As well as the usual pre-Budget announcements there have been a number of leaks. A quick review:
Home insulation package: this is the Greens’ baby and could well be a highlight of the Budget in a sea of negatives. It would have been better if they had put in something about forcing landlords to insulate their rental properties. The risk is that the people in the worst quality homes, the poor renting from private landlords will miss out while the well-off get subsidies they don’t need (remember, this is the National Party that wailed endlessly about a few families on $100,000 plus getting small Working For Families payments).
$50 million for the â€˜great rides’: Does anyone else think it’s weird that the $50 million figure Key told us would build a national cycleway happens to be exactly the amount they’ve decided they need for these great rides. Makes you wonder where the numbers came from, other than off the top of Key’s head. Not the recession-buster National made it out to be. Still, cycleways, sweet.
Tax cuts gone: good. Are you feeling richer for your tax cuts? Me neither. They haven’t made a blind bit of difference to the economy and if we hadn’t had them we wouldn’t be facing rising debt. This stupid barking for tax cuts has dominated our politics for five years. Hopefully we can move on to real issues now.
SPARC budget slashed: Part of a worrying trend for the government to cut primary health funding just so they can pay for a few more elective operation.
No 40 Hour Free for playcentres: National promised this in the election in return for the Playcentre Association campaigning for them. No money for it this year. Next year, maybe, or maybe not.
Community and volunteer sector bait and switch: Paula Bennett has announced $40 million over funding for these groups but it looks like she’s quietly deleted the $320 million Labour had budgeted for them over the next three years.
Modern apprenticeships gone and polytech trade funding cut: This is just crazy. Why the hell would we be cutting investment in training during a recession? It speaks to a small-minded government that doesn’t plan for the future.