This is a government of excuses, not results.
In their first term they blamed our economic doldrums on the global financial situation. This despite the fact that they were elected on the promise that their policies took the financial crisis into account, and were going to be the solution to our problems. (Tax cuts for the rich were going to magically fix everything – remember “aggressive recovery” and “roaring out of recession”?) NZ was out of recession in the June 2009 quarter, before National’s first budget, but they never had a plan for growth, and instead their austerity program has stifled any possibility of vigorous recovery.
What will be their excuse for the second term? A piece on Stuff this morning suggests that they’ll be using the Christchurch earthquakes:
Quake impact on Govt books ‘overstated’
Labour is accusing the Government of exaggerating the impact of the December earthquake in Christchurch on the Crown accounts.
The Government’s financial statements for the seven months to the end of January were released yesterday, showing tax revenue of $31.4 billion was 2.9 per cent, or about $1 billion, below forecast.
Revenue from income tax, GST and corporate tax were all lower than expected.
Finance Minister Bill English this morning said the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on December 23 delayed the Christchurch rebuild.
“It had quite an impact on how people thought about the recovery just at a time when they were starting to look at the rebuild,” he told Radio New Zealand.
Tax revenue is down, and though the situation in Christchurch must have had an effect, it doesn’t account for a fall of 2.9% for the country over all. That’s down to the Nats strangling the economy and chucking people out of work left right and centre. (And, incidentally, it blows a pretty big hole in their zealous mission to get government accounts sorted by 2014.) The Nats are in trouble and instead of looking for solutions, they’re looking for excuses.