Wednesday, 24 December 2008

What to do and where to cut in '09

Now that the National-led Government is faced with a "global credit crunch" and the truly awful set of the country's books, there is an urgent need for Ministers to spend their summer holidays planning some decisive action when Parliament resumes in the New Year.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog has made an excellent post, looking at the worsening outlook, and the financial effects/possible options for big budget Government spending items like the "Cullen Fund", KiwiSaver, and Working for Families.

DPF suggests the Government consider suspending contributions to the Cullen Fund (which in the next few years will be borrowing $$$, so the Government doesn't borrow so much in a few decades time to fund Superannuation payments).

He also looks at the option of ditching the Government's Employee subsidy for KiwiSaver, while at the same time perhaps raising the maximum Employer contribution to 3%.

It is good to see a National supporter like DPF describing Liabour's Working for Families welfare scam as "another major spending commitment that falls into the category of unaffordable with hindsight", although he does stop short at calling for the scheme to be dumped in the short term (rather some "medium-term work on a better tax and welfare system that has less tax churn").

However one commenter on the above post ("JamesP") points out the problem with the current Labour-lite National Party direction under Key/English, who are continuing in a very similar direction to the previous Champagne Socialist agenda of Clark/Cullen...
Add National’s unwillingness to make any substantial spending cuts to that list. It is all very well pinning the blame for $10 billion+ / year of low quality spending on Labour but if you are going to continue spending and borrow massively to pay for it then you are to blame too.

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