Saturday, June 25, 2005

No Free Lunch

David Slack has put together an interesting interactive website:

You go to the site, punch in a variety of potential tax cuts, and then have to work out how you will cut spending to make up for the lost revenue. Given that National is talking about tax cuts for everyone, that's quite a challenge. Indeed, the Christchurch Press has recently tallied up National's spending and tax promises and found that they now total some $7 billion!

There are now 2-3 months for Labour to expose the lack of credibility in National's plans. There is no such thing as a free lunch and I think that this will become increasingly apparent to voters.


spooks said...

Two-thirds of Labour voters say they want a reduction in taxes. Whose country is it? The voters? Or the dictators? Who the hell do you think you are, so say that you know better than the people. This will be your downfall, this year. You've forgotten to listen. You've forgotten who works for whom. Politicians work for us. Remember that. I'm a voter, and MPs work of me, not me for you. I tell you what to do, not you me. That is why you are going down.

Anonymous said...

Unlike you spooks, Labour voters are grown-ups and realise that you can't always get what you want, especially when getting it means you can't get other things you want. Adult trade-offs, that's all.

spooks said...

Flaming, anonymous? You know nothing about me, and you first is to label me juvenile.

Voters CAN get what they want. That is why we have elections. And when the our "leaders" stop listening, that's when the voters toss them out. I predict you will be eating your words before the election, when Labour suddenly find they too have found a way to give us the cuts WE, the people who own the country, that's WE, want.

Voters said last two elections that they wanted more spent on health. So they got it. They got billions more spent on health. Nothing to show for it mind you, but they got more spent. Half as much again spent, and an increase of 1 percent in the number of operations. ONE percent more operations at a cost of THREE BILLION dollars. Thanks Labour!

Anonymous said...

Spooks, your long history of comments on this blog means we know you very well!

And health is about more than operations - it is also about preventative measures at the primary level through consultations with GPs and practice nurses - where Labour has concentrated much extra spending to improve access. Even the Young Nat who's a Manukau City Councillor has 'come out' in support of Labour's lower doctor's fees for 18 to 25 year olds!

Add the effect of mild inflation over six years and the cost of technology and skilled staff in health, and the three billion has been about right.
Do you believe the nurses deserved a pay rise? That's counted in as well. You'd have denied them that?

spooks said...

I should frame that comment from "anon" -- a rare contribution indeed, almost totally devoid of flaming.

"health is about more than operations"

Nice sidestep, anon. (Are you related to Norm Hewitt?) But I would have thought at least SOME of it might have been about operations.

The thing is that the number of operations is quantifiable. The rest of what you have said is just puffery.

Sure, the nurses pay rise contributed some millions. But not billions.

Too Right said...

Spooks - I think Anonymous is Michael Wood when he wants to appear in drag as it were. Sort of crude version of Twelth Night. Unfortunately the disguise slips.

The bit these guys won't acknowledge is the Labour Government has proved beyond all doubt that Government agencies and departments cannot efficiently provide monopoly services. Interestingly the only fact from Anon on health was nurses salaries. Just shows where they see Government's spending priorities - ie for the workers , rather than for the people they serve. Sadly for his lame argument, nurses in private establishments get and got more anyway. The Government is a poor provider and purchaser of services. Cullen knows this - he has told me himself.

Of course the Young Nat in Manukau supports lower Doctor's fees - especially if it catches disease earlier before it becomes chronic. That is good cvommunity minded sense. I am sure the Young Nat did not suggest that the system that delivers the services for lower fees should only be an arm of Government which is what Labour is doing with the PHO's.

Finally to suggest a 50 per cent increase in the health vote is as a result of inflation and 'about right' is absurd. Particularly when the output is up 1%.

The last time we saw this sort of stuff was when the Railways had 22,000 employees. Running it as a business reduced employees to less than 7000. Same with Post and Telegraph.

The Labour Lovies take a long time to learn their lessons. And, they keep repeating the mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Who was in government for 29 out of 35 years from 1949 to 1984 and in charge of Post and Railways?

I don't think you'll find anyone of 'mainstream' sense disputing that nurses are necessary to a good health system, will you now?

And you'd clearly let ideology get in the way of lower doctor's fees. Do you think GPs would or could charge the lower fees if it were not for the PHOs?
Or do you want to go back to the very costly laissez faire of uncontrolled fee for service?

Sorry Spooks and Too Right, it's like taking candy from kids.

spooks said...

I see what you mean about the disguise slipping. There isn't even any attempt at disguise.

MW/Anon, what happened between 1949 to 1984 is about as relevant to addressing Too Right's point, as what might have happened happened between 949 to 984. Next you'll be blaming National for the Crucifixion.

The fact still remains that you are sidestepping any discussion on the only quantifiable measure that has come up in this exchange. Tell us about the number of operations that $3.6 billion extra taxpayers dollars bought. That's $4,000 for every family in the country - every family, every year. And I say it bought NIL extra operations. Didn't even keep pace with the population growth.

You explanation for this would be?

spooks said...


spooks said...

C'mon, comment please, Mr Wood, should be just like taking candy from kids.

Anonymous said...

What is National's policy on health?

Whaleoil said...

Mr Wood or should I say Master Wood is probably seeking input from Mrs Davis or from the Cullendar.

Mike, handy hint, experience life outside of Mikes and Hell's press releases.

Any government that has massive surplus's is only doing one thing, thieving from honest New Zealanders. Further when 50% of the personal tax take is paid by 11% of the taxpayers you have huge inequities going on.

New Zealanders are canny, and usually snesible, let us make up our own mind about how we spend our money. Governments right or left rarely make good investment decisions.

Anonymous said...

And what is this peculiar obsession with MORE operations?

More operations is not a sign of good health. More is not better in this case.
More timely operations would be a better measure, and here Labour is very well-placed...

Anonymous said...

When the top 11% are paying 50% of the taxes you have massive fairness going on, given that the high income earners are dependent on the low income earners to clean the loos in the office, sweep the streets, deliver the mail, etc etc, in others words doing the unglamourous jobs that have to be done, generally keeping the system going so that high income earners can go about their business....

Whaleoil said...

Explain to me, no socialist ever has satisfactorily so why don't you have a crack, how it is FAIR that 11% of tax payers pay 50% of the tax just because they are "wealthy".

FAIR is when everyone pays the same ratio. After all 15% of $100k is $15k and 15% of $20k is $3k so the rich do pay more.

Anonymous said...

Yes I imagine that under a flat tax the 11:50 ratio would alter downward. But to protect the revenue which funds the health, education etc the lower income earners would not be able to access for themselves on a market basis, the flat rate would have to be at a level that would be increasing the taxes on the lower income earners.

Proponents of a flat tax would argue that increased economic growth would offset the revenue. But there is no connection between low or lowering tax and increased or high economic growth. Many European economies demonstrate this.

To achieve equality of opportunity there has to be redistribution and enough of it.

michael wood said...

Guys, if you are resorting to the flat tax line, you're well outside "mainstream" thinking, and in fact National's.

Remember that National is not proposing to cut spending. In fact, what Brash is dishonestly suggesting is that spending can be maintained in some areas (health, education etc), massively increased in others (roading, justice etc..) and at the same time, billions can be cut from taxes.

My post was about the fact that this does not add up. National's refusal to produce an alternative budget confirms this, and your comments don't address this fundamental problem for the right.

Whaleoil said...

Why bother posting an alternative budget, when the Nats do Cullendar will just pull more figures out of his butt....Where was the Kyoto stuff up in his budget and where was the $500 million that materialised outa nowhere. If a public company was run like that there would be an Enron like uproar.

michael wood said...

Well, National might want to produce an alternative budget in order to show people that it is a credible alternative budget. Labour produced one virtually every year that we were in opposition in order to show that we could deliver what we were promising.

Surely it's not a big thing to ask when you want the privilege of governing the country?

spooks said...

The electorate don't seem to be demanding of a National budget. The only ones seeking it are Labour politicians. You have your election strategy, Nats have theirs. You (now) want to delay announcing an election date for your reasons. You play your games, Nats play theirs. That's life. Big deal. Get over it.

Mikey, of course you must toe the party line. But we all know that Dr Cullen is no longer to be believed. Even two-thirds of Labour voters no longer believe Dr Cullen when he says there are no funds for a tax cut. Mikey, are you one of those two-thirds, or are you one of the gullible minority?

spooks said...

Oh, and Mikey, can I suggest that the date and time be stamped on comments, not just the time. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Yes National does want a blank cheque. It's even running that age old bad excuse for a lack of policy, 'cutting red tape'.