MEMO to Phil Goff: This is not “a healthy set of books.”
A decade of projected government deficits.
Unemployment and welfare payments set to rise as recession hits.
Tax receipts set to fall as recession bites further.
News yesterday that there’s a 2.5 billion dollar hole in ACC accounts.
And news just out today that the government’s surplus has now plunged by five billion dollars, from a $1.5 surplus to a $3.5 billion deficit.
So at what point does the new government say “We can’t afford the status quo.” At what point does it point out that government spending at the levels it is now is unaffordable. That it must be cut, and cut seriously. I’m not talking “razor gangs” here. I’m not just talking about “trimming the fat.” I’m talking slash and burn gangs. I’m talking about cutting the fat and muscle and bone – and even ripping out several of those unnecessary organs that have gone necrotic, and are making the rest of us anaemic.
Cutting spending beyond the bone is urgently necessary – even more urgently necessary now that we know how bad are these books. In parlous economic times, a government going into debt should not even be an option: there are only three ways a government can raise money to meet exploding deficits, either by taxing more, by borrowing even more, or by printing money. All of these is destructive. All of them take money out of the pockets of the productive (on whom we’re relying for a genuine recovery). None of them should be seriously considered by any responsible government.
So how about a MEMO to Bill English, explaining that any government that had any sort of aspiration to responsibility should now be looking at their accounts saying, “Where do we cut?
That this lot are not and will not be doing that tells you all you need to know about how responsible they are.