Wednesday, February 16, 2011

National: 'Let them eat cake'

The New Zealand National Party is campaigning for a second term in government based on what it thinks is its sound management of the economy. So far, they seem more like a wealthy elite, completely out of touch with ordinary New Zealanders, and now they’ve even added a “let them eat cake” moment.

John Key promised that his National-led government would fix the economy, grow jobs and make New Zealand more attractive for Kiwis than Australia. All that would be possible, he preached once taxes were cut.

It didn’t work out that way.

The unemployment went up in the last quarter, the economy continues to grow a snail’s pace when our trade competitors and partners have all recovered much better, and people are still leaving for Australia in droves.

National skewed its tax cuts toward the rich and super-rich, giving very little to ordinary, mainstream New Zealanders. Then they punished ordinary and poor New Zealanders by hiking GST (Goods and Services Tax).

Economic times are tough, Key and his deputy, Bill English, told us, and cuts must be made. So they cut funding for early-childhood education, causing fees to rise so much that for many working families the small tax cut that Key and English gave them was wiped out.

They sacked workers in the public service and talked of forced mergers in public agencies to “save money”. This was the same logic used when Key and his mate, Act Party leader Rodney Hide, forced through a merger of the Auckland region into one city (the bills for which will fall on mainstream Aucklanders for ten to twenty years, and which will cost at least that much more than National/Act promised).

Meanwhile, Kiwis keep voting with their feet. The number of New Zealanders moving to Australia keeps growing, and last weekend an Australian jobs fair in Auckland drew 7,000 potential migrants, nearly double the number expected.

Now we find out that the National-led government has order 34 brand-new, ultra-luxury BMWs to replace the current 3-year-old BMWs. Bill English and John Key claimed their hands were tied, due to a contract signed by the previous Labour-led government. The news media found out Key and English weren’t telling the truth: Renewal of the contract was optional—they didn’t have to buy new cars.

The cost of the cars could be around maybe half of one percent of total annual government expenditure, but the dollar amount isn’t the point. After preaching that New Zealand had to cut expenses (and services) and sell-off state owned assets, they had the cheek to buy new luxury cars when they could’ve kept the current ones a couple more years even if only as a symbolic gesture. Mainstream New Zealanders are pissed-off about this, and don’t appreciate the “let them eat cake” attitude of English and Key.

One thing we know already: This is shaping up to be a very interesting election campaign.

1 comment:

liminalD said...

Cheeky bastards >:(