Sir Roger Douglas
Governments will need to remove the blinkers of self-interest and look to implement imaginative policies that are focused on the medium to long-term, rather than the toxic desire to hold onto power for three more years.
The only effective safeguard for ordinary people is the ability to make a free personal choice among competing suppliers whose livelihood depends on satisfying the final consumer. Dedication to that principle from 1984 onwards is what places that Labour government squarely in the established Labour tradition of putting the needs of the common people first.
Why is it that John Key always asks the wrong questions - that is, how will voters react - and as a result, will rule out most quality policy options, rather than asking, what is the right thing to do? And then, and only then, asking how do I sell it?
Budget Day is coming up. Finance Minister Bill English has promised that this will be a ‘responsible Budget’ - but what does that actually mean? How can we tell if a Budget is responsible or reckless? Unless we understand some fundamental economic truths, then we will not be able to determine whether Mr English delivers on his promise. Set out below are 10 principles we must keep in mind when assessing a Budget.
Thirty years ago, I told the Labour Party conference that New Zealand stood at the economic crossroads. That there were no soft options left. That unless we changed our ways, New Zealand was headed for disaster. That proved to be dead right.
Act was formed because we could see that, without further policy change, some disastrous outcomes could be expected by the year 2010. As we all know, adequate changes were not made. Now, in the year 2006, the outcome is all round us, across the board in everything from our falling trade balance to our rising crime rate. That consideration imposes some fundamental constraints on all of us.