So, that was National’s ‘big announcement’tm? Allocating money they’ve already banked into a fund which is just an accounting fiction for capital spending that was already budgeted for.
It’s a political fraud and an insult to our intelligence to say the asset sale money be used ‘for’ special capital projects. It’s just as true to say that asset sale revenue would be used for the $1.1 billion a year that National is borrowing for tax cuts.
The other insult to our intelligence is that National still won’t admit the costs of selling assets. If we sell our assets now, they will be gone forever and we will lose their profit streams, which put hundreds of millions a year into that pot.
Notwithstanding all that, what about Key’s big promise: if we let him sell our assets, he’ll put a billion of the revenue into ‘transform’ schools over five years. Is that really so impressive? The primary and secondary education budget over the next five years will total $25 billion. They spend half a billion a year on capital investment. This comes to a grand total of $80,000 a year per school … all of which was already budgeted spending.
It’s obvious that National only whipped up this ‘Future Investment Fund’ at the last minute. It changes nothing. It means nothing. It’s not a policy, it’s an illusion of one from a party rattled by from suddenly finding itself on the back foot.
Talk about tired and bereft of ideas.
No-one’s bought it. Rather than talking about this wonderful new capital fund, National has got people talking about it’s greatest weakness: asset sales.