surplus

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."

The economy, thank God, does not resemble my household budget. 

Still, National will tell us they have the books in order because they’ve listened to our grandparents' voice of reason: ‘don’t spend more than you earn, and if you get into debt, spend less and save more. Batten down the hatches and wait for the recession to pass.’


Can we agree to ban the household budget metaphor from the election campaign? Probably not, because its a good story. It makes sense not to spend more than you earn, right? Who wouldn’t agree with that?

Except that if we ran the economy like a household budget we’d be a basket case.

One take out from today’s budget says it all.

The government thinks that the net fiscal impact on the economy will be contractionary.

Here’s what Bill English says in his Fiscal Strategy Report for the budget:

“Having been stimulatory during the recession, fiscal policy is expected to exert a mildly contractionary effect on the economy throughout the forecast period.”