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Key confident about surplus

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 04:40 PM


VERNON SMALL
Last updated 15:13 08/07/2014




http://www.stuff.co....t-about-surplus



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Prime Minister John Key says he is confident the Government will get back into surplus, despite new figures showing the deficit was worse than expected in the 11 months to the end of May.

"We are very committed to getting the country back into the black, and we will be taking the the steps necessary to ensure that," Key said.

Treasury reported the Budget deficit was tracking $332 million worse than forecast for the 11 months to the end of May.

The Government has been promising to deliver a Budget surplus, and the May Budget forecast a surplus for the 2014-15 year of $372 million, well ahead of the paper-thin $86m tipped in December.

Today Key said achieving a surplus would require careful economic management, and he would be surprised if the full $1.5 billion set aside for new initiatives or tax cuts would be spent.

But Labour finance spokesman David Parker said the higher deficit suggested the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by.

"The potentially weaker recovery was today reinforced by plunging business confidence recorded in NZIER's Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.

"Fewer businesses expect the economy to improve in the next six months, yet 93 per cent expect interest rates to keep rising and the consensus opinion is that inflation will hit 2.5 per cent by the end of 2014."

Below forecast tax revenues from GST, income tax and companies showed that "despite the Government's puffery, Kiwi families are yet to see the benefits".

Finance Minister Bill English said the accounts "confirm that achieving a surplus in 2014/15 requires a determined focus on careful spending and responsible economic management".

"Just as the Government's careful fiscal stewardship has taken New Zealand within sight of fiscal surplus in the coming year, the last thing we need is a return to big government spending programmes that would crowd out private investment and put that surplus in jeopardy," he said.

"New Zealanders should be wary of such approaches from political parties as we head towards the election in September," he said.

"These latest figures cover the first 11 months of the 2013/14 fiscal year and we remain fully committed to achieving a surplus in 2014/15," English said.

LOWER TAX TAKE

Treasury said the budget deficit excluding gains and losses (Obegal) was $1.1 billion against $770m forecast in the May 15 Budget update, due to softer than expected GST and corporate tax returns.
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Officials said it was too early to know the likely impact of these results "on the current and future financial years as both downside and upside risks exist".

The Government's financial statements for the 11 months to the end of May, released today, show Core Crown expenses of $64.2 billion were 0.1 per cent less than forecast while tax revenue of $56.5b was 0.8 per cent down on forecast.

However, that was still up $2.5b or 4.6 per cent on the same period in 2013.

"This year-on-year growth reflected positive macroeconomic conditions leading to growth largely in source deductions and GST," Treasury said.

"While tax revenue has increased year-on-year, the result was $459m below forecast with both GST and corporate tax being less than expected ($238m and $120m respectively)."

It said the variance in GST was mainly due to lower than forecast domestic consumption growth, although some of that would likely reverse in June.

The corporate tax shortfall was partly due to lower than expected terminal tax assessments and the timing of provisional tax assessments.

Treasury's next official set of forecasts will be published on August 19 in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update, which will include updated assessments of macro-economic conditions and fiscal forecasts.

The operating balance (including gains and losses) was in surplus by $4.3 billion.

Strong international share markets saw the value of financial investments rise by $4.8b, which was $1.4b ahead of forecast.

These gains were somewhat offset by an increase in ACC's insurance liability due to recent decreases in short-term discount rates.

Core Crown residual cash deficit was $3.8b, $398m more than forecast due to lower than forecast tax receipts. These lower tax receipts also flowed through to core Crown net debt which stood at $59.5b, equal to 26.2 per cent of GDP.

At 31 May, total Crown assets were valued at $251b and liabilities were $174.3b.

Net worth stood at $71.3b.

- Stuff
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#2 User is offline   jaffa 

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:38 PM


Its official - Teamkey is not working for most kiwis
Tuesday, 8 July 2014, 3:05 pm
Press Release: Green Party8 July 2014

Its official - Teamkey is not working for most kiwis

Latest Government data proves John Key is not working for all New Zealanders as the incomes of the poorest half of kiwis stayed the same in the 6 years under National, while the top 20 percent’s rose by thousands, the Green Party said today.

“The latest Household Incomes Survey shows income inequality widening further under National, but that it is made worse by rising housing costs that are forcing families into serious financial stress,” Green Party Co leader Metiria Turei said,

“Housing costs are out of control under National. New Zealanders will continue to be worse off unless the Government ensures the economy benefits everyone and takes bold steps to fix the housing market.

“After housing costs were paid, the top 20 per cent of earners’ net income rose by $6500 under National while the bottom 20 percent of earners saw their income drop, on average by $300. Half of the population saw no income rise at all.

“More than a quarter of all households – 27 percent – paid more than 30 percent of their entire disposable income on housing. Many of the poorest families were paying more than half.

“This means families are stretched so far that they can no longer afford the basics. It means children going without good food, decent shoes and a bed of their own in order to make ends meet.

“The survey showed that of the 260,000 children who were living in poverty at the end of last year, 60 percent were in chronic poverty, meaning they had spent years being poor.

Posted Image“This is a very different picture than the one the Government likes to paint of children “dipping in and out of poverty” somehow unaffected by their family’s low income.

“In reality most children in poverty are spending their entire childhood too poor to live healthy, lives. They’re missing out on all the opportunities to get ahead that other kids get.

“Teamkey is not working for all New Zealand at all, in fact it is leaving ordinary kiwis and their children behind,” Mrs Turei said.

Link to the latest Household Incomes Survey:https://www.msd.govt...sehold-incomes/



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#3 User is offline   jaffa 

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 11:32 AM


The Household Income Survey came out yesterday. 240,000 children still living in relative poverty . That's roughly the combined total populations of Wellington and Invercargill. A survey of the attitudes of political parties to 10 child well-being issues also came out yesterday.
What can we take out of these two surveys?



http://bryanbruce.co.nz/blog/election-2014/tale-two-surveys


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#4 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

View Posthukildaspida, on 08 July 2014 - 04:40 PM, said:


VERNON SMALL
Last updated 15:13 08/07/2014




http://www.stuff.co....t-about-surplus



Share

Politics
Key confident about surplus Tech generation wants online voting Shinzo Abe talks tough on tariffs Small classes 'not

Prime Minister John Key says he is confident the Government will get back into surplus, despite new figures showing the deficit was worse than expected in the 11 months to the end of May.

"We are very committed to getting the country back into the black, and we will be taking the the steps necessary to ensure that," Key said.

Treasury reported the Budget deficit was tracking $332 million worse than forecast for the 11 months to the end of May.

The Government has been promising to deliver a Budget surplus, and the May Budget forecast a surplus for the 2014-15 year of $372 million, well ahead of the paper-thin $86m tipped in December.

Today Key said achieving a surplus would require careful economic management, and he would be surprised if the full $1.5 billion set aside for new initiatives or tax cuts would be spent.

But Labour finance spokesman David Parker said the higher deficit suggested the economic recovery may have already passed most New Zealanders by.

"The potentially weaker recovery was today reinforced by plunging business confidence recorded in NZIER's Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.

"Fewer businesses expect the economy to improve in the next six months, yet 93 per cent expect interest rates to keep rising and the consensus opinion is that inflation will hit 2.5 per cent by the end of 2014."

Below forecast tax revenues from GST, income tax and companies showed that "despite the Government's puffery, Kiwi families are yet to see the benefits".

Finance Minister Bill English said the accounts "confirm that achieving a surplus in 2014/15 requires a determined focus on careful spending and responsible economic management".

"Just as the Government's careful fiscal stewardship has taken New Zealand within sight of fiscal surplus in the coming year, the last thing we need is a return to big government spending programmes that would crowd out private investment and put that surplus in jeopardy," he said.

"New Zealanders should be wary of such approaches from political parties as we head towards the election in September," he said.

"These latest figures cover the first 11 months of the 2013/14 fiscal year and we remain fully committed to achieving a surplus in 2014/15," English said.

LOWER TAX TAKE

Treasury said the budget deficit excluding gains and losses (Obegal) was $1.1 billion against $770m forecast in the May 15 Budget update, due to softer than expected GST and corporate tax returns.
Ad Feedback

Officials said it was too early to know the likely impact of these results "on the current and future financial years as both downside and upside risks exist".

The Government's financial statements for the 11 months to the end of May, released today, show Core Crown expenses of $64.2 billion were 0.1 per cent less than forecast while tax revenue of $56.5b was 0.8 per cent down on forecast.

However, that was still up $2.5b or 4.6 per cent on the same period in 2013.

"This year-on-year growth reflected positive macroeconomic conditions leading to growth largely in source deductions and GST," Treasury said.

"While tax revenue has increased year-on-year, the result was $459m below forecast with both GST and corporate tax being less than expected ($238m and $120m respectively)."

It said the variance in GST was mainly due to lower than forecast domestic consumption growth, although some of that would likely reverse in June.

The corporate tax shortfall was partly due to lower than expected terminal tax assessments and the timing of provisional tax assessments.

Treasury's next official set of forecasts will be published on August 19 in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update, which will include updated assessments of macro-economic conditions and fiscal forecasts.

The operating balance (including gains and losses) was in surplus by $4.3 billion.

Strong international share markets saw the value of financial investments rise by $4.8b, which was $1.4b ahead of forecast.

These gains were somewhat offset by an increase in ACC's insurance liability due to recent decreases in short-term discount rates.

Core Crown residual cash deficit was $3.8b, $398m more than forecast due to lower than forecast tax receipts. These lower tax receipts also flowed through to core Crown net debt which stood at $59.5b, equal to 26.2 per cent of GDP.

At 31 May, total Crown assets were valued at $251b and liabilities were $174.3b.

Net worth stood at $71.3b.

- Stuff


'Softer than expected GST??'

One of the highest GST revenues is building. And there is a load of building in chch for a few years now and all those people doing the building will be on GST invoices as self employed. There is loads of GST in the making of buidlings be they residential or commercial, so Auckland and chch, should be bringing in heaps.

If the self employed dont pay GST, when is it expected they will pay anything, Income tax as well at the end of each year.

In the old days when bosses didnt mind doing the books, PAYE would have been poring in each month from the activity of building as it is in those to cities at the moment. But since GST made it possible for bosses to hire young carpenters and labourers on GST only, who is going to be bothered registering them for GST and getting them to understand how to do the books eh??

No one it appears. Christchurch will be a hive of busy bees making hay while the sun shines.

The govt is aware of this as is the IRD. The govt is so quick to blame anything they think the public does not know any different about and take it as gospel. It is a load of hog wash, they can manipulate the figures anyway they like.

I particularly like the one about the less crime National craps on about. What they saying is less little crime and more serious crime means a win for them overall. Like Right?? That sounds like a sound strategy!!

MIni
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#5 User is offline   Campy 

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 03:21 PM

Posted Image Ethics & Values
Is New Zealand Sailing Away?
blogAuthor: Bryan BruceWednesday, 9th July 2014 | 2:34pmDo you like this? More often than not Garrick Tremain manages to make me shake my head and say " Yep - so true!"

View PostMINI, on 09 July 2014 - 01:41 PM, said:

'Softer than expected GST??'

One of the highest GST revenues is building. And there is a load of building in chch for a few years now and all those people doing the building will be on GST invoices as self employed. There is loads of GST in the making of buidlings be they residential or commercial, so Auckland and chch, should be bringing in heaps.

If the self employed dont pay GST, when is it expected they will pay anything, Income tax as well at the end of each year.

In the old days when bosses didnt mind doing the books, PAYE would have been poring in each month from the activity of building as it is in those to cities at the moment. But since GST made it possible for bosses to hire young carpenters and labourers on GST only, who is going to be bothered registering them for GST and getting them to understand how to do the books eh??

No one it appears. Christchurch will be a hive of busy bees making hay while the sun shines.

The govt is aware of this as is the IRD. The govt is so quick to blame anything they think the public does not know any different about and take it as gospel. It is a load of hog wash, they can manipulate the figures anyway they like.

I particularly like the one about the less crime National craps on about. What they saying is less little crime and more serious crime means a win for them overall. Like Right?? That sounds like a sound strategy!!

MIni




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#6 User is offline   jaffa 

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 11:52 AM

Here is a press statement from the Child Poverty Monitor. Information you can trust.



Big job ahead despite slight decrease in child poverty
Tuesday, 8 July 2014, 2:39 pm
Press Release: Child Poverty Monitor For immediate release on behalf of the Child PovertyMonitor (www.childpoverty.co.nz)

Bigjob ahead despite slight decrease in childpoverty

New data released today suggests that ifNew Zealand wants to be a great place to raise childrenthere is still considerable work to do for the one in fourmissing out.

The Ministry of Social Development releaseddata today that shows 260,000 children are experiencingincome poverty. This represents an improvement from the285,000 children in income poverty in the 2013 data. Thedata also shows 18 percent of children are in materialhardship. This means they are going without the things theyneed to do well.

The Child Poverty Monitor, a jointinitiative from JR McKenzie Trust, Otago University and theChildren’s Commissioner, will incorporate this data intoits annual December report.

Deputy Children’sCommissioner Dr Justine Cornwall says the improvement inchild poverty rates is promising, with the return topre-economic crisis levels.

“How often do we hear thatNew Zealand is a great place to grow up? While that’s truefor many of our kids – we’ve got a significant groupstruggling through childhood because they don’t have thethings they need to thrive.

“If we put aside what thismeans for them on a day to day basis, consider what thismeans for our country in 20 or 30 years’ time. If we wantto have a well performing economy and a high quality ofliving we need to plan ahead. We need to invest further inour greatest asset – our children.



JR McKenzie TrustExecutive Director Iain Hines says, “There is anotheraspect of the data that we find really alarming and that’sthe increasingly desperate housing situation for those onlow-incomes. For example, half of renters who receive theaccommodation supplement are spending almost 50 percent oftheir income on their rent.
“That’s a massiveproportion of their income going to a fixed cost and leavesvery little room for bills, food, electricity and otherdemands. It is easy to see how families in this situationare struggling to give their kids the things many of usmight take for granted.

“It also means that families arebeing forced into living in over-crowded situations, whichcan bring its own problems, like rheumatic fever and otherserious illnesses.

“Housing is a complex issue and Iacknowledge there are questions of supply and demand andissues unique to Auckland and Christchurch. But this cannotcontinue, we need some solutions and fast.”

The ChildPoverty Monitor will take a closer look at housing and itsimpacts on children in poverty in its annual Decemberreport. The Monitor will use today’s data from theMinistry of Social Development, combined with other childpoverty-related data, to paint a full picture of how wellchildren are doing in New Zealand.

The Ministry ofSocial Development data on household incomes can be foundat:

http://www.msd.govt....omes/index.html

Formore information please contact Anna Santos on 027 6965101.

Ends




http://www.scoop.co....ild-poverty.htm


View Postjaffa, on 09 July 2014 - 11:32 AM, said:

The Household Income Survey came out yesterday. 240,000 children still living in relative poverty . That's roughly the combined total populations of Wellington and Invercargill. A survey of the attitudes of political parties to 10 child well-being issues also came out yesterday.
What can we take out of these two surveys?



http://bryanbruce.co.nz/blog/election-2014/tale-two-surveys



0

#7 User is offline   jaffa 

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 05:20 PM

We know just what we need, it's a shame these viable alternatives for the betterment of all will never be adopted by a National Govt.

"The year-long project has found many poor families feel "trapped" in unemployment by the cost of study, lack of transport, poor health, past criminal records, the time demands of dealing with multiple agencies, and by low-paid casualised work which is less secure than a benefit.

But they also have ideas on how to overcome these barriers, such as restoring training allowances for sole parents, free health care and subsidised dental care for low-income families, publicising the right for ex-criminals to "wipe the slate clean" for minor offences after seven crime-free years, more personalised social services, higher minimum wages and tougher monitoring of casual work contracts."

Project supports low-income families trapped by barriers
8:05 AM Friday Jul 11, 2014 Posted ImageThe project found eight barriers that trap people in poverty and suggests ways to overcome each one. Photo / NZ Herald, Getty ImagesA novel project aimed at giving 100 low-income families a public voice has found that almost all of them want to work - but face barriers that need to be overcome.

The year-long project has found many poor families feel "trapped" in unemployment by the cost of study, lack of transport, poor health, past criminal records, the time demands of dealing with multiple agencies, and by low-paid casualised work which is less secure than a benefit.

But they also have ideas on how to overcome these barriers, such as restoring training allowances for sole parents, free health care and subsidised dental care for low-income families, publicising the right for ex-criminals to "wipe the slate clean" for minor offences after seven crime-free years, more personalised social services, higher minimum wages and tougher monitoring of casual work contracts.

"Our families tell us that income levels, including the minimum wage and base benefit levels, must be reviewed to ensure that the most basic human needs of food, shelter, healthcare and education may be met without the need for them to take on crippling and unsustainable debt," a report on the project says.

The project has been carried out by Auckland City Mission staff and academics with 100 families who have been long-term users of some of the 70 foodbanks which the mission supplies from Kaitaia to Thames.

"Today, thousands of families rely on foodbanks as their regular source of food," the report says. "The increasing long-term use of the mission's foodbank is a growing concern."

The project has found eight barriers that trap people in poverty and suggests ways to overcome each one.




1. Debt


By definition, foodbank users have no money in the bank so the only way they can meet any unexpected cost is to borrow, either from Work and Income, family and friends or moneylenders. Each option has problems.

"It's too frustrating because their [Work and Income] laws have changed and they need so much more from us... the travelling for budgeting and everything else they want us to go collect. Instead of going to WINZ for help, rather just go to finances [finance companies]," one mother says.

Another says: "It was because my son's biological family, his biological Nana, at the time she was going through rough stuff but she really needed money and I was able to get it for her.... I got a grand and a half or a couple of grand and she was supposed to make the weekly payments, but that didn't happen."

But when families go to finance companies instead, they pay what City Missioner Diane Robertson calls a "poverty premium" -- "You could pay 6 per cent, they could pay 26 per cent."

The families suggest setting a cap on interest rates by law and developing low-interest lending such as a $10 million "affordable loans" scheme being developed by the Bank of NZ and the Government with the Salvation Army and Good Shepherd NZ.




2. Justice


Many of the families also owe money in fines, often because they couldn't afford to get their cars registered or warranted. Many also have someone in the family with a more serious criminal record, which makes it hard to get a job and also creates extra costs for other family members to visit an offender while in jail.

"Petrol costs, travelling from South Auckland out to Albany [Paremoremo prison], clearly it's not a cheap trip so I hardly ever took the children," a mother remembers.

Another says her partner "has been to so many job interviews and he just keeps getting shot down... he can't even apply for a clean slate until he's paid his fines and he's still paying those off and it's going to take him forever."

Many families don't know about the clean slate law. They suggest providing more information about it and "humanising" prison visiting areas so offenders can talk and play with their children.




3. Housing


Families are doubling-up or living in damp, unsafe houses because they can't afford the bond and other costs of moving to a better home, or because rental agents turn them away due to bad credit records.

In one mother's words: "It's cold and the rooms aren't that big and I could do something better, but I don't have money to move so I feel trapped really."

A father who shares a three-bedroom state house with his wife and eight children says: "My 17-month-old and my 3-year-old boy are sleeping in the room with us. Sometimes I sleep on the floor cos my boys like their space... I let my daughter sleep with the boys -- halve the rooms up for them and I don't have enough beds... so they have to share a single bed each."

The families suggest regulating standards for both state and private rentals.




4. Employment


"Almost every participant views employment as being central to his or her security or wellbeing," the report says. But they are held back by transport and childcare problems and the costs of study, which means many are limited to low-paid casual work which is less secure than a benefit.

One mother has volunteered at two childcare centres and both have offered her paid jobs, but she can't take up the offers without doing a three-year course which she can't afford. Added to her partner's debt, a student loan would make budgeting impossible.

A working father says: "After 20 hours, they take 80 cents to the dollar, what's the point of going to work? I still do it, but I've just got to work that little bit harder and because I'm only casual I haven't got... I'd just love to be 110 per cent away from Work and Income altogether, but I've still got to have them there as that safeguard."

The families suggest raising the minimum wage and closer monitoring of casual work contracts to give them more security.




5. Health


Damp, overcrowded houses are incubators for infections spread by bacteria and vermin. Low income forces families to put off going to the doctor and to ignore prescriptions. Many pull out their own teeth because they can't afford a dentist. Poor health and missing teeth only make it harder to get a job.

A father says: "You don't eat well, you don't sleep well, you don't look well, you don't look healthy, you're not motivated to work, and then you feel depressed and you feel like committing suicide."

A mother who was homeless when she gave birth prematurely and had to live in a car with her new baby and two other children says: "I don't hardly go to doctors... sometimes when I go to the doctor's and they said, 'Oh, you haven't made a payment.' Yeah, I know, but I will try to after."

The families suggest free healthcare and subsidised dental care for low-income families.




6. Food


When rent and debts take up almost all of your income, food is what gets squeezed. Families often keep children home from school if there is no food for their lunches because they don't want them singled out if the school has to feed them. They are ashamed to ask family members for help, and often become isolated because they don't want to let people see that they have no food in their homes.

"I don't like sending my kids to school when I know I can't feed them at school, but I know I can feed them at home with whatever we've got," one mother says. "I ring the school and I have to lie to them and tell them that they're not feeling well."

Another says: "My girls have gone for two days without food, two straight days, and the effects of having no food is they sleep, they're weak."

The families would like decile 1 and 2 schools to provide lunches for all children.




7. Social services


Many families are involved with multiple social services but constantly have to tell their stories again to staff they don't know. Housing NZ and Work and Income both make them ring call centres first. Work and Income abandoned personalised case managers to cut costs in 2010, but revived them last year for 85,000 beneficiaries earmarked for "intensive case management".

As one mother says: "If you talk to a person face to face it's good that you're dealing with a human being, a person, and that person can see what you actually feel and what's actually inside you... but when you're speaking to somebody on the phone and giving them all what you want, it doesn't feel good... they don't feel how deep inside that you're hurt."

The families request more personalised services and systems that keep their stories on file so they don't have to keep repeating them.




8. Education


Families know that education is the way to get a good job and get out of poverty, but often can't afford childcare or transport to tertiary campuses. Often they're pushed instead into Work and Income-funded courses but still can't get jobs.

A father says: "I suppose I could go back and do a course, but I've done so many over the years. I've done them all, I've done my licence through them, I've done budgeting through them, I've done commercial work through them and it's all there -- I've got a big box full of all the work I've done."




A mother says: "You pay an arm and a leg to go on a course and get a qualification and end up in a cleaning job."

The families suggest restoring the training incentive allowance, which was axed in 2009, and requiring course providers to guarantee jobs at the end of each course.

Read the full report here:

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