Lyndon Hood: Finance Briefs
On Tuesday afternoon, New Zealand time, National's proposed Tax Cut was observed from the International Space Station, with the unaided human eye.
Glancing down at the wonderous splendour of planet Earth, Flight Engineer and John Phillips remarked:
"Hey, what's that huge thing in the South Pacific? Is that a proposed tax cut? I think it is!"
The Space Station is orbiting approximately 350km above the Earth's surface.
Many suspect that the Tax Cut has grown to such enormous size by secretly devouring the money required to pay for other National commitments in the areas of law and order, transport, aged care, work for the dole, compulsory bulk funding and the abolition of parole.
The Tax Cut is also believed to have devoured every other election issue. If any issues have escaped the Tax Cut's voracious maw, they are either hiding or sleeping. Sleeper issues are expected to re- emerge in the last fortnight of campaigning.
If elected, a National government will release this gargantuan policy into the economy. Once there, they will feed it waste for the rest of its life.
Size Not Everything: Cullen
Responding to boasts about the scale of National's tax cuts, Finance Minister Michael Cullen today asserted that size is not all that matters.
"It's not that we are ashamed of the size of our own package," explained Dr Cullen, "we simply think it should be targeted where it will do New Zealanders the most good. National are certainly not putting their tax cuts where they will help people starting a family."
"We also seriously doubt National can sustain their proposals through the ups and downs of the economic cycle."
While admitting that tax cuts were important, Dr Cullen also emphasised that this is not all New Zealand cares about.
"New Zealand wants someone to nurture it, so it knows that it is cared for. You don't have to come ploughing in with your enormous tax cuts to make the country happy," he said.
The Government has expert advice that the economy is not currently ready to receive such a large-scale stimulus without damaging consequences. Dr Cullen believes his own tax relief plan is small enough that it will hardly cause any disturbance.
"If proper precautions are not taken, there is also a serious risk of unplanned inflation," he added, "I don't think New Zealand wants that, and I really don't believe that National is ready to take responsibility for it."
Matron Wants to Know Which Party John Key is Leader of.
Having been alienated by Helen Clark's aggressive debate performance and suspicious of a hidden agenda from Don Brash, Mrs Natalie Stoke of the Belle Vue retirement home has decided to vote for towheaded ragamuffin John Key as Prime Minister.
"He seems a sensible young man," she observed last night, "And he is a bit of a charmer, isn't he? What party is he the leader of?"
This was the only useful conclusion she was able to draw from an extended television discussion of taxation issues.
"We didn't want to say anything, but we all though it was quite funny," said Ms Annette Tandy, who was present when the comment was made, "I mean, it was such a silly mistake - not supporting Mr Peters!"
Ms Tandy agree that Mr Key must be the leader of some party; possibly the Alliance.
Brash Wows Voters With Hotel-Room Anecdotes
"A lot of people know the story about me and the socks," said National leader Don Brash in a recent Television broadcast, "The cost of having them washed by the hotel would have been a unacceptable burden on the taxpayer. So instead I decided to borrow the money and use the benefit derived from having clean socks to pay the debt and the compounding interest over the life of the sock."
"This is perfectly normal practise," he explained, "and is entirely acceptable provided net debt does not exceed the price of the shirt on your back. As long as I don't have to wash anything else, I'm pretty sure we'll be fine."