Would the real Labour leader please stand up?

We have been waiting impatiently for the Wellbeing Budget, the one that is going to make us world leaders. The one that will make the rest of the world follow in our footsteps. The one that puts a value not on productivity, but on talking to a neighbour over going to see a doctor. Personally, I have been waiting with bated breath for months to ridicule it. I fully expected it to be chock with touchy-feely rubbish, along with a huge amount of taxpayers money that will disappear into the stratosphere.

Well, 2 days out, it looks as if I am set to be disappointed. Simon Bridges has gone public today with a supposedly leaked version of Thursday’s budget, and we are all very surprised. Either someone is playing some very elaborate tricks on Simon, or he has just leaked the fact that the Wellbeing Budget is… not really very concerned with wellbeing at all. It is much more like the kind of budget that National would – or maybe should – be proposing.

He can’t possibly have read the document. If what he is saying is right, he is going to have egg on his face big time.

National has claimed it’s got the goods on the Government’s Budget, detailing spending promises the Opposition understands Labour has made to NZ First. 


Among the biggest apparent gains for NZ First’s ministers is $1.3 billion for defence assets, and the doubling of “Vote Forestry” – the total budget for nearly all forestry initiatives being funded by the Government. 

“The Government will announce a total of $1.3 billion for the purchase of assets in Vote Defence Force in 2019/2020, up from $641 million last year. This has nothing to do with the Government’s wellbeing priorities. It shows the Prime Minister has yet again had to throw her principles out the window to buy off Winston.

I’m sorry, Simon, but I’m glad to see an increase in defence spending, and I don’t really care if it is Winston who has made it happen. Our closest allies, Australia, have expressed concern over our lack of defence spending and maybe this will go some way to address that imbalance. I would have thought the leader of the National party would want to see that too. The only real surprise is that it is coming from this government.

Bridges says the Government’s allocation to the Official Development Assistance (overseas aid budget) was also given a boost. And the DHB figure fell short of what was needed, he said.

“What it shows is a loose incompetent ship of a Government. For all the talk about wellbeing this is a Winston Budget,” Bridges said.
“All this spin about wellbeing is nonsense. This is the price for keeping this Government there and its Winston’s price.”

Stuff.

Simon, Simon, Simon… hang fire. We all thought the concept of the Wellbeing budget was a nonsense. It was just more fairy dust, meant to make people feel good but to achieve absolutely nothing. If this leak is accurate, it sounds as if this week’s budget will be much the same as usual. That is a good thing, Simon. Don’t you get that?

Simon Bridges, leader of the opposition and leader of the National party has effectively come out and said that he WANTS a ‘wellbeing’ budget while the left-leaning government wants to pay for more police and increase defence spending. I’m sorry, Simon, but this time, you really have shot yourself in the foot. Are you really the leader of the National party? Really?

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