Friday, December 05, 2008

Pleasantly surprised

National has rejected Treasury's advice in its triennial ideological burp. Some of this is stuff they were never going to do anyway - e.g. ensure capital gains are taxed properly - but they are also explicitly rejecting Treasury's advice on shifting to a more regressive tax system and that there is no need for any economic stimulus (Treasury thinks the market will solve everything, even the problems it creates. Which I think shows how disconnected from reality their brand of economics is). The latter is a pleasant surprise, and signals that English at least isn't going to simply be a tool of the unelected neo-liberal high priesthood on The Terrace.

Meanwhile, this whole incident suggests that Treasury needs to be firmly put in its place. As usual their briefing has gone well beyond its remit in attempting to dictate the broad sweep of policy across the entire government. And that is rightly a decision for elected politicians, not unelected bureaucrats.