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Zero

Entry 1394, on 2012-05-25 at 21:14:05 (Rating 5, Politics)

Yesterday the National government of New Zealand delivered it's budget. It was called the "zero budget" because there was supposed to be a zero total change in spending. But it could just have easily been called a zero budget because it has zero new ideas, or zero integrity, or zero fairness, or zero credibility!

Many people have been critical of the budget and even those who support it generally say something fairly insipid like "it was the responsible thing to do in difficult financial times". But is nothing the correct response in these situations? Some would recommend an austerity approach while others would suggest the opposite. But the zero budget was neither.

Of course doing nothing is better than doing something stupid, like pursuing the types of policies the right are recommending in Europe, so I suppose we should be happy with what we got. In fact with a terrible government like we have doing nothing is about the best we can expect.

And yes, In know it's not all bad. There are one or two things in the budget which are OK. And I know it's not easy, especially in the difficult fiscal circumstances we find ourselves in.

But the real problem is a result of the government's tax cuts for the rich. If they hadn't given that $2 billion hand out to the rich a few years back the country would be far better off. Not only would the tax take be greater but there would be the perception of greater fairness.

Handing out all that extra cash to the rich pigs feeding from their trough of excess while removing tax credits for people who make next to nothing (like kids delivering papers) is evil. Sorry, but there's no other word for it. Surely the New Zealand public are starting to see what a bunch of bumbling buffoons, immoral scumbags, and sleazy con artists these people actually are.

Not that Labour is much better. The more I watch the two traditional parties the more likely it is that I will be to be voting Green next election. I think Russel Norman's performance has been very impressive. He sounds intelligent, reasonable and above all - and unlike all the rest - fair and compassionate.

So I think I'm ready to assign marks out of 10 for this budget now: zero. And that's being generous!

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Comment 24 (3274) by OJB on 2012-07-10 at 13:40:51: (view earlier comments)

I don't know all of the facts, potential advantages and disadvantages of the case you are referring to. I would never offer total support for all mining on schedule 4 land or anything else.

It may be a non-answer but it's the best I can do at this point. The public are often wrong - who knows, maybe they (and I) are wrong about asset sales. But to say that asset sales are OK because the public supports them is definitely wrong and that's what Key is doing.

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Comment 25 (3278) by SBFL on 2012-07-10 at 13:50:19:

Worth looking at rather than just straight protesting.

It's not "asset sales" but in fact "partial asset sales". An important distintion the left are keen to overlook as they grope for public support.

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Comment 26 (3281) by OJB on 2012-07-10 at 14:00:57:

Yes sure, everything is worth looking at, and nothing should be either automatically accepted or rejected. And we need to balance all factors: economic, social, political, environmental.

Do you get my point about public support now? Key quotes the alleged support shown at the election as justification for the sale, but rejects the lack of support shown now. He can't have it both ways. But, of course, he'll try.

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Comment 27 (3285) by SBFL on 2012-07-10 at 14:17:46:

Indeed. Economic - tick!, Social - tick!, Political - maybe...blah, Environmental...only schedule 4...then tick!

So you agree it's only "partial" asset sales? Why is it so bad for Key/National to have upfront "partial" asset sales an yet it's okay for Labour to have secret full asset sales?

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Comment 28 (3287) by OJB on 2012-07-10 at 15:32:15:

Indeed. Economic: maybe, social: maybe, political: yeah I agree, blah, environmental: no. In fact I haven't looked at this issue very closely so I have no idea whether what I said above is true, but it would be some people's interpretation of the situation, wouldn't it.

In no way was it OK for Labour to sell our assets. That was a betrayal of trust and an unmitigated disaster. They will never be forgiven for that!

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