Back in the distant remote past of one week ago when National definitely wasn’t going to increase the refugee quota, independent free-thinking broadcaster Mike Hosking stood up for the government’s position for the ~2500th day in a row, demanding to know where the money was going to come from to pay for more refugees. What would we give up to take these people in? ‘Because it has to come from somewhere.’ Who is getting cut? The health system? Christchurch? Hosking is very passionate about this. ‘Reality has a real bill,’ he explains.
Firstly, we never seem to have these sensible, realistic conversations about money when National wants to spend tens of millions of dollars funding the Americas Cup. Or flag referendums. Or just writing checks to multinational corporations like Rio Tinto. The money is always just there. And, a couple of days later when National reversed its position again and Key committed $50 million towards that cost we didn’t actually have that big conversation about sacrifice and cutting the health system that Hosking insisted was so necessary and realistic. Where is the money coming from? The government’s discretionary budget? Beats me. It’s just there, somehow.