How NBR ONLINE subscribers rated Budget 2012

The verdict is in.

NBR ONLINE subscribers don’t think the government showed enough muscle with yesterday’s Budget.

Asked how they rated the National Government’s fourth budget, the majority rated it "timid".

The NBR ONLINE Business Pulse snap poll ran from budget day to the end of Friday.

Voting was restricted to NBR ONLINE paid subscribers only. 

“Sensible but restrained” is how Finance Minister Bill English introduced the no-frills documents when they were opened up to media and analyst lock-ups yesterday.

The predicted zero Budget contained nothing to make the boat go faster.

Revenue and spending were tweaked, with the aim of returning to a balanced budget some time in 2015.

In raw fiscal terms it was less than zero. The government is spending $70.5 billion in the last financial year but forecasts spending of $69.6 billion for the current financial year.

And it was zero in the way of doing anything necessary but unpopular.

Two and a half years away from the next election, with an economy just pulling itself upright, the government has shied away from any major initiatives that might upset the electoral horses.

There is no major change planned for the tax system over the next couple of years, but stuck to old Budget tricks such as increased “sin taxes”.

The health, education, justice and science sectors are the biggest gainers from redirected spending.

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