This is the first post in an occasional series that will translate Tory speak into plain language (fellow writers and guest posters are welcome to play!).
Today’s exhibit is this corker from the Double Dip: “Finance Minister Bill English today confirmed Budget 2010 will be delivered on May 20 and will set out important policies to lift economic growth and give hard-working New Zealanders incentives to get ahead“. This particular Tory speak is so transparent you could double glaze with it. What does “give hard-working New Zealanders incentives to get ahead” mean? It means “give more money to rich people”.
The world supposed by this particular Tory speak is one where all we hard-working New Zealanders don’t currently have enough incentive to get ahead. We just work hard every day for the hell of it I guess. But suddenly some how the knowledge that those on huge incomes will (for example) pay a few percent less in taxes will suddenly fire up the “get ahead” spirit that we had previously been lacking, and we will all go out and work even harder, or suddenly have brilliant ideas, found companies, and all become millionaire CEOs in a nation where no one cleans the toilets. Hurrah!
It’s bollocks. We have enough incentives to “get ahead” already. We’re hard-working already. Capitalism depends on a supply of cheap labour and most people will never be rich. Knocking a few percent off the taxes for the rich won’t change any of these facts. What it will do is give more money to those who don’t need it by (and here’s the rub) taking it from the poor. There’s no honest way to justify such robbery, so it’s hidden behind the flimsiest nonsense about “incentives”. How do they get away with it?