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The Brash budget

Written By: - Date published: 2:46 pm, May 22nd, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: class war, Economy - Tags: , ,

Colin James makes a good point in his latest column which talks about the rightward shift this budget has created:

Longer term, the Budget points to smaller government. Core spending is projected to fall from 35 per cent of GDP now to 28 per cent in the early 2020s. The last National leader to talk such numbers was Don Brash.

That’s right, Don Brash.

Like I’ve been saying since before the election. Key is no centrist.

Unfortunately the only Labour MP’s I have seen mount strong attacks against the budget have been Darien Fenton and David Cunliffe. Kudos to both of them.

However having just pulled off this hard right move the government seems to be emboldened enough to start talking asset sales and further attacks on beneficiaries. Let’s hope they meet stronger opposition on that.

17 comments on “The Brash budget ”

  1. ianmac 1

    They are brave enough to diminish beneficiaries but not brave enough to diminish the gains of the wealthy. Cowardly?

  2. just saying 2

    Yesterday I read Chris Trotter say that until the budget, he had believed that Key was actually a decent bloke “compassionate” he said. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What worries me is that I assumed that the left was never fooled, and yet, in the last few days, it seems like the reality is only just dawning on a worrying number of us. It’s almost enough to make me believe in witchcraft, the spell Key has managed to cast.

    • ianmac 2.1

      If you saw Blackbooks last night the explorer wove his magic over all he met one by one. Each time he smiled another collapsed in hysterical giggles of pleasure. Sir John the explorer?

    • Lew 2.2

      In fairness to Chris, what he actually wrote was that there were moments when he thought that, not that he consistently thought that.

      You’re dead right, though. A lot of people around here, Irishbill conspicuously excepted, and throughout the wider left seem to have believed a variation on this theme: not so much that Key is a decent bloke or a genuinely compassionate conservative, but that he was too concerned with seeming like an ineffectual nice guy to grasp the nettle as his forbears had done. The clearest evidence of the left’s delusion on this was its continued and often gleeful repetition of the “nice man Mr Key” and more recently the “smile and wave” memes which portrayed key as ineffectual, feckless and perhaps a little bit incompetent, leading to both the prior government and the electorate woefully underestimating him. The right are equally gleeful in repeating this material, because it drives him further to the right: they are just thrilled the left has been doing their work for them this past couple of years. He was always a threat, he remains a threat, and the characteristics which brought him such success in global foreign exchange — ruthlessness, decisiveness, willingness to take big risks for big rewards, pragmatic preference for outcome over principle or loyalty, etc — are those which should have been emphasised all along.

      Still, it’s not too late for 2014.


      • just saying 2.2.1

        Sadly, I agree with you about 2014.

        Funny you should say about “smile and wave’ it’s always bothered me but I felt I’d be some kind of party-pooper to actually say anything about it here. The ‘do nothing prime minister’ accusation has played right into his hands.

        I obviously get about in different circles to others, but i know plenty, and know of many more who were being savaged by this governments actions, while listening to those who should know better talk as if Keys biggest failing was that he too frivilous or was missing in action.

        Ask anyone who is poor, disabled and on ACC, who a special needs child or dependent relative, who works (or used to work) in social or public services, who has become unemployed…………. How did what Key was doing fail to register so spectacularly? How did he do it?.

        Some on the left have quite smugly underestimated key over and over, and I hope like hell the very real danger is starting to filter through before it’s too late, and too many of his goals have slipped under the net virtually without a whimper. Key is like the pied piper too many on the left are only just realising whose tune they’ve been dancing to.
        And I don’t care what labour’s game plane for the next election is, there is no excuse for their failure to do their jobs as the main opposition in New Zealand. And it isn’t just a matter of biased media coverage!

        • Lew

          It does tend to make you a bit of a downer, and gives those who value ideological rectitude more highly than anything else to call your loyalties into question. But I decided ages ago I’d rather be a party pooper than a pollyanna.


  3. BLiP 3

    Waddyamean “start talking asset sales”? The fuckers have just set up Auckland and Canterbury’s water resources for privatisation, the whanau ora stalking horse is gaining momentum, the prisons are up for sale, schools and the military are talking about selling their buildings/land and leasing them back . . . its privatisation by a thousand cuts.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      You forgot ACC, which is the jewel in the crown of well-run government organisations world-wide, and the worst one to be privatising 🙁

    • IrishBill 3.2

      My apologies. I meant “start talking openly about asset sales.”

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Well, the more open they are about the fact that they’re already lining up the sales as Blinglish said they would the better. It would be even better if the MSM reminded people that this was always the plan but I doubt they would do that.

  4. marsman 4

    Raiding a currency or raiding a country this is not the first scam Key has fronted,is it?

  5. jason rika 5

    G Espiner pushed bill english on q and a this morning to catagorically say he endorses asset sales. Masterful display of kindegarten evasion. Paul Holmes even put some effort in to interveiw maurice williamson. It could be said on a performance like today Paul may justify his upcoming tax bribe.

    Good to see a couple of nat ministers sqirming. Probably will not see them on live TV for a while. Licking wounds and all that stuff. Nevermind the taxmoet will ease the pain.

    Well put Blip keep the facts in their faces.

  6. Rosalie 6

    whanau ora …gaining momentum – it sure is. Twitter.com/whanauora page set up a few days ago, already over 300 following it.

  7. gingercrush 7

    Labour is too focused on out-tax cutting National. Something they just can’t do. Only things a Labour government can do to make meaningful changes in relation to tax is a no-tax threshold (the Greens are proposing no tax on first $10, 000) and changing the threshold in relation to high earners. I don’t even understand why Labour are even talking about Tax and tax cuts.

    Fact is Cullen and Clark for years successfully ran a government that delivered no tax cuts. The mistake prior to the 2005 election was to give a sign of tax cuts. In that case the most desperate and petty threshold changes of all time. That just gave Brash and National ammunition to nearly defeat the Labour government. Remember National’s numbers had decreased from the high they enjoyed from Orewa I and had tracked downwards for months. Labour were looking better until budget 2005 came around. Then National gained momentum again.

    Post-2005 election and you have a messy coalition set-up and falling poll numbers. Inevitable Cullen and Clark would deliver some kind of tax cuts. Only by then it was too late and nobody paid attention. And it played exactly into National’s hands. Because again the media talked about tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

    The lesson for Goff and Cunliffe I would have thought is that you can’t beat National when it comes to tax cuts. So stop talking crap that isn’t believable in regards to tax cuts and offer something else.

    That is the failure of this Labour opposition. Look at the messages we’ve heard post 2010 budget. Labour will deliver bigger tax cuts to middle New Zealanders? Um how? Labour will increase spending? But surely you want tax cuts to middle NZ. You oppose the GST rise and yet you somehow will increase spending and deliver tax cuts. Then you’re a hypocrite when it comes to increasing levels of government debt? Um no Labour will cut government debt faster. But you want to borrow money to put into the Super Fund and deliver tax cuts to middle New Zealand whilst generally increasing government spending without resorting to a GST hike. So where will the money come from. Not to mention your use of inflation to illustrate your point is pointless because your record on inflation isn’t good.

    Basically until Labour move their policy away from tax cuts they’re stuffed. Hence, why I don’t get your applauding of Cunliffe Irishbill. He’s still talking tax cuts and how Labour they middle New Zealand would have seen more. Which helps those on low incomes how? And for Labour to talk about National not doing enough in regards to Property taxes and tax avoidance is utter hypocrisy. Especially when one of the lines you’re arguing is that National will push up rents etc.

    All the momentum Labour had the past two-three months is over. For those months National was increasingly on the rocks while Labour was actually getting headlines. Things were going negative for National. Problem is Labour and nearly everyone here got far too arrogant and way too ahead of themselves. You both still act way too arrogant and still too ahead of yourselves. (OMG Guyon was tough on English Labour for government 2011, or Marty G’s pathetic post where he talks about Labour getting back in 2011 and all the commentators here sniggering at OMG Smile and Wave John Key. He’s so thick and dopey.)

    The same is happening again right now. Asset Sales. You’ve all jumped over it and will continue to talk about it so much. Anything negative said about the budget will fall from the wayside. Meaning you’ve all defeated yourselves again.

  8. aj 8

    I stopped reading your post when you claimed Labour did not deliver tax cuts.

    • gingercrush 8.1

      Then you fucking failed to read my post period.

      Not that I expect people to read my illiterate posts but jesus.

    • Lew 8.2

      For years they did not deliver tax cuts. They did eventually, but that wasn’t the point.


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