- Date published:
8:29 am, March 12th, 2010 - 8 comments
Categories: budget 2010, same old national - Tags: ACE, gold card, Prisoners' Aid and Rehabilitation Society, steven joyce, whanau ora
This year the government will spend $65,520 million. I say ‘about’ because the government itself only has a vague idea. That estimate came out in December and already it’s $678 million out (less spent). It expected gross debt to be $51,716 million. In fact, it’s $48,791 million. The government’s net worth is $1,316 million higher than expected at $98,700 million.
All of this rather tends to undermine the case for the spending cuts that National is intending to force on us in the Budget but my point today is slightly different. The government deals in vast amounts of money and it (understandably given the sums involved) doesn’t have a precise grasp of how much how much money it will have or need to borrow down to the last million or even the last hundred million.
So, why the petty little cuts? Why was $2.4 million for the Prisoner’s Aid and Rehabilitation Society cancelled? Why was $13.1 million cut from night classes? And why is Steven Joyce (who can’t give you a figure accurate to within a hundred million for the cost of one of his white elephant motorways*) taking the razor blade to the $18 million senior citizen Gold Card?
It’s not about the money. It’s about ideology.
Blank cheques are written to fund vaguely thought out pet policies with taxpayer money (Whanau Ora is a prime example) while policies that work but conflict with National’s ideology get the death by degrees treatment as their funding is slowly choked off.
National doesn’t care about what works. They care about dishing out the dosh for their mates, a bit of mindless populism, and killing off successful initiatives that aren’t politically correct through their ideological blinkers.
*(the estimate for the Wellington Northern Corridor, that includes Transmission Gully is $2.1 to $2.4 billion, for example)