The blame game

Oh God. It is so back to the future, I keep expecting Michael J Fox to appear any minute, remonstrating that someone has to stop his mother from dating the other guy. Yawn.

Stuff has this to say:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson played tag team on Monday to sheet home the blame to National for having to play catch up on a shortfall of billions of dollars in funding for essential services.

Expect to hear more of that between now and the next Budget, when Labour starts making the case against National’s record with more concrete examples like the rotting state of Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital.

Playing the blame game is always good politics because it gives new governments breathing room on problems like Middlemore. It’s also about rubbishing their predecessor’s legacy. For every claim of better economic management from National, Labour will show you a looming crisis as the price of National’s surpluses and tax cuts. End of quote.

Well, isn’t it great when you can spend the whole of your first term blaming the previous government? After all, this is how politics works. Win an election, pretend you know nothing about the previous government’s finances and then blame them for everything for the next three years, at least. Classic Helen Clark. It has her fingerprints all over it.

Yes. Except for one teensy-weensy little problem.

Radio New Zealand posted this article in August last year. It stated quite clearly that there was a $2 billion boost to the country’s coffers for whoever formed the next government.Quote:

The government has opened the books in the Pre-Election Fiscal Update (PREFU), so all parties can see its finances.

In this update, the operating surplus for the 2017 financial year – which finished on 30 June – is $3.7 billion compared with the $1.6bn forecast in the May Budget.

But the forecast surplus growth tails off after that and, from 2019 to 2021, is expected to be lower than the estimates in May.

For example, in the Budget, the surplus was predicted to be $4.1bn in 2019, but in the latest update that drops to $3.5bn.

However, there is still a $6.4bn surplus predicted for 2021. End of quote.

We are talking here about a government that had to deal with the GFC, two Christchurch earthquakes and the Kaikoura earthquake. It is an excellent result indeed.

Fiscal responsibility leads to the ability to pay for social projects without putting the country into deficit. The previous government were doing a good job of this, no matter how much you may have disliked certain individuals.

What is more, they managed to do it while increasing health spending every year.

This from Kiwiblog:Quote:

Labour are desperately trying to use the mould issue to divert attention from all the stuff they are mismanaging. In reality the issue is pretty simple.

The DHB never raised the issue of the mould with the Government. It never asked for money to deal with it. In fact it is not even clear if the DHB knew there was a significant issue until recently.

The reality as {Patrick} Smellie points out is that they have actually been underspending their capital budget. So this was not a case of an underfunded DHB. End of quote.

So, the Government have run out of money already. Surprise, surprise. Steven Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole is very much alive and well. So, they are either softening us up for tax hikes, in spite of promises not to introduce any new taxes before the next election, or they are softening us up for a very disappointing budget. Either way, there is bad news coming.

They have picked an emotive issue, of course. Middlemore Hospital has mould on its walls. This is a favourite leftist trick, as we have spent the last nine years seeing pictures of tenants with mould in their rentals. It is just a matter of scale. Let’s throw in a bit of raw sewage for good measure, and we have all the sympathy we need to start hiking tax rates somewhere.

Credit: Comrade Jacinda FB page

My money is on income tax hikes. Jacinda has already argued that the petrol tax is not a ‘new’ tax. Well, nor is income tax, Maybe that could be hiked to 40% for those who earn over $100,000. Or $90,000. Or why don’t we just go the whole hog and take it back to $60,000, as it was in 2000? After all, Michael Cullen is in charge of the Tax Working Group. He has been here before.

So, it is all the other guys’ fault. Blame the previous government. It is the oldest trick in the book. But even the most ignorant punter must stop and think that there must be some correlation between this and Steven Joyce’s $11.7 billion hole. That hole that he was ridiculed for last September. That hole that gets bigger by the day.

Nice to see you again, Marty McFly. It has been a while.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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