Budget 2014 is coming out today. Members of the NZ econ blogsphere will be tweeting their reactions (at #NZ14). In preparation, I thought I would link back to a previous post of mine calling for better press coverage of budgets, here, and, since an election-year budget is always an election issue, a post from the 2011 election about what to ignore in the economic policy section of parties’ election manifestos, here. The latter contained a couple of points specific to the 2011 election, but 4 timeless points, that are worth restating. These were
- Decide whether what matters to you is what serves your selfish interest or what would serve the social good. If you are genuinely concerned about the social good, you should ask what sacrifices you are being asked to make, not how others are going to pay.
- Pay no attention to a policy that promises to create jobs or reduce unemployment, unless it specifically mentions labour market policy.
- Ignore promise of goodies to be financed by stronger economic growth.
- Ignore any policy that labels social spending “investment”.
(I expand on each of these further in the original post.)
Matt has covered off alternative-budget, election-manifesto announcements from ACT, Labour, and the Greens. It would say that ACT fails on Point 3, and Labour on Point 2. I fully expect to see all the parties failing on one or more of these by the time of the election, and I will be looking out for examples in today’s budget and the resulting discussion.
Note: originally published at Offsetting Behaviour 15 May.