- Date published:
7:00 am, April 23rd, 2021 - 97 comments
Categories: capital gains, climate change, covid-19, economy, health, housing, labour, local government, public transport, science, tax - Tags:
As we lead up to Budget 2021, there’s much more shape to the whole direction of this government. It’s now the most wide-ranging since the fourth Labour government’s 1984-87 term.
And of course,
Drumroll … coming up:
So step back and look at this shape and ambition. Government, just through COVID, has taken a greater place in the direction of the society and the economy of New Zealand than we have seen since 1939. Everything else is an even further expansion (No, I don’t detect any single institutional theory. Or even a specific political theory to it all).
So it certainly is still the case that with each crisis, this state is expanding its role and ambition and power – and of course this power almost never gets given back: crisis and leviathan.
There will continue to be massive stumbles, such as light rail, that they will be rightly chastised for. It’s also possible to see the proposed RNZ-TVNZ merger fall apart as fast as the youth station launch did.
And it’s quite likely once the new set of measures come out that our wellbeing and our poverty levels have gotten worse since Prime Minister Ardern started in 2017.
So looking at the above list it’s hard to quibble with their scale or ambition within government. The left complain that they aren’t doing enough about poverty and housing, the right complain that government is sucking the oxygen out of the capitalist room and we can’t all live off printing money forever. But the great majority just love them.
This brings up a couple of not unreasonable questions when you see the scale of this government’s agenda:
Perhaps we can sustain this feverish policy pitch from the crisis-gearing we find ourselves cycling within.
Perhaps we have just enough competent Ministers to carry enough of the load, and let the weak ones play with the plastic spoons.