Wellbeing budget not well received

Remember how the Wellbeing budget was going to be a world leader? How everyone would be wowed by the kindness that Jacinda and her entourage is showing to her subjects? How the world would sit up and take notice? Well, the world did sit up and take notice… but the reaction is not exactly what Jacinda was expecting.

The Daily Mail UK has taken note… and is not terribly impressed at all, describing her plans to spend $26 billion on wellbeing as ‘kooky’.

They said it… not me.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been criticised for her ‘wellness budget’ and ‘unrealistic’ climate change targets. 

But even the model on the cover of the much-hyped Budget papers has relocated to Australia, citing cost of living pressures.

The new budget will see Ms Ardern splash $26.5billion over the next four years on tackling suicide rates, child poverty, homelessness and domestic violence.

The plan is an extraordinarily radical one designed to re-imagine how a country measures its success.

‘We are not just relying on gross domestic product, but also how we are improving the wellbeing of our people,’ New Zealand’s Finance Minister said on Thursday.

The high-spending budget has attracted attention across the globe – and has been savaged by critics amid fears it will lead to national debt and tax increases. 

How can it not. At the moment, Grant Robertson has maintained that he does not expect to run deficits, but that will all change within the next couple of years. He didn’t change the debt/GDP ratio for nothing.

‘Ms Ardern said it’s about embedding kindness and empathy, legislating those things,’ Price said.

[Rita] Panahi replied: ‘This sort of silliness impresses some of the people sometimes for a little period but you eventually get found out and I think she’s going to get found out.’

‘It’s just going to be very ugly at the next election.’

I sure hope so… but talking about the budget with friends and associates over the last couple of days, there is little comment. Most are happy that money is being spent on mental health, but that is it. Most people don’t even seem to be angry about index linking benefits to wages. We all expected nothing less from this government.

Price said Ms Ardern had reversed a policy where people in social housing had to leave when they improved their personal circumstances, a direction Panahi disagreed with.

‘If you’re earning a decent salary then you’ve got other options, that government-subsidised housing should be for those who can’t care for themselves,’ Panahi said.

‘Some of the stuff they’re talking about is just kooky… when you look at the substance often there’s not much there.’

Reversing sensible policies is nothing new for this government. They have walked away from any hope of getting fathers to admit paternity, and hence pay for the upbringing of their children. It is okay for unrelated taxpayers to pay to bring up the children of solo mothers, but don’t ask the father to do it. It is kooky all right.

Caller Glen said he was in New Zealand during the Australian election, and sat in during a meeting of Parliament for a reading of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill – an ambitious plan to eliminate carbon by 2050.

‘How are they going to do that?’ Price asked.

‘One of the most bizarre things about this zero carbon is they’re going to cut methane…’ Glen said.

‘The opposition pointed out they’re going to have to cull half of their (cow) herds by 2050 to make this.

‘Half of the money New Zealand makes comes from exported food… you cut back half of your herds, New Zealand will be importing food by that time.

But this government killed our oil and gas industry with one stroke of the pen, so why would anyone be surprised by this? Except for the fact that the $26 billion in social policies will have to be paid for somehow, and there is nothing in this budget for wealth creators. Tax increases looks to be the only answer. Just watch.

‘As people flee, New Zealand will end up like Venezuela.’

Price said New Zealanders will end up in Australia, while Panahi said there would be an ‘influx’ of Kiwis moving across the Tasman Sea.

Daily Mail UK.

Nothing new here. The lady on the front of the glossy budget document has already taken flight to Australia. Expect a major exodus in the next year or so.

Funny, but Australia has just re-elected a centre-right government. I wonder if there is any connection…