How the world views our ‘ Wellbeing budget’

NZ is increasingly being viewed as a bit of a joke.

I gave up on A Newspaper as a news source long before there were viable alternatives as readily available as they are today. We moved to a rural delivery address and our newspaper arrived with the rural postie. This meant that it wasn’t opened until the evening and, as my wife correctly opined, what’s the point? So the subscription was cancelled and I began using RSS feeds.

Later I found it was easier to use news sources’ Twitter feeds and then to collate them using Flipboard on my iPad. Over the years I have built up a very eclectic repository of sources; Breitbart and Buzzfeed, The Telegraph and The Guardian, Golf Digest and Cricinfo and so on and so on. I think it is important to include the Buzzfeeds and Guardians of the world in order to try and live outside an echo chamber of similar opinion and also for amusement – Buzzfeed is so facile it beggars belief.

I was surprised to see that our so called ‘Well Being Budget’ has received worldwide attention. I have seen it mentioned all over the place but this morning there was commentary on it in The New Scientist. Now this rag used to be ‘what it said on the tin’, but it now remains on my list of sources which have moved firmly into the amusement park.

It is especially droll when it comes to climate change rubbish. All overseas comment I have seen over the last few days have

A) Seen this as Jacinda’s budget.

B) Looked upon it as a curiosity as one might view the bearded lady at a freak show and

C) Metaphorically shaken their heads and said ‘Well it won’t work, but we’ll keep an eye on it.’

The New Scientist even said this morning that this move away from running a country as a viable going concern and just making people feel good is not new as it has been in place for years in that well known global financial powerhouse, Bhutan.

There is no world comment that this budget is no more than a flash label on a bog-standard budget with a lot of spending going to mental health and child poverty. No mention that the mechanics of splashing this money in these directions is woolly at best and no mention of the fact that no objective ways of measuring outcomes have been detailed.

There is no mention of the big spend on defence and railways and, of course, no mention of the means of generating the income for this big spend up (BTW petrol going up by a further 3c/litre soon – muppet transport minister tells us it is for our own good as it will be spent on road safety, blah, blah, blah………and do you want to buy a bridge?).

I would imagine the rest of the world is a bit more pragmatic than the sheeple that our PM has cast her glittery spell upon and we are increasingly being viewed as a bit of a joke.