Thursday, June 23, 2005

National should put up or shut up

DPF is complaining about this morning's article in the Press which claims that National's tax-cuts would cost $7.5 billion. But while the numbers are a quick and dirty back-of-the-envelope analysis, they do expose the key problem. National is making all sorts of promises with huge financial implications - "significant" tax cuts "in all income tax brackets", eliminating the carbon tax, spending all of the petrol tax on roads, building even more prisons - and even a cursory glance at the numbers show that they do not add up. This is not a spending package which can be paid for by trimming hip-hop tours, "bureaucracy", and government "waste". Either National will have to significantly cut spending in other areas - which means health, education and social spending - or it would need to borrow. Or, I suppose, they could take United Future's crazy route and sell state assets. But regardless of what their actual plan is, they owe the electorate some sort of explanation as to how they intend to pay for their promises. And if they don't provide one, they can hardly complain when others try to work out how they're going to do it.

In other words, National should either put up or shut up. If they believe they can pay for their promises, then they should show us the figures. Otherwise, they simply look like an opposition which promises the moon, regardless of the fiscal consequences, in a desperate attempt to get elected - hardly responsible enough to be in government.


Not to mention the policies National spokesman have advocated such as buying F18s, sending (more) troops to Iraq, additional frigates, submarines, Transmission Gully, Eastern Bypass, etc, etc.

There are basically two conclusions: either:
- National are planning to wreck the NZ economy / dismantle the welfare and healthcare system / both.
or alternatively:
- National are planning to implement economic policies that differ only very marginally from Labour.

Posted by Rich : 6/23/2005 05:13:00 PM

I'm curious where Cullen "found" this extra $500,000,000 for roads. Seems like very shoddy accounting. Not what we want from a responsible and competent Government.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/24/2005 10:42:00 AM