WINSTON PETERS: The blue banger still wobbling down the road
National might think they have done enough in the Budget to get a warrant of fitness from the public to keep their banger on the road for another three years.
They have taped up a few windows, replaced a couple of bald tyres with retreads and shoved some oil into the dodgy gearbox, but the car – our economy – is still an under-powered pile of metal weighed down by massive debt wobbling down a highway road-marked Trouble.
Look past the headlines, dig into the detail and you will find National has run down nearly all areas of our society – from health and education to housing and infrastructure.
The pain is everywhere with hundreds of thousands of Kiwis struggling to keep ahead, even in families with double incomes.
Steven Joyce’s Budget was an attempt to disguise the deep crises created under his government’s watch.
His so-called largesse, after years of austerity under National, was nothing more than a feeble attempt at catch-up and a calculated move to hang onto power.
The surplus, the so-called rock upon which his budget was based, is also, in reality, just a sham and a myth.
You can conjure up a surplus when you have cut DHB funding by $1.7 billion, frozen the police budget since 2010, allowed a massive housing shortage with over 40,000 houses needed just in Auckland, slashed DoC funding by $336 million, cut funding on native species protection by 21 percent since 2009 creating a shortfall of $230 million and failed to build roads and highways to keep pace with the country’s population growth.
Mr Joyce’s talk of 3 percent GDP growth is likewise utterly bogus. The true figure is 2.8 per cent and if you take out the 2 per cent fuelled by rocketing immigration, it is 0.8 per cent which is at the bottom of the OECD.
Our productivity is low – well below the better performing OECD countries and way behind Australia.
And we are lumbered with debt of $66.4 billion with next to nothing being done to reduce it.
Everyone knows wide-ranging problems are growing in New Zealand because of the government’s obsession with uncontrolled immigration and hands-off miserly approach.
These problems are not going away.
Mr Joyce’s last Budget was an abysmal failure.