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The Unbudget

Entry 1021, on 2009-05-29 at 20:45:06 (Rating 3, Politics)

What is the best financial approach to take during a recession? Is it best to play safe and try to save money and minimise debt, or is it better to act positively and try to improve the situation? Well it seems that the New Zealand government has taken the former course because the budget they just released is extremely yawn-worthy.

To be fair they have produced a fairly well balanced budget which doesn't penalise or advantage any particular groups. No one should be too upset about it, but then again no one will probably be celebrating either.

Of course, there is a case to say this is the best approach. At least we aren't handing out free money to dead people as part of a stimulus package like the Australians. Maybe they think they will stimulate the dead back into life!

But you would think that to recover from a bad financial situation you would need to do something. Just waiting around and doing as little as possible while the rest of the world tries to solve the problem doesn't really seem like the sort of thing we should be too impressed by.

One opportunity we might be able to take advantage of during the recession is the increased number of people who participate in tertiary education programs while jobs are harder to get. But there is no money in the budget for this. In fact, given the increased number of students likely to arrive, tertiary education institutions are likely to be a lot worse off. And I'm not just saying that because I work at a University!

Anyway I guess I should be happy that the budget hasn't been the type that takes an axe to anything that's still moving. It probably won't do any harm but it seems unlikely that it will do any good either.

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Comment 1 (2065) by SBFL on 2009-06-04 at 09:21:06:

"take advantage of during the recession is the increased number of people who participate in tertiary education programs while jobs are harder to get. But there is no money in the budget for this."
Sound pretty but please explain WHAT you would do, HOW you would do it and HOW you would fund it.

I know this is a concept impossible for leftists to grasp, but money doesn't grow on trees.

Did it ever occur to you that taking a cautious approach is indeed the best approach (i.e. "doing something"). What type of approach would you take with your personal finances in such a situation? Go radical, or play it carefully?

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Comment 2 (2075) by OJB on 2009-06-04 at 22:09:55:

I'm aware of the limited money available for investment in these areas. Its a matter of using what we do have in the most efficient way. For example, we could spend a bit less on prisons and police and more on something positive like tertiary education.

I think I made it fairly clear that I could see that both types of budget (conservative and radical) had merit. And I said that I thought the budget wasn't bad, it just wasn't good either.

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Comment 3 (2090) by SBFL on 2009-06-06 at 05:13:02:

I wouldn't go to the electorate with "we could spend a bit less on prisons and police" !!

On the whole I guess there were some reasonable views considering your political viewpoint.

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Comment 4 (2093) by OJB on 2009-06-06 at 20:03:40:

So we should do what's popular instead of what's right? Shouldn't they have gone ahead with the tax cuts then, instead of breaking an election promise?

Yes, I have made a real effort to try to be fair to this government instead of resorting to the silly nonsense my opponents indulged in regarding the previous government.

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Comment 5 (2099) by SBFL on 2009-06-13 at 08:56:07:

My goodness. Do you have to take everything so literally? Do you not comprehend the meaning of "!!" to which I ended my statement on? Stop taking everything so seriously and get into the "real world".

You really took a step back with your comment 4.

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