Tairawhiti
  • $155 million for export support
  • $26.6 million for 2010 Shanghai Expo
  • $25.7 million for energy efficiency and insulating homes
  • $72.1 million for the Rotorua lakes clean-up
  • $43 million for the Emissions Trading Scheme
  • $164.6 million for Eden Park upgrade
  • $23.3 million for biosecurity
  • $7 million for Mataatua Whare
  • $12 million for Te Papa
  • $7.7 million for the Historic Places Trust
  • $5.3 million for Office of Treaty Settlements
  • $23.8 million for Maori Trustee
  • $7 million for Wharewaka
  • $4.4 million for NZSO
  • $27.8 million for Screen Production Fund
  • $9 million for the racing industry
  • $276.4 million for the Defence Forces
  • $198.1 million for Foreign Affairs and trade negotiations
  • $960,000 for Antarctic research
  • $13 million for DoC
  • $5.3 million for pest control
  • $5.6 million for oceanic research
Geez, I fall asleep just trying to add that up. And all that money made me immediately think of the guy at the top. And The Standard opine thus:
Our society depends on continued investment in the social wages, these social services that make all our lives better and which we fund through our taxes. No doubt, National and the Herald will say it’s all pork.
Nah, not pork, just bull. Steve Pierson over at The Standard thinks millions of dollars spent on oceanic research, the racing industry and Shanghai Expo is "continued investment in the social wages, these social services that make all our lives better".

But look at this list. Have you ever seen such a load of tripe/pork-barrel politics in your life?

$172.3 million for improving DHB efficiency. "We're going to improve DHB efficiency" (raucous applause). "So here's the cool end of $200 million" (more raucous applause). Question from John Key: "What's the plan to improve it?. Answer from Dr Evil: "No there is no plan, we're just gonna say it cos it sounds great!".

$446.5 million for community and volunteer organisations. Not enough. Should be the thick end of $5 billion and make them accountable for a lot of services.

$215.5 to reduce class sizes. How? Build more classrooms which require consents etc? Why not just give everyone a voucher and let the schools/parents/communities decide if the schools are overloaded?

$17.2 million for Maori Wardens. Eighteen million!!!!!! Bloody hell. What do wardens do that requires $18 million bucks?

$220 million for social housing. What's "social housing"? Is it every house that isn't "anti-social"?

$35 million for shared equity housing scheme. Complete waste of money.

$72 million for SuperGold card benefits. Another state subsidy.

$168 million to lift literacy, language, and numeracy skills of workers to increase productivity. I didn't know it was the government's job to do this. Seems like an employers responsibility to me, or even an individual responsibility, not that there are any in NZ any longer.

$26.6 million for 2010 Shanghai Expo. $26 million!!!
  • $7 million for Mataatua Whare
  • $12 million for Te Papa
  • $7.7 million for the Historic Places Trust
  • $5.3 million for Office of Treaty Settlements
  • $23.8 million for Maori Trustee
  • $7 million for Wharewaka
  • $4.4 million for NZSO
  • $27.8 million for Screen Production Fund
  • $9 million for the racing industry.
You decide on the above. Most of it seems a complete waste of money to me: total = $105 million.

I am sooooo looking forward to my $28.30 p/w come October 1.


Seamonkey Madness said...

9 million for the racing industry? Why?! Isn't it a racing industry? Hence meant to make money? Vis a vis not require effing Government assistance?

Methinks the brown silver fox has had a hand in this...

Psycho Milt said...

Yup. Coalition govt comes at a price - a fat one, in Winston's case.

scrubone said...

It's the "Hard Cheese" budget where we all get enough to buy some, but still get screwed over. Or is the expression "Tough Cheese"?

Barnsley Bill said...

1990 revisited.
Burning every last dollar in the governments coffers just in time for the nats to come in and have to fix it with empty coffers.

Anonymous said...

Bill is absolutely right.

1990 revisited.

I look fowards to Nationals re-budget in November!

when every single cent of this "spending" will be cancelled.

and I really really look forwards to the $2000 rebate check I'll get before Christmas

Clunking Fist said...

But "our boys" are not shy of pork, either: fibre optic. Personally I think if one wants fibre, one should pay for it (yes, I want it, but tell me how much $ you want to supply me with it, then I'll weigh up the cost/benefit, plus I'll look into a satellite service).
I already have taxpayers paying for my children to be edjakated, to make contributions to my KiwiStealer (see anon), etc, etc. I don't need for them to pay for my fast porn.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

"$17.2 million for Maori Wardens. Eighteen million!!!!!! Bloody hell. What do wardens do that requires $18 million bucks?"

Lose prisoners supposed to be in their care. Nick a boyfriend off a teenage girl supposed to be in (her) care.