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Zero

Yesterday the National government of New Zealand delivered it’s budget. It was called the “zero budget” because there was supposed to be a zero total change in spending. But it could just have easily been called a zero budget because it has zero new ideas, or zero integrity, or zero fairness, or zero credibility!

Many people have been critical of the budget and even those who support it generally say something fairly insipid like “it was the responsible thing to do in difficult financial times”. But is nothing the correct response in these situations? Some would recommend an austerity approach while others would suggest the opposite. But the zero budget was neither.

Of course doing nothing is better than doing something stupid, like pursuing the types of policies the right are recommending in Europe, so I suppose we should be happy with what we got. In fact with a terrible government like we have doing nothing is about the best we can expect.

And yes, In know it’s not all bad. There are one or two things in the budget which are OK. And I know it’s not easy, especially in the difficult fiscal circumstances we find ourselves in.

But the real problem is a result of the government’s tax cuts for the rich. If they hadn’t given that $2 billion hand out to the rich a few years back the country would be far better off. Not only would the tax take be greater but there would be the perception of greater fairness.

Handing out all that extra cash to the rich pigs feeding from their trough of excess while removing tax credits for people who make next to nothing (like kids delivering papers) is evil. Sorry, but there’s no other word for it. Surely the New Zealand public are starting to see what a bunch of bumbling buffoons, immoral scumbags, and sleazy con artists these people actually are.

Not that Labour is much better. The more I watch the two traditional parties the more likely it is that I will be to be voting Green next election. I think Russel Norman’s performance has been very impressive. He sounds intelligent, reasonable and above all – and unlike all the rest – fair and compassionate.

So I think I’m ready to assign marks out of 10 for this budget now: zero. And that’s being generous!

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