It’s a bleak budget alright. No jobs package. That’s scandalous dereliction of duty. The 70,000-100,000 people who will loss their jobs this year and their families will remember that the Tories sat on its hands when it mattered.
Boy, they know how to manage the journos though. People whose major mathematical skill is having the right change at Bellamy’s nod wisely that the budget has avoided a credit downgrade that was never going to happen.
No mention that superannuation is now stuffed for anyone intending to live beyond about 2030.
Just after they passed their iron-cast tax cuts, they started softening up the journos for cancelling them. So the journos told us “we had no expectations of getting anything from this Budget” (Sometimes I wonder why we have polls and surveys at all. We have Armstrong to divine the public will).
Did you hear one journo mention the lack of action on jobs?
The other clever piece of management is making lots of little, deep cuts. Better to hurt a few people a lot then a lot of people a bit. They probably don’t vote National anyway. If the media can be arsed, we’ll learn more about what those cuts mean to people in coming days.
If only the Tories were as good as policy as they are at politics. But enough whining.
Underlying the crap is a meta-victory.
Key was at pains to make sure we knew no benefits had been cut. Not because he thinks benefits are necessary in a civilised country. He once said mums on the DPB were “breeding for a business”. No. Because he didn’t have a choice. 9 years of Left-ish government forced the Tories to adopt major planks of Leftwing politics. Only way to get elected.
Look at the top three policies in the budget – no tax cuts, no super funding, home insulation. 2 of 3 are Left policies. One is directly from the most Leftwing party in Parliament.
If we had a decent government we wouldn’t have needed all the little cuts and we could have had a jobs package. We could have afforded it. No April 1 tax cuts for the rich paid for on the credit card.
Still the Tories couldn’t do what they did in 1991. They didn’t dare attack the foundations of the social wage. Health, education, housing, welfare they get (minimal) increases. They have sentenced superannuation to death by starvation but didn’t dare attack it directly. That’s the legacy of the Fifth Labour government. A culture shift to the Left the Tories had to follow.
English and Key’s budget was bleak. Especially bleak for the newly jobless. The victory of the Left is that it wasn’t as bleak as they would have liked.