This afternoon a couple of ‘hidden treasures’ have come out of the budget. Not announced previously they have just been stumbled upon by either careful poring over the Budget papers, or because it came up in the bill in parliament today.
1122 teachers could be losing their jobs as National have stopped funding technology training at intermediate level. Schools will still be required to do technology training – they just won’t be funded for it.
And the asset testing for people spending their last years in residential care will now only increase by the rate of inflation, instead of $10,000/year. Apparently this doesn’t need discussion, and the lack of it is the media’s fault for not finding it on page 341, section 23, paragraph 4 footnote b. As such it should be rammed through under urgency, and denied any select committee scrutiny.
Some might argue it is a sensible thing to do, but it certainly isn’t a sensible way of doing it. And it wasn’t a sensible way of making the urgent retrospective law passed yesterday to tax young people doing paper rounds (often at less than minimum wage/hour) and working in dairies or supermarkets.
John Key was defending that poor bit of law today because it will clean up the tax code. The empathy oozed as he mentioned a long forgotten paper route from his own youth. I’m sure today’s young people will be similarly empathetic about how much tidier the IRD’s spreadsheets are now that they are being taxed on every cent of their meagre earnings.
They will remember this when they turn 18 – which for some of them will be before November 2014, John.