No street twirls yet but maybe save last dance for Jacinda

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Au­drey Young com­ment

It was not a Bud­get that would have you danc­ing in the streets.

Nor was it a Bud­get to rage against — al­though Si­mon Bridges tried valiantly.

In the end, al­most ev­ery­one was right about this Bud­get.

Si­mon Bridges said Na­tional had left a legacy of a grow­ing econ­omy and the books in tip-top shape for the new Gov­ern­ment.

Labour won’t thank them — but nor did Na­tional thank Labour for a sim­i­lar be­quest in 2009 when the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit.

Jacinda Ardern said it would be about health, hous­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

She said it would be pre­dictable but not bor­ing. True enough. It would be im­pos­si­ble for any creation of Ardern, Grant Robert­son and Win­ston Peters to be bor­ing.

Greens co-leader James Shaw said it would be the green­est Bud­get ever, and it is.

The $100 mil­lion green in­vest­ment fund for clean tech­nolo­gies is a re­al­ity. For­mer leader Rus­sel Nor­man, who first pro­moted the pol­icy, must be green with envy if not pur­ple with pride.

I was right when I sug­gested at a press con­fer­ence to an­nounce $900 mil­lion more for For­eign Af­fairs that Win­ston Peters just needs to snap his fin­gers in this Gov­ern­ment, which he cre­ated.

This time, it is the rac­ing in­dus­try and tax de­ductibil­ity for in­vestors in stand­out breed­ing year­lings.

A stand­out year­ling is de­fined as one “that com­mands at­ten­tion by virtue of its blood­lines, looks and rac­ing po­ten­tial” and ap­par­ently IRD will be the judge.

Most im­por­tantly, Grant Robert­son said it would be a fis­cally re­spon­si­ble Bud­get and it was.

Busi­ness is sus­pi­cious of the new Gov­ern­ment, con­fi­dence sur­veys show, but not enough to make it hurt the Gov­ern­ment’s cof­fers.

Iron­i­cally it was a boost in Gov­ern­ment rev­enue from busi­ness prof­its that de­liv­ered Robert­son al­most $1 bil­lion more in rev­enue than ex­pected in De­cem­ber. He spent a lit­tle of the ex­tra, but didn’t blow the lot.

And in or­der to have more wind­falls into the fu­ture, Robert­son needs to prove he is re­spon­si­ble.

Clearly he wants the pot to grow be­cause much more spend­ing is ex­pected in fu­ture years.

The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor ex­pects a big­ger share of the pie al­though par­ents with higher needs chil­dren may not feel hard done by.

Health re­ceived in­ten­sive care in this Bud­get.

Labour Maori MPs will be want­ing more for their con­stituen­cies.

And Peters will be want­ing to de­liver more to su­per­an­nu­i­tants be­fore the next elec­tion.

Per­haps that will bring on the danc­ing.

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