Friday 27 May 2016

A 9% cut to Department of Conservation funding in neo-liberal Budget

No media coverage whatsoever to what is most important. Don't mention the herd of elephants in the room!

UNREPORTED: Conservation funding cut in Budget

Endangered species, structures, huts and tracks are all in deep trouble after National’s successive spending cuts. This year’s Budget makes the problems worse, not better, with a major overall funding cut for DoC and a shocking 14% cut to DoC’s funding for protecting nature

---Green Party

Over the past week I have been highlighting the appalling results of the dramatic cuts to spending on Conservation under this Government. 

142 species are classified as closer to extinction, 45% of our huts and 25% of our tracks are not up to standard, 38 structures are overdue for serious or critical repairs, 168 structures failed load capacity assessments and a further 709 haven't been assessed yet. 

And today the Government made this much worse: the overall Conservation budget is down by 9% and DOC's budget to protect the species,ecosystems and habitats we love has been slashed by 14%. 


---Kevin Hague

Meanwhile over in la-la-land the "experts" persuade themselves how well the economy is doing while there is practically no real economic economic activity to underpin it.

Meanwhile,the elephant-in-the-room - abrupt climate change does not exist.

Budget 2016: Businesses pleased by no surprises

Kim Campbell, Employers and Manufacturers Association CEO

OPINION: Budget 2016 held few surprises for business and sent a strong signal that the New Zealand economy is in good health.

Full credit to Minister of Finance Bill English for careful stewardship of our economy.

With most of the key announcements made before today's Budget announcement, business knew what was coming - and that's a good thing.
No surprises is good for business.

Of particular interest to our members is:

  • Support for 5500 more apprenticeships
  • Investment in infrastructure, in particular the regional roading programme and tourism
  • SME-friendly tax packages
  • Responsible timeframe for phasing out the one for two credit obligation for ETS
  • Further support for KiwiRail, especially if some of that goes to a third main trunk line to unlock the Auckland rail bottleneck
  • Streamlining the provisional tax payments system is also popular
Our members also constantly tell us about the skills shortage, needing the right infrastructure in place to help them go about their daily business and wanting a reduction in unnecessary compliance costs. I think today's budget has delivered that.

Treasury is in capable hands, and today's $700m surplus is proof of that.

We are keen to see more effective use of our money - to deliver what's needed today.

For example, the $110 billion committed to infrastructure spend over the next 10 years - if we could get 10 percent efficiency from that, that's another billion per year to invest elsewhere, sooner.

We need a centralised procurement system which allows necessary infrastructure such as roads, water treatment, hospitals, schools to be financed and delivered, on-time and on-budget. Now is the time to delve further into this.

The $600m contingency fund set aside for infrastructure could fund a tunnel through Grafton Gully to the port of Auckland.

That Auckland has issues with accommodation is acknowledged and the funds set aside will make significant inroads into this problem.

Such solutions to this problem as there are will not be found in the budgetary process. There is a lot more to our economy than housing!

Indeed we are fortunate that we have a growing vibrant economy and most of our problems are a by-product of this.

Budget 2016: Read RNZ's full coverage here.

The "experts" have a discussion and ignore anything of importance.

Watch Morning Report's Guyon Espiner host a panel discussion dissecting the 2016 Budget. He is joined by Deborah Russell, tax specialist at Massey University and a former Labour Party candidate, Bernard Hickey, publisher of Hive News, Kim Campbell, of the Employers and Manufacturers Association and Raymond Miller, political scientist at Auckland University

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