2019 Budget

If the Government is serious about redirecting policy towards wellbeing, it is going to have to do a lot more than making the odd statement in the budget.

On the Friday morning previous to Budget Thursday, the Prime Minister gave what amounted to a pre-budget speech. It was not welcomed by the listeners, even though most New Zealanders may have found it promising But the audience was from the Auckland Business Community (ABC) and the speech gave little acknowledgement to them or their concerns.

The government has promised a ‘wellbeing budget’. No one seems to know what that means. We can set out some preliminary economic understandings.

There is a story of a little old lady who woke up after a close election and was told that the result was a ‘hung parliament’. She responded that she did not know what that meant, but it sounded like a good idea.

A new book extends the challenge of how to have a decent society for all. We can do better.

From the 1930s when GDP was first systematically measured, economists knew that it was not a good measure of wellbeing.