My values are Labour values.

I want to help build a stronger, more caring society. I am passionate about Dunedin, and I bring considerable energy and wide experience to the task of representing this electorate.

My diverse work background has given me an understanding of the economic and social levers that can be pulled to achieve meaningful change.

Please read some of the discussions included here. I welcome your comments.

- David Clark

Budget day blues

When I worked at The New Zealand Treasury, I used to assess budget bids from other government departments.

The information I produced at Treasury fed a process that resulted in recommendations to Cabinet about where our taxpayer money should best be spent.  Such advice is important – but ultimately budget decisions rest with Ministers.  They form the executive of the Government – elected by the people – and are paid to outline and implement a vision for our country. 

Today is budget day.  The Government have repeatedly failed to articulate a credible plan, and I’m not expecting that to change.  I’m expecting a budget with few surprises, but with further cuts for hard-working New Zealanders, and a budget without a convincing sense of how these cuts are meant to help our future prospects as a country.  

National seem to be tinkering – on the advice of their favourite officials – but Key’s government lack a coherent and inspiring vision of their own – for success. 

Before the last election, John Key claimed to be ‘ambitious’ for New Zealand.  Two years later, all he has succeeded in doing is gutting the word ‘ambition’ of meaningful content.

So what would a plan for New Zealand look like?

Making random cuts here and there is not the answer. Cutting KiwiSaver will mean less money available for investment in our productive sector (remember Key’s ‘aspirational’ promise to invest locally?)  Tinkering with Working for Families will not save us.  Our private debt problem needs to be addressed.  And our research sector needs real investment too.

Yesterday my piece published in the ODT covered what I think are the big issues facing the New Zealand economy.  I criticised the Government for not having a plan of any substance for our economy, and for wanting to sell our state assets (selling the goose that lays the golden eggs).   But I didn’t want to just sit with criticism.  I also laid out starting points for a useful plan.

I’m not the only one who is uninspired by National.  Don Brash is trying to drag the party back towards the worst aspects of its past.  Only Labour can stop a Don and John combo that will see New Zealand sold down the river to the highest bidder.

The other David C has a useful pre-budget piece in the Herald. He poignantly argues that borrowing for tax cuts is not the answer to our woes.  Pointing to a fairly low bar, he says we’ll know the budget is a success “if it shows that National has realised it cannot go on as it has: borrowing and splurging on tax cuts for the wealthy, then asking the rest of us to pick up the bill.”

Unfortunately I don’t think even that test of success will be met.

2 COMMENTS

2 comments on ‘Budget day blues’

  1. 19 May, 2011
    Jo

    Sadly, I agree with you.

  2. 25 June, 2011
    Phil

    I am against asset sales. It takes away our autonomy, looses our money, a lot overseas, and we loose our government income. Iam for jobs. The Auckland light rail contract if won by Hillside would have boosted jobs in Dunedin, grown the skills, equipment, and infrastructure and put millions into the N.Z. economy. It would also have improved the wellbeing of our people and reduced existing social problems. Hillside was prevented from submitting a tender. This government has no faith in it’s people to do the job. Our government needs COURAGE, a plan and expertise. We have not dealt to these problems so now they are dealing to us.

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