Saturday, 6 December 2008

Different Labour team, same dirty tricks

As many bloggers and commentators have noted this week, the requirements of the "Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update" weren't enough to force the recently-deleted Labour regime to tell the truth when it came to the Government's books.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act was introduced following the 1990 election by then Minister of Finance, Ruth Richardson. The previous Labour Party had campaigned on the lie that they had balanced the books... which couldn't have been further from the truth, as the National Party found out once took over.

National discovered the BNZ required a massive Government bailout to survive, and the Crown accounts revealed rapidly increasing deficits, rising to over $5 billion if nothing changed.

Ruth Richardson decided that never again should an incoming Government be put in the position National found itself in in 1990, when it was forced to break election promises in an effort to save the country from spiralling out of control.

Recently elected Labour Party leader Phil Goff told the media this week that National had "inherited a healthy set of books, and it should not be squandered."

Huh? In what sense is the fact that the Government's operating balance has plunged $3.5 billion into the red "a healthy set of books"?? The Treasury revelation was a turnaround from a forecast surplus in October of $1.5 billion. That's a difference of $5 billion.

The multi-billion dollar ACC landmine hidden by Liarbour (Michael Cullen and Maryan Street certainly knew about the impending black hole). It's unlikely to be the last booby trap left by the last administration. How ironic that they tried to campaign this year on "Trust"!?

New Zealanders are already bracing themselves for a bumpy ride over the next year or two, and some tougher times.

However they can at least thank their lucky stars that Labour didn't get the chance to unleash its "December mini budget" on the country. That would have seen the instant cancellation and wind-back of all promised tax cuts, along with increases to both personal tax and GST, and a raft of new taxes.

Unfortunately, National's centrist leaders and ministers don't have the balls to do what the country really needs. As a perceptive commentator at No Minster notes, the Government needs to take the bull by the horns and get rid of all the wasteful crap and increased spending overseen by Labour over the last 9 years.

The socialist gravy train known as "Working for Families" should be dumped straight away (and partly replaced by larger tax cuts). The State should get its inefficient fingers out of ACC, Health, and Education.

Slashing red tape and bureaucracy would save the country billions of dollars, and bring great efficiencies for businesses and individuals.

Yes the voters of New Zealand have received their long-awaited "Change of Government", but they need to see a bold, principled and genuine "Government of Change" if Aotearoa is to become a nation of true innovation and growth.

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