Cullen’s scorched earth policy has succeeded

This week’s Dispatch from St Johnnysburg is online at NBR. Some extracts:

Bill English all but confirmed this week that the tax cuts planned (and legislated) for 2010 and 2011 will be cancelled.

They are a casualty of not just the global recession, but a victim of Michael Cullen’s “Scorched Earth” policy, otherwise known as his 2008 Budget.

Dr Cullen was gleeful in the hours after his final budget. He smirked and gloated that he had left no money for National. In fact he agreed in an interview with Gordon Campbell that his budget was a “booby trap” for National. …

You can reduce taxes if you keep spending under control, but Dr Cullen increased spending in his final budget by a massive $4.5 billion, at the same time as he also delivered (finally) tax cuts which when fully implemented would reduce revenue by around $3 to $4 billion a year.

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