Everybody with a sober talkspace wants to yak about yesterday's Budget.
But what is there to talk about in any depth?
Bill English is going to take even more of your money in the coming year – and if you’re a smoker the smarmy prick is going to tax the hell out of you.
And he wants to spend even more of it than he did last year.
He doesn't want to give you any more of your money back until election year.
And he sort of wants to pay back some of the ginormous $118 billion government debt he's built up over his tenure, but (like St Augustine) not really. Not yet.
And that's about it.
What more is there really to say? It’s more of the fucking same from a party doing nothing any differently than a Labour Government would have.
- “A Budget from a government that seems to have no real sense of how strong sustained growth in productivity and living standards arises was perhaps never likely to produce anything of great interest. The cheerleading for the, demonstrably failing, “ever bigger New Zealand” approach – failing, that is, to generate any sign of better productivity growth, perhaps especially in Auckland – and the questionable rhetoric about a more diversified New Zealand economy, was accompanied by yet more claims that somehow New Zealand’s economic performance is better than those of almost all our advanced country peers. Meanwhile, oppressive taxes are raised on some of the poorest people in the country, to fund pouring more money into things like KiwiRail, regional research institutes, apprenticeships, and high-performance sport…
”[I]n many ways it was the Treasury economic forecasts that accompanied, and underpinned, the fiscal numbers that got me most interested. Several other economists have noted that they seem to err on the optimistic side. That is my fear too…
“Treasury expects real GDP growth rates to average 2.9 per cent over the next four years. But it isn’t really clear how or why…
“[G]iven our starting point, [and that NZ is] so much poorer than most of these [OECD] countries, a successful economic strategy would have involved rather faster growth rates.
“Slovakia, for example, might be an achievement to aspire to. On these IMF numbers, between 2007 and 2021 Slovakia will have recorded almost 43 per cent growth in real per capita GDP, while we’ll have managed 15 per cent. After decades of Communist rule, Slovakia started a long way behind New Zealand. It has already matched our real GDP per hour worked, and looks likely to be moving past us.
“We don’t have very much positive to write home about.”
Scattered thoughts on the Budget documents – Michael Reddell, CROAKING CASSANDRA