National may of not cut welfare benefits or the pension and it might not have touched Working For Families, but ordinary people are still paying the price for the economic crisis. The Budget comfirms that.

With business and factory closures now happening almost daily, the unemployment figures are rocketing and social services like food banks are trying to cope with an increasing and, at times, overwhelming demand for assistance.

In the face of something more than just a recession, National have got nothing to offer other but more discredited neoliberalism - with an added 'greenwash' courtesy of the insipid and conservative Green Party.

Bill Englsh's claim that it's all for the good of the country should be treated with the scorn that it deserves.

There might of not been any mention of cuts but they are there. National, like Labour, has not changed its neoliberal spots and measures like eliminating state sector waste suggest more job losses down the line and reduced services.

As the recession bites deeper and more and more people become reliant on public services, the government should be investing in these services rather than cutting them.

This Budget is just a continuation of the discredited neoliberal orthodoxy and what is so disheartening- but not surprising- is that none of the parliamentary parties are offering any alternatives to it.

It's like Parliament exists in some Twilight Zone where neoliberalism is still considered to be a credible economic ideology and where neoliberal zealots like Rodney Hide still get treated seriously.

Russel Norman waffled on in Parliament about an environmentally conscious and more efficient neoliberalism. In fact, Norman was more interested in crowing about the Green's having their home insulation package implemented.

Similarly Labour took potshots at the Budget but conspicuously offered no economic alternative. Nothing. Zilch. This is a politically bankrupt and gutless party that remains an obstacle in the way of developing a new progressive politics in this country.

Under Phil Goff, Labour shows absolutely no signs at all of breaking with neoliberalism. He had that opportunity today and didn't take it.

Being a bourgeois politician means, apparently, not having to admit you are wrong.

Of course the pro-Labour bloggers will bash this Budget for days but until they repudiate neoliberalism and begin to articulate real economic alternatives these bloggers are simply not being honest about their motives.


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