The most boring Budget ever?

Credit:  Emmerson

Credit: Emmerson

We’ve already been told not to expect anything drastic. ?Another steady-as-she-goes budget from Bill English is on the way.

Some would argue that it is yet another opportunity let slip for genuine reform, but while National has a death grip on the center left voter by essentially perpetuating most of the Helen Clark social services, health and education frameworks, the ‘don’t scare the horses’ approach looks like a 3rd term winner for National.

Finance Minister Bill English is about to present a preview of his May 15 Budget. ?

Mr English is making his first pre-Budget speech at midday, speaking to the Employers’ Chamber of Commerce in Wellington.

Prime Minister John Key says the finance minister will confirm a “slim surplus” for 2014/15 followed by bigger surpluses in following years.

Mr Key has already revealed new spending in the budget has been capped at $1 billion, and that most of it will go to health and education.

“In future budgets we need to remain disciplined, big spending increases would ramp up pressure on inflation and interest rates would rise higher than they otherwise would need to,” he said on Monday.

Two terms have been wasted going on about partial asset sales, while genuine educational and welfare reforms go begging. ?All the dancing around the edges is going to be at the cost of missed opportunities.

This government appears to have no appetite for implementing ideologically driven reforms. ?Instead, it has just cushioned us from the worst of the Global Financial Crisis and have done nothing else that could possibly scare the voters. ?And they’ve done it well enough to be the most popular NZ MMP party on record.

It doesn’t do much for the feeling that we could have done better.