So here is the story that will probably summarise this government in the history books. The whole cabinet delegated responsibility to John Key and Bill English to achieve their promised land of surplus in 2014/15. They defined themselves as the only party that could deliver this goal, even though Labour said they’d do it too.
And they’re not going to succeed.
The Reserve Bank says so, with numbers more up to date than the budget/Treasury’s. Any economic forecaster worth their salt doesn’t seem to be willing to bet on it. John Key is already having to lay the groundwork for failure.
They promised a “Brighter Future for New Zealand” in each of the last 2 elections, and they’ve not delivered. Instead all other goals have been jettisoned to try and achieve a single number, to keep our already low government debt low – even at the expense of our high private debt, that actually is a concern to ratings agencies. Sure, they’ve run up some record deficits, but they started with zero net debt, so it’s not our main problem.
Remember them stopping the exodus to Australia? All those jobs that came out of the Job Summit? All that growth they delivered? How exports rose and our current account deficit was solved? How they rebuilt Christchurch? Are you enjoying all that ultrafast broadband 4 years in? How about that pay cut north of $50/week and no rise in GST?
Is it me, or did all those other goals not happen?
And now, even though it shouldn’t have been their main aim (how about jobs? getting the economy going? getting kids out of poverty? saving us from climate change?), they’re not even going to achieve that either.
Incompetent and wrong-headed.