The government is open to a rise in tobacco tax; there may be fewer government departments at the end of this parliamentary term; the requirement for a 9% return on equity from Crown Research Institutes will be relaxed; Cabinet is considering more oil exploration; Bill English is disappointed with DOC and RadioNZ playing politics; long term economic restructuring is more important than short term jobs; and falling business confidence is a dose of reality.
A media release from TVNZ highlighted these points from the Guyon Espiner’s interview with Finance Minister Bill English on Q&A yesterday.
The most important of these is that government focus on long term economic restructuring rather than short term jobs.
It takes courage from a government to do what’s right in the long term when they’ll be judged at the ballot box in the short term.
The last administration bought lots of votes and we’re paying for it now. This one is facing criticism from the left for being too tough and the right for not being tough enough.
In spite of that and the need for strong medicine the polls are holding up for National. Perhaps that shows that the public realise this and have also accepted the dose of realism which businesses are facing up to.