The Labour Party has a death wish. In what looks like a bid to make sure it loses September’s general election, last Friday the Labour-Green alliance launched a major plank of its election platform titled Budget Responsibility Rules. What the Labour Party is saying is that if it wins the election it will hold public spending in check. It is saying it will be no different from National and there will be no change in the neo-liberal voodoo economics that we have suffered for 30 years. And it is saying the working class can go to hell.
No wonder the National Party’s David Farrar said in his Kiwiblog:
“I’m delighted that Labour and Greens have signed up some Budget Responsibility Rules. This represents a huge shift for the middle ground of NZ politics.”
“For the last 20 years or so the parties of the left have campaigned on tax increases and massively increased spending. Now Labour and Greens have said that will keep government spending to under 30% of GDP.”
“In 2008/09 Labour left office with core crown expenditure at 35.5% of GDP. It took a massive effort by National to get it down to under 30% by 2015. Labour and Greens opposed pretty much every one of those spending cuts or restraints yet now they are saying they will stick to a similar expenditure level. Again, this is a huge shift, and a massive victory for the forces of fiscal conservatism.”