On the left is a bloke in a red hat with a stop sign, on the right is a bloke in a blue hat with a go sign.
Arrows point left to stop and right to go forward.
The clarity of the choice will be confirmed when Finance Minister Bill English delivers the PREFU – Pre-election fiscal update – this afternoon.
When Labour Finance Minister Michael Cullen delivered the 2008 PREFU it forecast 10 years of deficits. Under their stewardship, New Zealand was already in recession and Labour didn’t have a workable plan to change that.
In spite of the financial and natural disasters which have beset us since then, National is forecasting a return to surplus earlier than that with policies which rebalance the economy away from taxing and spending towards savings, investment and export-led growth.
That is a significant achievement and a reminder that the choice is clear – going backwards under Labour or forwards with National.
We have Ruth Richardson to thank for the opening of the books. Until National, at her urging, changed the law which requires governments to open the books before the election, opposition parties had no idea about the state of the national accounts until after the election.