Like so many of you, I have been disappointed with Labour in Government. It could have been the First Labour Government all over again – focussing on the things that matter – but instead has managed, through the pandemic, to deliver a huge wave of social and economic inequality.
But yesterday’s announcement that the deficit was “only $9 billion” has set off the crazies on the right and reminded us that – at least – our spending priorities are not a further bonus for the rich.
The lure of the $10 billion that was NOT in the deficit should really focus the mind. And not on giving the rich a new car each. With the major institutions of the welfare state in crisis, $10 billion would not go terribly far, but a hefty dollop each for health (hospitals), welfare (cash), education (getting schooling back on track), housing ($2 billion there for a small but lasting legacy in the cities) and all the rest (shared) would do a significant amount of good.
Whenever New Zealanders are asked, the majority plead that their tax dollars be spent on fixing the gaps in society, not on a cash bonus. Time is running out for this government. A post-pandemic (or mid-pandemic, if the predictions of the researchers are correct) bonus for us, for the society, for the63 future of Aotearoa, would be a timely initiative which would repay itself many times over in a better and healthier society into the future.