Media and opposition parties like to coin cute little phrases to describe budgets: ‘the Colby budget’, ‘the chewing gum budget’ etc. Labour have tried to label this one ‘the dishonest budget’, which is really more of an indication of how tin-eared and unimaginative the opposition party is in these sad days. So in the interests of public service I humbly suggest they try ‘the dog food budget’, the talking point being that that’s what New Zealanders are going to spend their retirement years eating for dinner under the National Government.
The decision to scrap the Cullen fund seems like an odd move politically. Why didn’t they just announce that they were suspending it for two to three years and that they’d review it based on the state of the economy at that time ? The only reason I can come up with is that they didn’t want it to become an election issue which is a rather vain and naive hope – even Labour are going to be able to make something out of the fact that around a million New Zealanders are set to retire over the next few decades and and there isn’t any money to pay for it.