So Thursday was one of those exciting days for political geeks like myself. Yes folks, Budget Day.
So what was in it?
Oh shit, sorry I’m awake now.
So the big story was the announcement of a new work based savings scheme for retirement and for first home buyers. This is in recognition that we’re REALLY CRAP at saving. And why would that be one wonders? Well, for my generation it’s cause we can’t afford it, we’re too busy paying off debt. I got my student loan statement the other day and it told me that in the last 12 months I had payed off $1600 and then given $600 back in interest. Now I know that I’m really lucky that I have an income high enough to make any kind of payment off my loan. I currently earn about 15k more a year than the average childless woman with my qualification. But it isn’t going to last and I doubt I’d get a job paying that high doing the sort of thing I’m good at without leaving the country.
The point is though, I don’t want to leave the country. I want to do work that contributes towards making this world a better place. I want to do work that helps develop a sustainable peaceful Aotearoa. I want to do work that means I can work within a community. Trouble is, in this crap capitalist society in which we live, I aint going to become a millionaire doing this stuff. In fact, I’d be lucky if I got paid at all.
I think it’s about time the government expanded the PACE scheme concept for community activists. I know a number of people who are activists on the dole who get hassled mercilessly because they work to create positive communities. And I know a number of people who were fantastic full-time activists who have had to resort to menial work to pay the bills. Creative, brilliant, skilled, talented people working in crap jobs because our society values PR retards more than creative souls.
So what has the Government done for me in this budget? (cause it’s all about me) Set in place a first home purchasing assistance scheme that I can access in 12 years time, wicked. I’m sure I would’ve saved a bit by then. But the problem is I have all this debt to pay off, money I have had to borrow to invest in getting myself ‘somewhere’ (sorry, still not sure where that is). So I got this cute little thing called a ‘debt mentality’; the idea that if I want to invest in anything I need to do this from a negative starting point. This is remarkably similar to the mentality that is fostered within ‘developing nations’ by the World Bank and co (featuring none other than our former Min of Finance) that if you want to get going in this new fangled sparkly globalised world you have to get in debt. Considering that there is $203.6B in outstanding global debt in this world, it’s great to know that our government is fostering a positive attitude to debt amongst our upcoming generations.
Think I should stop now.