The Govt is strangling its expenditure but the Herald is more fascinated by a murder trial in Glasgow

Just imagine this water is the fiscal deficit ... when we come back in a few years, it will have evaporated.

It looks like our Zero Budget didn’t rate much higher than zero in the news judgement of the hacks at the Herald.

Alf has yet to see today’s Herald, he admits, but a mate has been chatting with him about something he read at NewsRoom.

The NewsRoom service includes a rundown of what the major newspapers are featuring.

And apparently it says the lead story in the Herald this morning is about a Scottish jury finding Briton Malcolm Webster guilty of murdering his first wife and attempting to kill his second wife, from New Zealand, as part of an insurance plot.

The bloke claimed his first wife’s death was a tragic accident and denied the charges against him, but the jury of nine women and six men found him guilty.

The jury earlier heard evidence from senior police investigator, Chief Inspector Phil Chapman, who said: “The thing that struck me was he was an individual who has, and will continue to have, an insatiable appetite for wealth and the trappings of wealth which knew literally no bounds.

“He basically has used his wife as a vehicle to obtain money.

“He literally spent over £200,000 ($410,000) in a six-month period (after the death of Claire Morris), so that basically took him back to being almost insolvent again.”

Is this the first time the Herald has been published the day after Budget Day without a Budget story in the prime spot?

And what’s so big deal about a murder trial in Glasgow that it can supplant the Budget as the main story?

Alf could have a sliver of support for making this the lead story if this had been a New Zealand murder trial.

Moreover, he could understand why $410,000 was spent in such a short time if the bloke had lived in New Zealand, because the cost of living has become preposterously high and under Budget measures announced yesterday it is about to become much higher, although The Boss has asked Alf not to broadcast this fiscal reality to his constituents. Tell the poor buggers The Budget is making them better off, he counselled.

That’s all very well, but how come Bill English wasn’t given that advice?

The Dom-Post has made all too plain what the Budget has done to the decent people who have returned Alf to Parliament for the past few decades.

Yes, Alf knows it’s all about getting rid of the Budget deficit.

And he knows the big story today (in good newspapers) is about the Miracle of the Dwindling Deficit.

Alf’s supporters don’t get too excited about dwindling deficits.

They do get excited about the dwindling of their spending power, and….

Finance Minister Bill English acknowledges some middle-income families will be worse off under yesterday’s Budget, but says the Government had to focus on getting its deficit under control.

English’s third budget has clawed back KiwiSaver and Working for Families, made cuts to the state sector and is looking to partial privatisation of some state owned assets to raise money.

The Government’s KiwiSaver contribution, in the form of a $1040 annual maximum tax credit, will be halved while the minimum contribution for employers and individuals will rise from two to three percent. The employers’ contributions, which have previously been exempt from tax, will no longer be. .

Thanks for nothing, Bill.

Nah. Make that thanks for zero.

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