Monday, December 06, 2010

Further down the spiral

This morning National unveiled the government's books, revealing tax revenues $1.1 billion lower than expected and a resulting rise in the deficit. Bill English's response? More cuts:

"This reinforces the need for sound financial management and ongoing discipline in Government spending if we are to get back to surplus by 2016. That is why the Government is committed to spending restraint for the foreseeable future.

"In the New Year the Government will consider further decisions around how to increase efficiency in the public sector and how it manages some of its large and growing expenses.

"This will be assisted by report of the Welfare Working Group, the Government's review of spending on policy and the ongoing response to the report of the Housing Shareholders Advisory Group," Mr English says.

So, faced with a death spiral, English's response is to drive us deeper into it. But then, with a $250,000 salary and a taxpayer-rorted house, he's completely insulated from its effects. Other people - people like you and me - will suffer for his discredited ideology. And he'll sit pretty and tell us to eat cake...

A couple of centuries ago, he would have been driven from that taxpayer-rorted house by a torch-wielding mob. Next year, we'll get a chance to do the modern equivalent at the ballot box. We'd better take that opportunity. Otherwise, he'll drive us even further down the spiral - just as his mentor Ruth Richardson did in the 90's.