Every now and then someone from the left reckons it’s time the government relaxed its Presbyterian approach to public spending.
The government, sensibly, hasn’t agreed with that and the Canterbury earthquake makes it an even worse idea.
Duncan Garner interviewed Finance Minister BiIll English on The Nation:
DUNCAN Does that mean you have to cut back in other areas though Mr English. I mean as you’re going into next year’s budget, election year budget, clearly money that you thought you had, you haven’t got now?
BILL Well I think what it means is that if anyone had an idea that we could let up on tight management of the government’s finances, then this event means that we can’t.
The earthquake is a reminder of the importance of healthy public finances to ensure that unexpected events don’t jeopardise necessary services.