120 ‘policies’ and only 1 of them new. That’s National’s economic development “action plan“. It looks superficially impressive at first: 120 points – what a busy government. But then you read, and it’s all stuff that’s underway or already announced, or in some cases Labour policies that are already complete. And many of the points are the same thing restated.
42 of the policies are “completed”. 1 of them is “Boost funding to increase the number and quality of major events in New Zealand.” – ie, host the Rugby World Cup, which Labour organised. That gives you an idea of how desperate and cobbled together these 120 points are – they’ve thrown in everything and anything to get to a big number.
There’s only 1 new policy: $60 million over four years for science. Yup. That’s their transformative idea – $15 million a year “to find innovative solutions to some of the most fundamental issues New Zealand faces.” Given the extent of the fundamental economic and social issues New Zealand faces committing $15 million a year to finding solutions to them is a bit like proposing to explore uncharted seas to discover new lands and committing a P-class to the effort.
As you read (OK, skim) through the list, it becomes even more apparent that National has no new ideas. A second term would be the same as a the first with the addition of asset sales.
How bereft of ideas is that? How incurious, uninventive? National’s current policies are manifestly shithouse at growing an economy and their plan is to continue along with them as if nothing is wrong, with a added madness of flogging off highly profitable assets to avoid adding about 5% to net government debt in the short-term.
Muddling through hasn’t worked for the last 3 years; does anyone really believe it would work for another 3?
Again. The whole thing stinks of a policy release clobbered together at the last minute for PR purposes to give the impression of a grand plan when all there is are a few stupid ideas – like the roads of national significance.
The Nats’ Kiwisaver announcement was so rushed it was full of formatting errors. This one is riddled with typos – the virtues of their “roadband” policy are extolled, for example. To paraphrase Slater, if you can’t organise a policy document, you can’t organise an economy.
I don’t know why I would expect better from National. I guess it’s that we actually do face real challenges, which require real solutions. And National doesn’t seem to give a damn.