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Soul mining (with apologies to Matt Johnson)
Someone said they were releasing the budgie this week, but I didn’t even know we had caught one and were keeping it prisoner. Then Bill Nospeakada English told us it was going to be a zero budgie. What planet is this guy on, or what drugs has been taking? How can you have a zero budgie? Either you have a budgie or you don’t have a budgie; there is no halfway here. It’s rather like saying Nospeakada is half stupid.
However it transpires that whoever said we were releasing the budgie is also stupid. The budgie is staying behind bars for now, and it turns out that Nospeakada was actually releasing the bludge-it. He initially told us it was a zero budgetthat he was going to release which is about as stupid as releasing a zero budgie. However we don’t call him Nospeakada for no reason; it is because of the rambling, jargon laden stream of bollocks that exits his gob each time he opens it.
So the guts of all this is that we have just received the latest fairy story in the ongoing saga of our blighted new future which the Jianqi Government promised us back in November. It is not so much a budget as a bludge-it where all the usual bludgers do well and the rest of us just sink further into the shit.
The Treasury (we call them that because they are such treasures – relics of a bygone age that should be buried under a million years of silt); has hit upon the best way to boost their coffers. And that is to hit the coughers (again). The demonised tobacco is hit again and you have to wonder why it is seen as so much more evil than alcohol. I’ve yet to hear of someone crashing their car and killing an innocent citizen because they had smoked too many cigarettes. I’ve also never heard of someone getting into a fight because they have just smoked a fag. I would also argue the medical costs for the community are hardly likely to be more for smoking than they are for alcohol. I’m not trying to be an apologist for smoking here; just trying to get some perspective on all this.
However while the coughers are being shagged for buying their shag, the low income earners are being shagged for being filthy low income earners. Those on low incomes will no longer get the tax rebate for income under $10K. And rightly so, too. These people are a blight on the land and make Jianqi and his highly remunerated gang look greedy (which of course they aren’t). I say this move is long overdue. It is time these useless types got themselves a real job paying >$100k and a move like this should give them the kick up the arse they need.
Meanwhile another aspect of this new bludge-it is the smart move to stop those little brats from getting back the tax on their paper rounds. It is high time these young whippersnappers learned you get nothing for nothing and certainly nothing for your taxes. We can’t have these sprogs saving money; we want them to become borrowers because borrowers are what make the world go round. My only problem with this is they didn’t go far enough. I think the IRD should go on a search and destroy mission and rid every nursery and home of those damned piggy banks. Money kept in piggy banks is ‘off the grid’ and the government must be missing out on squillions in tax on the interest these secret caches would reap if they were in a ‘proper bank’.
So the whippersnappers who would hoard their savings and actually be able to pay for things with cash from their own reserves will be punished for their miserly ways and the burden they have placed upon the poor lenders who only want to lend out their money.
I am also thrilled to see that when these ankle-biters reach maturity we are raising the interest on those student loans they have. I see some are already whining about an alleged 20 percent increase in their interest rates. What are they talking about? This is a zero bludge-it so the fiscal effect is nothing, right? Got it yet? The proof of this is further borne out by the decision to hold the parental income threshold at the current levels for the next four years. This is another fiscally neutral move because who the hell can remember getting a wage rise in the last four years? Clearly it will mean they don’t get any worse off. We won’t mention inflation – it’s a dirty word we don’t have much truck with and it rather takes the edge off the power of the rhetoric.
Thus the irksome students who unreasonably wish to get an education must pay for the burden they are placing on the education system.
Nospeakada has come up with a clever way of keeping healthcare fiscally neutral as well. The way this is done is by announcing a dollop of money, which in this case is $435M and ‘allocate’ that to ‘help fund cost pressures and new initiatives (loads of meetings and 50 million pages of reports nobody will ever read, let alone act upon). Then you whip out a figure like $1.5B and say that will be the extra spend on Public Health Services over the next four years. Sums like that make most people’s eyes water but from what I can see our health expenditure for just the 12 month period from 2010/11 was over $13B. This would mean an increase of $1.5B over four years is actually only an increase of $375M per year which works out to approximately 2.75 %. This is to be paid for by increasing the cost of prescriptions.
So those who decide to get sick or injured will be punished for their carelessness and fair enough too.
So it is good that our latest bludge-it has accurately pinpointed those dead-weights in our midst who like their incorporated cousins such as Mighty River Power, Genesis Energy, Solid Energy, Meridian and Air New Zealand are placing such a huge burden on the system.
This will free up more money to pay the $120M plus bill for consultants to sell off the shares in the aforementioned state assets, bail out more finance companies, and insurance companies, prop up foreign owned media organisations and Appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal that wanted to see parent-caregivers paid for their sacrifices.
I have heard the opposition parties unkindly suggest that a zero bludge-it means the Government has zero idea about what to do. They might be right and that budgie I thought they were releasing might have been a canary. The poor little tweeter won’t stand a chance.