Herald: “we’ll dig our way out of this hole”

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, February 26th, 2009 - 3 comments
Categories: economy, Media, spin - Tags:

The Herald is again demonstrating its economic ignorance with its call for spending cuts in today’s editorial:

Something has to give. If National will not postpone tax cuts due in April, it must trim some of the programmes it has inherited. The most costly of them, interest-free student loans, free childcare, KiwiSaver subsidies and the upper reaches of the Working for Families grants, should be means-tested more tightly to avoid taxing people to provide benefits they could pay for themselves.

Don’t you just love the fact the Herald is calling for free childcare to be removed? How do you think they’d feel if the new cry for austerity was met by, say, returning the company tax rate to 33%?

Even putting aside the dodgy class politics of big business calling for mums and dads to pay the price for the recession, the whole idea of meeting a downturn with spending reductions is absurd and when it was tried in the 1990’s it deepened and lengthened our recession.

But it is received neo-liberal dogma. If we do see a reduction in spending, and I think we will (albeit accompanied by spin designed to provide the opposite impression), then the next thing we can expect to hear is that in times of trouble the government should not be exposing taxpayers to the risks of business. And that will be business like banking, healthcare, broadcasting and electricity.

Mark my words.

3 comments on “Herald: “we’ll dig our way out of this hole””

  1. rave 1

    Yes because the state might have to bail itself out, and wouldnt that be a waste of public funds when its needed to bail out the private sector.
    Besides if the state owns something in its own right the benefits might flow into the pockets of the public shareholders and not the private banksters.
    Now that would be a cardinal sin against the high church of capitalism.
    It might demonstrate that public ownership and control if exercised by the people who own it, and not managers who are required to run it like a capitalist enterprise, can perform much better than the market.

  2. The Herald as Herbert Hoover of the end of the Noughties?

  3. insider 3

    Ironic that while Bill English and the Herald are talking austerity and telling everyone to forgo pay rises Gerry Brownlee is saying saving consumers $120m is hardly worth it.

    In a speech this week he said the Electricity Commission had “only” saved consumers $120 million on transmission investments. “I say only because that represents only 5.9% of the total cost.”

    So, in other words, he is happy for consumers to be overcharged by 5.9% yet he said it was “very, very disappointing” Meridian put their prices up 6.5%. If only Meridian had known that the threshold between ‘disappointing’ and ‘only’ was 5.9%

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