100-day scorecard

OPINION

Geoff Simmons

Overall rating: average

(Having left positions at the Treasury, the UK Home Office, the Morgan Foundation and The Opportunities Party behind, Geoff Simmons now bills himself as an independent economist – CK)

How progressive were Labour’s first 100 days? Let’s take a look…

  • Progressive = smiley
  • Neutral = indecision
  • Regressive = sad

Free tertiary
sad
Will overwhelmingly benefit those that grow up in better-off households. Free, full time, high-quality early childhood education would have been a better investment for our economy and society.

Increase student allowances and living cost loans
indecision
Not a bad move, within the confines of these flawed systems.

Warm and dry rentals
smiley
A great start, although without changes to our tax regime, this will probably just encourage landbankers to not bother with tenants at all.

Ban overseas speculators
indecision
Won’t hurt but I doubt it will work for the determined foreign speculator.

Stop state house sell-off
indecision
Who owns social housing is irrelevant to providing good social housing. In fact, overseas evidence suggests community housing providers do a better job.

Kiwibuild
sad
Helping the middle class get their foot on the property ladder, rather than housing the worst off. This to me really shows where the priority of this government lies! In the worst-case scenario, Kiwibuild may simply scare off the private sector from investing in construction.

Winter fuel payment
indecision
Most of this money goes to superannuitants, including our Deputy Prime Minister.

Best start
smiley
A great policy [a payment of $60 a week for each child in the first year after Paid Parental Leave ends, and for low to middle-income families up to age three], although too small and too targeted to solve the problem.

Increases to paid parental leave
sad
Mostly benefits the middle class.

Mental health inquiry
indecision
Nice idea, if you like talkfests. We really have to wait and see what comes out of it all.

Medicinal cannabis
indecision
A lesson in how to look as if you are doing something without doing anything. Just laughable.

Resume contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund
indecision
Is this going to make super sustainable? Nope. It is bailing out a sinking boat with a soup ladle.

Child poverty target
indecision
A target is a nice idea but, given the government’s actions so far, I am not convinced child poverty is actually a priority.

Increase the minimum wage
indecision
Slow and steady rises in the minimum wage are a great thing but the proposed pace increase risks putting people out of work. I think the immigration changes will do more to benefit the job prospects of those on low incomes.

Establish the Tax Working Group
sad
The terms of reference (excluding the family home) pretty much make this a waste of time. 

Pike River Recovery
indecision
This is great for the families but is hardly systemic change. Will be interesting to see if Winston sticks to his offer of being first in.

Inquiry into abuse in state care
indecision
Again, this is a great start, but it will be more interesting to see what action actually comes out of it.

Climate Commission
smiley
Great idea, long overdue. Again, let’s see what actual policy changes come out of this. The risk is that NZ First sinks any decent ideas that come out of it, much as they already have on fresh water.
Overall, my rating is average. Poverty and inequality didn’t fall under the Clark Labour government and doesn’t look as if it will under the Ardern Labour government, either.

That is because Labour’s first concern is actually the middle class – despite the rhetoric. They may be better on this count than National (under whom inequality generally rises, especially if you include house prices), but the difference is marginal at best. 

(I tried to get Geoff to cover employment law reform too, but he resisted, saying, "It's still a bit amorphous isn't it? I haven't really seen any detail, and when Grant Robertson tried to offer some he seemed to trip over himself." – CK)


38 · Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.


This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Post Comment

38 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

I found your 100 days review interesting. I think you underestimated the integrity factor that Jacinda brings, and the value of focusing development somewhere other than big business. You don’t mention the imbalance of supporting tenants Whilst doing nothing to address bad tenant behaviour which I believe to be a Labour weakness (and all other parties for that matter). Also the inaction on judicial reform desperately needed, which often acts in the disinterests of children, also not mentioned. Jacinda does seem to be targeting needed areas of change, but i agree with you that it is questionable whether the poor or underprivileged will finish up any better off. I do believe though that the environment may prosper, because those holding portfolios to address environmental issues have support and insight from a bottom up perspective. I enjoyed reading what you had to say, however.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 4

I think you are overestimating the extent to which perceived integrity can compensate for actual ignorance

Reply
Share
  • 7
  • 0

Or, drawing down (milking from the public breast) lucrative PM's salary, when knowing it was pregnant, which kicks the poor in the teeth when it waxes on about poverty, child raising n family well being. Must take a special degree of sanctimony to deliver that message when suckling large $ from the public-breast for its unborn...(the reason Winnie is dictator)

And this "women", a true chardonnay socialist, had the gaul to mock John Key...At least John Key earned his own money!

If it had any conviction, the next 1000 days would see arden trialling, for herself, the very same policies it says are the way forward for poor people (especially those raising babies).

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 1

Good point!. At least John Key donated his entire salary. Arden just took it knowing she was cooking a bun and couldn't deliver. Arden should walk the talk, resign and go on working for families and or any other so called poverty-breaker while pregnant.

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 1

blah blah john key donated his salary... pull the other, it has bells on

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Check with parliamentary services. It's fact.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Let’s face the facts, they are never going to rock the boat that much or even change direction. The same thing will happen as it does in the UK, labour come in promise lots of things deliver a few and create a bigger national debt and increase corporate debt in more. Then conservatives (or in NZ case National) tightens the purse strings make out they have the National debt under control but haven’t really because National debt Doesn’t include corporate debt. Corporate debt is our main problem and that’s why the IMF and Reserve bank of Australia have gave stern warnings to NZ regarding our corporate debt.
The only way to balance the books and stop land hording is Land Value Tax. LVT would help give equality across the board, tax foreign speculators more than kiwis, it would make property more affordable for first time buyers, would distribute wealth, it can create wealth local communities to spend on local communities. You could abolish most of the other tax’s and which would attract foreign businesses and create jobs, the list goes on.
The bottom line is Labour will do nothing but change a couple of things, they will be in power for a term or two and National will come back and the cycle starts again.
I really enjoyed your article I agree with most of it but in 200 days and how many days after nothing will have changed that will help kiwis to have a better life.

Reply
Share
  • 2
  • 3

We already have a land value tax. It is called council rates. What would make land and rents more affordable is getting rid of the Resource Management Act, and silly council rules to do with land use. I have enough space on my property to build a small rental. Or to rent some of my land to someone who wants to put a tiny house on it. But under the current system, I would have to either break a whole host of rules, Or spend big $$$ to get permission to do so. Which kills the economics.

But both National and Labour are too scared to do so. As they are worried about loosing votes from the baby boomers. And the politicians all own lots of rental properties. So instead they spend more on welfare like the accommodation supplement and student allowances, + other payments, like a dog chasing its tail. With the dog thinking - I just have to run a bit faster, then I will catch it.

Reply
Share
  • 7
  • 0

I’m cautiously optimistic, I feel the new govt has a heart in contrast to its predecessor. Where that heart is placed still remains to be seen , I agree with your comments re loyalty to its middle class constituency. A more principled left wing govt would start helping those in most need first , policy is a little incoherent in this regard

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 7

Scorecard in NZ?! Must be kidding...

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 0

This really comes across as speculation and personal opinion with no facts to back up comments.

Reply
Share
  • 4
  • 1

I think that is why they are commonly referred to as "opinion pieces".

Reply
Share
  • 2
  • 0

There is a lot being done to profit middle class nz. Why did u not agree with the electricity payment to superannuitsnts? Many have to go sit in the Mall in winter to save power! Do the Middle Class exist on $600 per fortnight? Power, rates and insurance now cost thousands!!! The Power payment will be a big help.

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 2

Why not just target the ones in malls then? If they're going to make it so broad that non-mall-sitters have it as well, they might just as well have not removed the tax cut.

Reply
Share
  • 2
  • 0

What about the billion trees to be planted?

Reply
Share
  • 2
  • 0

Hi Chin,

The billion-trees were excluded because they're not part of the 100-day plan, Geoff says. He may do a follow-up column on the initiative, subject to being able to unearth enough detail.

CK

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Ehem, I think really, it's all a bit too hard to measure.

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 0

Child Poverty Target::
There should be no child pverty in this country as everyone gets (not earns) a living. Our new Prime Ministers answer is to throw more money at the problem and we know where that money will go don't we. Already
impoverished families continue to have more children, even those supposedly living in cars are having children.Some of these children have different fathers.Where does their resonsibility lay, throwing more money at it will increase the problem not reduce it.

Reply
Share
  • 6
  • 1

Correct, there is no ‘Absolute’ child poverty, which is a condition, measured by direct child inspection.
Jacinda is focused on ‘Relative’ poverty which is primary by calculations and statistics.

In 2008, when National took office, the figure was 16 points, and rising, peaking at 20 in 2011 due to the GFC. The figure has then steadily dropped to 11 from 2011 to 2016.

If Jacinda didn’t meddle with economy and stuck to plans already in place she wouldn’t have to worry.

She’s canned tax cuts, set up god knows how many pointless committes, ensured that people worth less than $20 per hour will be back on welfare, cut overseas immigrants that would work and live comfortably on the jobs that lazy NZers won’t do, and cut overseas investment.

Socialism is a contagion. Jacinda and Co are carriers. They will hurt the people they are trying to help, by infecting them with losing values.

If she was a sincere socialist she would donate her PM salary to charity, just as John Key did. She cannot do that because she has no independent means, because she can’t create a real income by giving value. All she is good at is taking value as are most socialists. Like most socialists they want to eliminate poverty through spending on welfare, because unconsciously they know that if they weren’t in politics they would struggle to find equally paying jobs other than in fancy committees and politics related jobs. Socialists have hidden fears as to how they would cope in similar situations to those that struggle, which is a by product of having little value to offer. They are unable to make tough decisions on welfare because they are unable to be tough and self reliant themselves.

Their spending sprees are unconsciously triggered by their own deep seated fears and inadequacies.

Reply
Share
  • 9
  • 1

Well written

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 0

Yes, right on the mark. Jacinda is millennial who never needed to be self-reliant. You can read about this characteristic which essentially defines Millennials in the New York Times: “When people are afraid, they cling to the certainty of the world they know and avoid taking physical, emotional and intellectual risks. In short, fear causes people to privilege psychological security over liberty” from Why Are Millennials Wary of Freedom? https://nyti.ms/2kPs2Ss

Reply
Share
  • 6
  • 0

What about the single working class and working class couples without children? Labour has screwed them over royally. They have given them nothing but tax increases and turned them into tax slaves for the pleasure of the rest of the country.

Reply
Share
  • 7
  • 0

NZ allready has too many solo mothers and or dumb parents who cannot / do not want to look after their kids - children will always suffer from such "parents" no matter what the government does.

Reply
Share
  • 8
  • 0

Nice post Mr Mike. So true. Any Government who is genuinely concerned for childrens happiness and education, would immediately over haul the child abuse laws to benefit children.
It will not happen.
Sadly, abused and neglected children do not get a vote, their parents do?

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 0

Living in a communist regime is frightning especially as it looks like the camps are about to filled with home owners about to board a train to never be seen again.
This leader smiles instead of saluting!

Reply
Share
  • 4
  • 1

in othr words...total waste of time and effort.
There will be a lot more of that from this lot.

Reply
Share
  • 6
  • 0

Rental Shortages
High Petrol costs with more tax pending.
Worse business confidence 1% approval.
Whats next after 100 days?

Reply
Share
  • 4
  • 0

The only good thing about the first 100 days is she gets to try again for the second 100 after a total cockup for the first.

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 0

If they seriously wanted to target poverty and child welfare they would simply plant one billion fruit tree's wouldn't they, so no, its all lipstick on a pig aye Gareth - where are you gareth ? oh just another Colin Craig :)

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

What about Winny's 100 days ?

Oh that's right, he already done his 100 days to get back in, now we have to wait another 1,000 days for that

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Lots of teeth, no bite. Only soundbites, Labour are just as full of it as National was.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

The idea is to increase the number of people dependent on gov handouts, and therefore tied into voting socialist. Its a cynical smart move.

Reply
Share
  • 3
  • 0

NBR has it wrong: www.top.org.nz/geoff_simmons Geoff is palpably not an 'independent Economist'. He represented the left leaning TOP party under Gareth Morgan during the last Election. Please ask Tony Alexander to do it - he would be so much better and is a well regarded commentator.

Reply
Share
  • 1
  • 1

Serious questions need to be asked why the Prime MInister and Deputy Prime Minister are not being charged by the Police with "obtaining by deception" under the Crimes Act.
If there was any dignity left in the country they should simply resign.
Why the Prime MInister has not is beyond me but she should.
Heres the law
240 Obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
(1) Every one is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception who, by any deception and without claim of right,—
(a) obtains ownership or possession of, or control over, any property, or any privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly; or
(b)in incurring any debt or liability, obtains credit; or
(c)induces or causes any other person to deliver over, execute, make, accept, endorse, destroy, or alter any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage; or
(d)causes loss to any other person.
(1A)Every person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who, without reasonable excuse, sells, transfers, or otherwise makes available any document or thing capable of being used to derive a pecuniary advantage knowing that, by deception and without claim of right, the document or thing was, or was caused to be, delivered, executed, made, accepted, endorsed, or altered.
(2)In this section, deception means—
(a)a false representation, whether oral, documentary, or by conduct, where the person making the representation intends to deceive any other person and—
(i)knows that it is false in a material particular; or
(ii)is reckless as to whether it is false in a material particular; or
(b)an omission to disclose a material particular, with intent to deceive any person, in circumstances where there is a duty to disclose it; or
(c)a fraudulent device, trick, or stratagem used with intent to deceive any person.
241 Punishment of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception
Every one who is guilty of obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception is liable as follows:
(a)if the loss caused or the value of what is obtained or sought to be obtained exceeds $1,000, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years:
(b)if the loss caused or the value of what is obtained or sought to be obtained exceeds $500 but does not exceed $1,000, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year:
(c)if the loss caused or the value of what is obtained or sought to be obtained does not exceed $500, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 1

I'll bet she can't wait for all this Waitangi day stuff to be over and done with. It looks like hard work kissing-up for that Maori vote. Oh well back home tomorrow, and the only thing left to do is worry about what Maori middle name to give her unborn child.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 1

NZ is similar to NK (North Korea) as we have fired off a rocket and have a communist dictator that smiles alot!

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 1

That's a good joke however if you look at the likely convergence of possible euthanasia reform, mental health reform and tightening budgets in health care and increasing numbers of elderly coupled with the moral laxness of the left you get domicide by reckless design.
If something doesn't shift very fast we face the legacy of the daughters of death.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

I suspect that the word 'betrayal' will become prominent in the minds of NZer's in respect of politics as time progresses, but not just in the minds of non Labour voters, but Labour voters themselves, as they realised that they have been duped.

Jacinda et all are behaving like a undisciplined teenagers who have just inherited the family's hard earned wealth and are on a spending spree. Her mouth is writing cheques the taxpayer cannot possibly honour. Her speech at Waitangi celebrations is such an example.

Both her and Winnie started their term of office stating that they won't be held accountable if things go pear shaped.

Reply
Share
  • 0
  • 0

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.