Today is Budget day.
It has followed a well scripted routine.
There have already been the announcements, primarily in the area of climate change. I expect that an extension to public transport fare reductions will be announced.
Clearly health and education will get a boost. You do not solve a decade of underfunding overnight,
There must be a temptation to implement a tax bracket adjustment at least for the lower levels.
Some of the big infrastructure demands particularly three waters will have to be funded somehow.
And from the opposition there will be much talk about the squeezed middle. Not the extreme pressures on the poor or the increasing abundance for the rich but those in the middle. It seems that National has a minimum standard in terms of who it will support.
And they will complain about how there has to be tax cuts. The strange thing is they do not regard working for families as a tax cut but think of it as an expense. Same with public transport fare reductions. This is money that stays in people’s pockets and contributes to congestion easing and greenhouse gas emission reduction. But to National it is nothing but an expense.
It will be a test for Luxon and Willis. In the short time available are they able to understand and talk coherently about what is in the budget. Or will they continue to spout platitudes and slogans. And so far they have refused to say what they will cut to pay for tax cuts. What is for the chop if they get elected?
Stay tuned for 2 pm …