Treasury try it on, will National resist?
Treasury advice cops a fresh blast
History is repeating on Treasury officials, who have again been rebuked for their advice to an incoming government. Three years after being slammed for delivering "an ideological burp", new Finance Minister Bill English also seems unimpressed with his briefing from the department - yet to be made public. He has suggested it is out of date and lacks the urgency the world financial crisis requires. In 2005, then-finance minister Michael Cullen rejected officials' calls for tax cuts and the sale of state assets. He also rejected calls for reviews of the planned carbon tax and the Resource Management Act. Dr Cullen joked at the time it appeared to have been written for a National victory and Treasury had given him "the wrong one". Mr English said his briefing "reflects a view Treasury's had for a while that we need to focus on productivity and competitiveness". "It probably doesn't have quite the sense of urgency that the new Government has. It reflects the kind of things Treasury was considering ... when times were better." Sources said his annoyance may also have been prompted by Treasury calls for bigger tax cuts than those promised by National. Treasury gives an updated view of the economy and government accounts next month.
Treasury with their free market zealots and late night Adam Smith rituals where they weekly sacrifice a virgin in Accounting to appease the economic gods, always try it on with a new Government and present Chicago school of economics wet dream privatization fantasies as policy suggestions. The question has always been, will National resist the sirens from their own philosophical fold because resisting Treasury when they are telling you things you secretly want to go along with but know would be politically unsustainable is a game National will find difficult with ACT clearly pushing for those results with major changes like TABOR.