Fifteen billion. It is a bucket load of money, and even spread out over several years, you cant hide the fact the Government has thrown pretty much the kitchen sink at their Families policies.
The claims or aims are bold. 88,000 out of poverty - if they can prove that, it'll lead to tangible political support. But there are a couple of seriously big question marks around all of this.
They've spent the lot. There is about $600 million left over for everything else. And $600m in government terms is literally nothing. It can simply vanish if the forecasts are wrong. If the growth slows even the slightest amount, if a budget blows out.
It's not dissimilar to you having 10 bucks till the end of the week, and you haven't bought the milk. You might make it, you might not. And the forecasts, which were part of yesterday's big announcements, were interesting.
Immigration is a massive grey area, mainly because it drives growth. Now if the government cuts the numbers? Growth stalls. If migration stalls of its own volition? Growth stalls.
They also worry about construction. This promise to build 100,000 houses looks fanciful, it's already pushed out to 2019, which means 20,000 houses will be pushed into eight years, so it's 100 000 in eight... you do the maths.
Then look at the forecasts around capacity, cost of construction and labour, and that's a rabbit too hard to pull out of any hat. But, and here's what makes governments great or not, this is bold. It's big and it's bold and it's classic labour. It's Redistribution 101.
The quality of the spend is to be questioned. When you shower money, you waste money, and they have to be praying things go their way in terms of income. And here's their other issue. Having coughed it all now, there is nothing left to twist arms with later. This is your Christmas.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
These are all the toys and all the presents. Short of us striking oil, we've done the Budget. So when the sugar wears off, and the winter chill arrives, the jar is empty. It is a massive political risk.