Monday, December 18, 2023

Francesca Rudkin: New revelations set up a sombre political tone for 2024

On our first Sunday back at the beginning of this year, the Labour Government confirmed who our new Prime Minister would be.

So much has happened since then.

When Chris Hipkins took on the role, it felt like he went straight into election mode, aware he had only 9 months to convince us he had the vision, leadership and relatability for the job, and that he understood what New Zealanders needed and wanted.

Other political parties soon followed, and while the election campaign was officially only 5 weeks long the year felt like one long audition for the role of Prime Minister and Government.

And now, in our last show, the country ends the year in a completely different place – a place of revelations and repeals which are setting a sombre tone for 2024.

The reveals this week were gobsmackingly bad for the opposition. First there was the Auditor General’s report that stated two of Labour’s spending programmes – the $12b New Zealand Upgrade Programme (NZUP) and the $3b Shovel-Ready Programme (SRP) that were announced in 2020 to keep the economy going during the pandemic – were poorly run, with little transparency and value for money.

Then Nicola Willis pulled the plug on much needed new Interislander Ferries project in response to a massive budget blow out, whose blame she lay at the feet of the previous Finance Minister.

A day later, it was confirmed the economy has been in a per capita recession for much of the past year. And the good news doesn’t stop there.

This week will bring more revelations as the Government opens their books for the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update. I’m not sure the opposition will want to turn up for this.

And if you want to know how all this news will affect us in 2024, you only have to look at the list of what is being repealed and cut to stop spending money – and take note of Nicola Willis’ mini mini-budget on Wednesday. It will give us a taste of what to expect in the Government’s May 2024 budget.

If I was going to describe 2023, I’d say it was the year when the wheels fell off in slow motion. 2024 is lining up to be the year when the brakes go on. It’s going to take a bit to slow and stop our fiscal freefall and it’s not going to be much fun. It seldom is when the party ends.

Francesca is a well known film reviewer, writes for NZ Herald's Timeout magazine, and contributes to Jack Tame's Newstalk show. This article was first published HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'gobsmackingly bad for the opposition' - well, this doesn't apply to the labour/green voters :( according to them, govt MUST spend more than they earn, otherwise what's the point of having all that power? they MUST overtax anyone and everyone who contributes to the economy, otherwise what's the point of having all that power?

while the information shows the ineptitude of labour in numeric terms, the people influenced by this already voted for the current government. so, don't expect any change in the polls.