May 8 • 59M

The weekly hoon with Peter Bale

In which Bernard Hickey and Peter Bale talk through the week's events, including the wealth tax debate, what's (not) being done about our infrastructure deficit, and Russia's big May 9 deadline

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Bernard Hickey's discussions about the political economy in Aotearoa-NZ and in geo-politics, including issues around housing affordability, climate change inaction and child poverty reduction.
Episode details

TDLR: This is a podcast of the live weekly ‘hoon’ webinar I do with Peter Bale most Friday afternoons for paid subscribers. This week we spoke about the wealth tax debate, National’s rise above Labour in the polls, the scale of our infrastructure deficit and what’s being done about it, what a higher debt ceiling means and how the war in Ukraine is going.

Here’s more detail on what we talked about here:

  • Te Waihanga’s estimate of our infrastructure deficit and how much more we’d need to build to cope with future population growth, improve our water quality and prepare for climate change ($1t in today’s money over 30 years or a doubling of investment to 10%/GDP per year);

  • Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response that such a doubling was not financially or politically possible, and that we can’t build our way out of our infrastructure deficit;

  • Robertson’s unveiling of a new 30% of GDP debt ceiling, which is effectively 30 percentage points higher than the last one, but that he doesn’t want to use the spare fiscal headroom, yet;

  • The Government’s decision to freeze new capital spending and leave its $6b operating allowance unchanged in the May 19 Budget to avoid adding to inflation;

  • Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr’s comments that a 30% fall in house prices was feasible and that our banking system could cope with that just fine, along with an estimate that sustainable house prices were 5-20% below current levels in his select committee clashes with Green MP Chloe Swarbrick and National MP Nicola Willis; and,

  • PM Jacinda Ardern’s painful prevarications and eventual capitulation on whether she would propose a wealth tax in her political lifetime.

Enjoy, although please accept my apologies for my poor sound quality this week. I was stuck in my car. And many thanks to the paid subscribers to The Kākā who support this sort of work I do reporting on and analysing issues around the political economy, in particular housing unaffordability, climate change inaction and child poverty.

This is a regular recorded podcast open for all subscribers in which I talk with Peter Bale and sometimes guests. The live webinar currently on from 5pm to 6pm on Fridays is open to paid subscribers.

A reminder too that we have a special $30 a year deal for under 30s and that students and teachers should sign up for the free tier to get converted to the full subscription for free. And we have a new special $65 a year deal for over 65s who are reliant on NZ Superannuation.

white boat on dock during daytime
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