Unintentionally hilarious

Anthony Hubbard writes in the SST:

Of course, no government could go on a spree. Even a Green-led administration would be doing austerity.

Oh wait is that a pig flying over-head.

The parties of the left have opposed pretty much every spending cut or restraint of the last four years. They have done little except to call for more spending and more taxation. To have Hubbard declare a Green-led administration would also do austerity flies in the face of not just four years of press releases from them, but even their own policy statements.  Here’s just a few of their massive spending policies:

  • Increase schools operations grant by 10%
  • Maximum class sizes no greater than 20
  • Increased teacher-child ratios in early childhood services
  • More funding for Maori language
  • Support pay parity for early childhood, primary and secondary educators
  • Write off student loan debt on a year for year basis if they stay in NZ
  • Establishing a universal student allowance
  • Cap and then progressively reduce student fees
  • Increase Community Organisations Grants Scheme (COGS) funding to $34m per annum
  • Establish a special fund of $150 million to mitigate the impact of ending pub pokie grants to community and voluntary sector organizations
  • Support TVNZ’s channel one becoming a commercial free, New Zealand focussed channel
  • Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.
  • Provide funding to third sector housing organisations for a minimum of 1000 units a year for the next 3 years
  • A Universal Child Benefit of $18.40 per week per child for the first child, $13.00 for subsequent children
  • Protect all benefit levels by linking rates to a fixed percentage of the average wage (like superannuation).
  • Remove discrimination from tax credit regimes such as the In Work Payment component of Working for Families.
  • Increase funding to promote health and prevent illness and injury to 10% of the health budget.
  • Introduce a free annual wellness check for all New Zealanders.
  • Extend the healthcare subsidies available to superannuitants to cover people on sickness and invalid’s benefits.
  • Provide free fruit to all primary schools.
  • Significantly increase funding for the aged and disability care sector.
  • Abolish asset testing for residential care.
  • Increase New Zealand’s ODA budget to 0.7% of GNI by 2015
  • Publicly funded mediation services for civil proceedings.
  • Legal aid available for community organisations in matters of public interest

Any economist want to estimate the cost of just those pledges? I reckon around $10b a year.

And Mr Hubbard would have us believe the Greens are into austerity!

It is worth reflecting that as Labour are polling so badly, any future left-wing Giovernment would be around one third Greens, which means they would realistically expect around a third of their policies to be implemented.

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