The government is proud of their surplus, which at 0.7% of GDP isn’t quite as dramatic as the 9% of GDP deficit they had in 2011. But as soon as we have a surplus, National starts salivating over tax cuts. But may I continue on where I left off on other things that are far more pressing.
Today, the obvious one: Housing.
Their Special Housing Areas having resulted in just 18 affordable houses for first-time buyers (Colin James puts John Key’s response nicely: “dodgy numbers” are those which he doesn’t like), their ‘$1 billion’ infrastructure fund has been shown for the headline it is, and homelessness still an epidemic in Auckland, they are now considering Kiwibuild-lite.
30,000 houses in Auckland. This will presumably cost… some money? The Housing Corporation being out of it (great management there Bill! Almost up to your handling of Solid Energy…), it’s not going to come from them.
Even with Kiwibuild-lite I see that $1.8 billion rapidly disappearing. The couple of billion they’re having to spend on prisons thanks to their changes in bail and parole laws won’t help either.
Kiwibuild-lite is typical National ‘dribble politics’ (<- excellent Colin James article, recommended read).
They see a problem, they work out a solution that makes it look like they’re doing something, and just dribble enough money at it as they absolutely have to. They don’t solve the problem, just give enough of an appearance.
But even with that, they’re going to spend their surplus multiple times as their cuts bite.
Watch them still promise tax-cuts though.