NZ policy suggestions
the key question would be is this piece of expenditure more important than the most important project that I am not yet spending money on. A metric I understand some departments use is that they are willing to spend 1 million dollars to save one live (I think this is per year?). It is a fairly strict criteria.
the total NZ budget is about 53.74 billion
First defence 1.56 billion - I suggest this can go almost entirely - the NZ defense force has no business being anything other than a defense force. that means the ability to repel an invader with SIS type tactics - not peacekeeping or assisting in Iraq or anywhere else - if we have no capability we can avoid the temptation/pressure to get involved in such things.
Heritage, culture and recreation 2,036 billion - most of this can go - NZ should not be pushing any sort of culture or heritage on anyone, and where it might encourage recreation that should be pretty cheap. Bottom line is a couple of billion dollars pays for a lot of operations/medicine etc, 2,000 lives worth - so it better be a very important museum to be willing to let people suffer instead.
socialservices and welfare - we spend $19,700mil that is 101 dollars a week for every man women child and baby. That sounds a little much to me - considering we have 3% odd unemployment. I suggest we have a major administrative cost in there - so simplify the policy.
as I have suggested before - one basic benefit - you are either unemployed or your not. Further assistance for those needing special help can be arranged.
Then take the axe to any sort of service that doesn't clearly add value within this department.
At the end you can redistribute the rest back to the remaining benefits either to include more people or pay people more.
Health - $10300 mil - ruthless application of the 1 million dollar life principle - don't pay for anything that doesn't give you the correct return because to do so would be to effectively kill more people elsewhere. We should be able to achieve much better results for the same money. I suggest centralization of decision making to assist this. Local boards seem to have become inefficient and tied up in stupid debates - take the power back and merge all the DHB.
GFS Pension expenses ($1051mil) - again one benefit
education ($9892mil)- don't force children to stay at school. there is no point teaching a future plumber who wants to drop out about quantum physics - he probably doesn't care and will probably never use it, stop pissing our money down the toilet.
And give schools the ability to easily kick out trouble makers and create a safe environment. If there are very expensive and dangerous students then one needs to find a efficient way to manage them which probably requires special schools with special resources.
Also don't fund courses that don't lead to taxable professions - bottom line is that courses need to show that the people leaving them make enough tax money to pay for the subsidy to the course and the lost income to the person many times over. Otherwise the course might as well be one of those uncertified courses that the govt does not sponsor - like bible study or whatever. Again the savings can be spread around.
I know a lot of people who study tourism courses, business courses and hospitality - which are almost completely a waste of time, there is no point the government certifying such causes and wasting the students money let alone their own money.
core government services (2770mil) - not sure what is included here but NZ politicians don't need to go overseas to kiss up to foreign politicians much - we can hugely cut back on all of that sort of expenditure which seems to be mired in corruption in NZ anyway. I also think we don't need as many MP as we have anyway.
Law and order (2600mil)- we could probably do with more expenditure here - but that doesn't mean there are not savings to be made. Also note that fines are a good way to help pay for the law and order costs, in fact they should be used for a very wide range of crimes much wider than is used now. and its criminals who get fined, so if you get fined for breaking the law then cry me a river.
transport and communications 7,240mil- we could probably do with more expenditure here - or at least more flexible expenditure. the problem here is that
A) governments spend a lot of money getting very little done slowly in a hot economy and about the same getting a fair amount done when it is a cold economy.
B) projects are put on hold waiting for funding
If the project is justified just build it - funding should be automatic - and more projects should be viable in a cold economy while slack resources (including labour) are around.
Economics and industrial services 5,684 mil - (trade and enterprise NZ?) this should be measured fairly pragmatically regarding the relatively strict criteria of 'will i get more tax back than I put in' and be assessed after the fact as a performance measure. that will keep them on their toes
Housing and community development 913 mil - (housing NZ?) - I don't think the government helps much being in the housing market in this sense - I doubt they are good property managers and the 'rent based on income' theory just makes it really hard to tell if you are giving a fair benefit ie if I have a state house in central wellington vs a state house in Mangere why should I be sitting on a million and a bit dollars of asset that could be used to help that other poor family? the government can however build cheap houses and do things like that I suppose.