The deficit-funded tax cuts that National gave the high income earners is still being paid for by borrowing.

When National won office at the end of 2008, they had a mandate to give median income earners a tax cut 'north of $50 a week'. At the time John Key made that promise he explicitly pledged not to increase GST to pay for it.  

"National is not going to be raising GST," he fibbed. "What I am saying is if we do a half-decent job as a government at growing our economy I am confident that won't be happening."

Heh. "Half-decent."

National and Labour made very big , but very different announcements this week. However the political thinking behind them both was almost identical and was all about eliminating the negative

For most people, the start of the year is about resolutions – all the good things they'll do this year and all the bad stuff they'll stop doing. What we've seen at the start of this politlcal year is half of that, as the major parties try to show the public that they can do better.

Our tax system asks too much of those with little, and too little of those with much.

You may recall that our tax system got a major overhaul in the 2010 Budget, with income tax rates going down while GST went up. This changed substantially the shares of tax revenue being paid by poor people and by rich people. Poor people pay for more of the government than they used to, while rich people pay for less.

It only took a moment, an instinct to get the last word. But Winston Peter's closing remarks on Q+A raise questions about his conviction and comebackability

Television has its strengths and of course its limitations. One of its greatest assets is that it gives you 'moments'; a sudden revelation, a slip of the tongue, a facial expression or an impetuous outburst that remains in your mind long after the grist has been forgotten.

A well-managed Budget could still cause political problems for National if the Opposition is able to re-connect with New Zealanders who don't usually vote... let alone go to the symphony orchestra

Kick me, I'm in a time warp. Did National's strategists get the year wrong? Or is there a cunning plot to call an election this November?

Wasn't that an election year budget?