Jacinda’s 18 months of delivery

Photoshopped image.

Jacinda promised that 2019 would be the ‘year of delivery’. In an open letter to Magic Radio, she has outlined all the things that she believes her government has already achieved. The audacity (not to mention the absurdity) is strong in this. Let’s see what you think. quote.

We knew from the get-go that it was incredibly important to be responsible managers of New Zealand’s economy. 

We lifted wages, with the minimum wage up to $17.70 an hour.

The average New Zealanders pay packet is also now up by $65 a week. We’ve created 70,000 new jobs, and got unemployment down to 4.2 percent. end quote.

It was the previous government that started the sharp rises in minimum wages which conversely is causing significant falls in job numbers, as automation becomes more attractive for employers of low paid workers. This government has not delivered a surplus… it inherited a strong and successful economy. Jacinda cannot have it both ways. Either the previous government was responsible for ‘nine years of neglect’ or they were good economic stewards and handed the Coalition of Losers a robust economy. Which is it, Jacinda? quote.

We supported our regional economies to grow, committing $1.7b so far to boost local businesses, improve regional infrastructure and support tourism through the Provincial Growth Fund – and there’s more to come. end quote.

Don’t make me laugh. Ask Taranaki about this government’s wrecking ball approach to the regions. What about all the seedlings that had to be mulched because the tree planting exercise in Northland went so horribly wrong? What about the Warkworth to Whangerei road, essential for the economic growth in the area that has been scrapped? Regional New Zealand is more neglected than ever. quote.

From the beginning, we have placed the wellbeing of New Zealanders firmly at the heart of everything we do.

That’s why, in our first 100 days, we cancelled the proposed tax cuts and instead turned that into a package that provided targeted support for lower and middle income families.

Our Families Package now gives 384,000 families an income boost by $65 a week on average (and $75 when the Families’ Package is fully implemented), and is estimated to lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty. end quote.

Why then are all the indicators telling us that more children are living in poverty than ever before? Because the government’s flagship policy, Kiwibuild, has been an abject failure, and those benefit increases have almost all disappeared in increased rents. There has never been such a situation of housing insecurity in this country, particularly for people on low incomes, and $65 per week will make very little difference if you do not have a roof over your head. quote.

In education, we heard schools crying out for more teachers. So we delivered 1,500 extra teaching places in Budget 2018, and we are funding a further 2,500 teacher trainee places in Budget 2019. end quote.

Brilliant! And the next teacher’s strike takes place on May 29th. quote.

We are focused on finding long-term solutions for long-term challenges, delivering meaningful change on the issues New Zealanders care about.

One of the most significant challenges we face, nationally and globally, is climate change.

This week we introduced the landmark Zero Carbon Bill. New Zealanders have demanded it because they know the climate is changing. We’ve listened to our scientists and our industries to ensure our Zero Carbon Bill sets us on the crucial path of finding long-term solutions.

end quote.

Farmers are very unhappy about the Zero Carbon Bill, believing that it will mean they will have to halve their herds. This is no long term solution, and while I understand the argument that says we all have to do our bit, I really cannot see why we should wreck our primary industries to make a carbon dioxide reduction that is minuscule in world terms. It simply makes no sense. quote.

As you can see, in the 18 months we’ve had in government, an incredible amount has happened. Now, we look forward to the next 18 months and our plan which will build on the significant and important changes we have already made.

Magic Radio. end quote.

Like promising to build 100,000 houses in 10 years, but managing to build only 74 in the first 18 months…

… like promising to reform the tax system and then walking away without really trying to make it work…

…like closing charter schools where students who had fallen through the cracks in the state system were actually doing well…

I am looking forward to the next 18 months too. At the end of it, we get the opportunity to kick out this incompetent government after only one term.

Bring it on.