The National Party has rudely turned its back on supporters, with the decision to cancel its two remaining rounds of (admittedly pretty weak) tax cuts.
The Government is using the "global economic crisis" to justify its decision, but still seems to have found $1 billion to subsidise homeowners who haven't already fitted their own home insulation.
This is part of National's idea of cosying up with the Greens, while ignoring the policies of National's own support partners ACT and the Maori Party. A shocking betrayal... and no matter how you try to spin it, the Watermelon Greens will never fully support a centre-right Government.
And after apparently going through the budgets of Government departments "line by line", they have only managed to come up with a meagre $500 million in savings per year, for the next four years. Pssh. Bring back Aunty Ruth!!!
The bottomless pit of Health again gets a big spending boost - up another $3 billion over four years. Education gets an extra $1.68 billion, while Justice gets $950 million (mainly for more Police, and room for 1000 more prisoners). "Think Big" theories are back, with $7.5 in infrastructure spending planned over the next 5 years.
As Not PC points out, National has now committed to Labour Party policies that it once campaigned against strongly in opposition. Bill English has been too weak to touch Labour's socialist 'Working for Families' programme, which condemns everyday working families (including those on above-average incomes) to Welfare dependency.
Expenditure on Social welfare is forecast to go from an already-awful $17.8 billion in 2008 to $22 billion in 2011, and a shocking $23.5 billion in 2013.
No changes either for expensive socialist luxuries like Interest-free student loans, Universal Superannuation from age 65, and State Housing.
Shame too on ACT for not "keeping National honest" as they promised in last year's election campaign. Not only was Cullen's 39% tax not "gone by Christmas when there is a National led government with ACT putting a bit of courage into them", but now the meagre National Party version of "tax cuts" have also been dumped.
In fact, with increases in ACC levies cancelling out most of last month's tax cuts for most people, ACT has not made even an inch of progress towards the party's policy of 12.5% personal tax up to $20,000, and 15% personal tax over $20,000, along with 15% company tax, and 10% GST.
To be fair, ACT MP Sir Roger Douglas has labelled English's first budget as a disappointment. He points out the current Government deficit is a third of what it was when he took over the reigns in 1984.
Douglas says it took that Labour Party just 3 years to get the books back in black. National's plans will take 11 years to get back into surplus. He also notes the relatively low cost for National to deliver on its key election promise...
"... Delivering the tax cuts would have cost [just] $1 billion, requiring the Government to cut only 1.5% of waste.However on the whole, ACT, the Maori Party, and United Dunne are largely supporting National's plans to break its election promise on tax cuts, while refusing to break any of John Key's silly "me too" promises made in the heat of the campaign.
Yet National's spending is projected to exceed $65 billion over the 2009/10 financial year - against a backdrop where Government spending is $18 billion dollars higher in real terms than it was nine years ago."
Southern rural blogger Homepaddock is admittedly "to the left" of me, but I agree that households and business would be in a much stronger position, had we not had nine years of over taxing and over spending, and if Michael Cullen hadn't spent the lot last year.
The Government is refusing to take a serious knife to Government expenditure, and instead mortgaging future generations by borrowing billions of dollars. It is time for courage to stand up against the billions of dollars in wasteful spending added by Hillin Cluck and Michael Cullen over their 9 years in charge.
The Libertarianz Party is contesting the Mt Albert by-election, and its candidate Julian Pistorius is reminding voters of the broken promises on Tax. The Libertarianz have proposed an alternative budget, based on their "Don't-Spend-So-Goddamned-Much Plan", promoted during last year's election campaign.
* Not PC - The English Budget: "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"
* Kiwiblog - The 2009 Budget
* ACT - Budget Never Fails To Disappoint (Sir Roger Douglas)
* NZ Herald - Budget 2009: Main points in brief
* Stuff - Budget '09: Tax cuts gone
^ Kris Allen - No Boundaries (Good tune, seriously crap lyrics!)
^ Glee cast - Don't Stop Believin' ]
Posted at 6:41 p.m.