Simon Bridges’ budget day speech is all about unleashing the fearsome power of ordinary Kiwis. Unlocking the awesome potential of New Zealand’s economy. Breaking New Zealanders free of the economic constraints of the Prime Minister and her government’s economic policies. It’s a very sexy thought, but the delivery is lacking and content is tired.
Mr. Bridges’ speech is a collection of everything he’s already said. He hits the high notes- taxes, borrowing money, wasteful spending. It’s not particularly clever or entertaining, and it rambles much like a first year essay spinning a single sentence argument into 2,000 sloppy words with no great substance.
Simon nails the government on Kiwibuild and light rail failures, both relevant points when the Finance Minister is promising a wide variety of spending projects. If you’re a fan of Bridges’ centre-right common sense then he will no doubt have said what you’re thinking. He follows his greatest hits compilation of government failures with a list of National’s own great achievement- ultra-fast broadband, Roads of National Significance and the like, and goes on to outline his own five-point plan for recovery:
- Lighten the lockdown
- Save jobs by getting cash to small businesses
- Common sense and pragmatism with regards to the “1 and 2 metre world.”
- (And he’s serious about this) Unlock private sector investment. Keep taxes low.
- Turbocharging the innovation sector
One hopes the Leader of the Opposition would take to the Government’s Budget with a fiery passion and a collection of alternatives. Bridges does not, and as such gives me little to work with.
Ordinary Kiwis who are already appreciative of the Leader of the Opposition’s party and policies will find themselves nodding along with criticism of pet projects and fiscal mismanagement, the accumulation of debt and a lack of a comprehensive plan, but there is very little chance he will be swaying any swing voters with his joyless oration.
I’ll leave you with a few choice comments from Facebook in reaction to the speech:
“National is embarrassment…. they have not direction no answers, just moaning”
“go away noddy”
“1000 moans per minute. Shut up soimin bwiges”