First point I have to make is that publishing this budget data in a form that I can whack a pivvy table on it is brilliant. the only problem is that there is not enough multi year data. Only 2006 & 2007. It should be the full cost out to 2010 and back to 2000. 10 years of data at least.
Budget 2006 Herald comment: Audrey Young. "credit must go to Cullen for planting the accelerator "on roading projects, advancing them from 10 years to five.
Police spending is up from $1072m to $1072m. How will this help provide 1000 extra police?
At the same time, the Government also aims to keep core Crown expenses at around 32% of GDP over the long term. This means that, net of NZS Fund returns and contributions, we require core Crown operating surpluses of around 1% of GDP on average over the cycle.
So much for reforming Energy markets. Expenditure is down 45%.
Apparently Regional aid and Overseas Aid are no longer policy targets of this government.
|Official Development Assistance||369,463||358,885||-2.9%|
|Economic, Industry and Regional Development||300,012||271,250||-9.6%|
Biosecurity does not seem to be a priority either.
Apparently this government is spinning that it is spending more on education. How does it explain this analysis by functional classification Education?
|Education Review Office||28,428||28,984||2.0%|
|Research, Science and Technology||20,228||22,883||13.1%|
|Community and Voluntary Sector||150||150||0.0%|
Functional Classification Social Welfare gets the biggest increase. Despite the much touted success with reducing Benefit numbers the cost of this area is ever increasing. CYF is punished for its performance by getting a less than CPI increase. The increase in the Vote Justice related to social welfare indicates it is getting harder to manage that rump of beneficiaries.
|Functional Classification||Social Security and Welfare|
|Child, Youth and Family Services||459,233||463,903||1.0%|
|Agriculture and Forestry||0||356|
This budget is as other commentators have said a boring steady as she goes. I am forming the conclusion that Cullen is not going to be judged guilty of gross profligacy in the way Muldoon was. But he will be judged as having missed the opportunity year after year to demonstrate the kind of original thinking and boldness that would put this country back on the path towards a place in the upper echelons of the OECD GDP per capita comparisons. With limited thinking like this it is just not going to happen. Following is an extract from the fiscal outlook to balance the one showing Net worth trend increasing from 1994. This post is something of a placeholder for budget.