It seems that the free market zealots within the Treasury haven't heard that neo-liberalism has collapsed.
Last week's briefing paper to the Minister of Finance Bill English included, among other things, an increase in GST and cuts to superannuation.
Bill English was quick to reject much of this briefing paper. While Treasury may still think its 1984 English knows that in 2008 the implementation of the Treasury recipe would spell election suicide.
That said, the pressure is already on from business and, as Lenin once said, capitalists can survive any crisis so long as workers pay for it.
So its interesting to see that in Auckland this week there will be a public meeting for people to discuss how the inevitable attacks on workers conditions can be resisted.
It's an excellent initiative but the left cannot just be reactive.
What also is needed is an alternative economic programme.
Fortunately we're not starting from scratch.
The Alliance has a well-constructed left-Keynesian program - steadfastly ignored by the mainstream media - which points us in a different economic direction.
Similarly both the Workers Party and RAM (Resident Action Movement) offered more explicit socialist programs at the general election.
And, if one was to delve into the past, one would find now-defunct political organisations that have offered alternative progressive economic programs.
The danger is that the left could be conned into campaigning for Labour and the Green's again despite the fact that both parties are wedded into the neo-liberal orthodoxy.
I note with some reservation that the Green's Sue Bradford is one of the guest speakers at the Auckland meeting.
Sue Bradford MP has been a huge disappointment and I'm not sure why she is speaking at this meeting in the first place. Personally I preferred the pre-parliament Sue Bradford. Like her party, Sue's been marching right for some years now.
In my view, the Green's support for the neo-liberal economic model needs to be challenged. Bradford should be asked to explain.
As well trade union bureaucrats linked to Labour also need to be challenged.
Yes, we need to build a movement - but not a movement that's about getting Labour and its parliamentary allies re-elected into government again.
That is no solution at all.
We Won't Pay for Your Crisis- public meeting Thursday 11th December 7pm, Auckland Trades Hall