Friday, 20 May 2005

Fisking the budget, 2

It's hard to get excited about a '67c-per-week-budget'. Feel free to use your eventual tax-cut as a down-payment on one of these T-shirts.

Business is getting $1.42 billion of tax-cuts. Good. But it's partially paid for by the $720 million Carbon Tax. Bullshit.

The country's top 500 students are offered an Anderton-backed scholarship offer of $3,000 if they promise to stay in Godzone for three years, although how the NCEA system would know which these 500 are is anyone's guess. But in any case why tie bright graduates to New Zealand when they can go offshore and get a good 'post-graduate OE'? And is $3,000 going to induce anyone to give up a more lucrative offshore income? I think not. The way to get back our best and brightest once they've done their OE is not cheap bribes, but surely to ensure this country is wealthy, vibrant and the opposite of a sorry, welfare-ridden Nanny State. No chance of that under this Government.

There is more money for a police force still unable to deal with its case load. Good. Only $73.6 million more. Hmmm. For 100 more policemen. That's it? I hope they won't be put straight on to traffic duties and revenue-collecting. A good way to effectively double the police would have been to announce the immediate legalisation of cannabis, effectively doubling police numbers to deal with real crime and at the same time knobbling the profits of organised crime. Not going to happen any time soon, is it?

There's more for roads. Good. $700 million more. Pathetic. Enough for just 7km of new road. "Glacial" is how infrastructure advocates accurately describe the pace of NZ's roading improvements. No change here. No word of RMA improvements to help new roads be built, or of allowing private investment in roading. No surprise at all.

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