For a couple of years my biggest worry, in a partisan sense, was that Labour would introduce significant tax relief in this budget. If they had done so, it would have made it very difficult to campaign against a Government which was saying “Hey we are spending more in core areas, and also running the economy well enough to give you some of your taxes back”.
But Labour have made what I consider to be a strategic blunder. They should have either introduced significant tax relief, or they should have stuck to their guns on making no changes. But by having their President allude to a deep dark secret, and have it turn into a miniscule amount which you have to wait three years for, they have over-promised and under-delivered.
Making people wait three years, when you have an $8B surplus is basically insulting.
The original version of this post had links to ten different editorials and articles all saying much the same thing. But the bloody filters here blocked it, and I lost it all. Suffice to say I have never seen such all-round negativity in terms of budget coverage as with this one.
The ball is firmly with John Key and co to come up with an affordable and realistic alternative.