ZB

Tim Beveridge: The Government is turning us into a nation of beneficiaries

Author
Tim Beveridge,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 May 2022, 5:49pm
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Tim Beveridge: The Government is turning us into a nation of beneficiaries

Author
Tim Beveridge,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 May 2022, 5:49pm

I don't mind telling you that prior to yesterday's budget, I was kind of over it already.

The question is whether this budget announcement yesterday was a win for the Government? Was it that enough to turn the tide in the polls?

For most of us though, the immediate question is what's the Government going to do for us, and our focus on the cost of living and the constant headlines around inflation?

The Government answer to this is $27.00 a week for three months, making a total of $350.00 for low income earners.

Wow, is that it? What a shame.

It leaves me wondering whether the obvious solution has been avoided simply because it was the opposition's idea.

Grant Robertson was asked what he was doing for the "squeezed middle". His response was to note that 81 percent of New Zealanders are now getting some form of support, either through the Winter Energy Payment or the cost-of-living payment.

So 81 percent of working age New Zealanders receiving some level of state support.  So in response to inflation and the cost of living, his response is to turn 81 percent of us into beneficiaries of the Government, and that is the problem.

That's why I think that this Budget, for most New Zealanders, is a fail.

Over the past couple of years, with lockdowns increasing Government involvement and intrusion into our lives, we've also seen a massive growth in government bureaucracy and more and more, I reckon, the Government is turning us into a nation of people who look first toward the Government for answers and not to ourselves.

For me, I would have seen a simple adjustment to the tax thresholds as a common-sense answer to putting money in the pockets of New Zealanders, so they can make their own choices. Instead, we're turned into beneficiaries.

Financial commentator, Bernard Hickey, made the observation that next year there's plenty of room for the Government to spend a lot more prior to the election. Well frankly, that observation was probably accurate.

In a way, it's disappointing, but unsurprising. But make no mistake when it comes to handing out the money, the Government is saving up for its top priority and that is buying your vote at the next election. Everything else is second best.