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What is a budget?

A budget is an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.  OR
Keeping to a budget means spending equal to or less than the income given. 

The two are different concepts, the Government understands it uses a budget and does not have to keep to a budget. 

A budget is to money, what a diet is to food. Using that analogy, is it a good thing to eat more than planned in a diet?
The answer is no, because you will have to diet harder later to get the desired result, and if you don't you will end up with health problems. 
Yet governments only see it as their duty to record income and expenditures and not to live within their means.

Money raised for the Government to spend, is taken by force. There is therefore a moral duty on the Government to avoid waste as forcing people to do things against their will is not a moral action.
But there is a second point and that is that even the money that is spend efficiently may be spent unjustly. There is a real problem with who decides where the tax money raised is spent. A Government may spend more money than it raises, indebting further generations.Or it may spend money on behalf of a taxpayer, when the taxpayer is vehemently against that spending.

There will be more content coming to this page shortly, in the mean while please check out the page on debt.


There are four ways to reduce spending on public services:
  • Make them more efficient (technically hard but morally easy - this method has limits).
  • Ask them to do less (or put up barriers to use)
  • Ask users to meet some of the costs
  • Encouraging philanthropy to take over public services
Cutting for cuttings sake
Danger of shaving budgets and outsourcing management:
  •  Less accountable services
  • Managers Making things worse by shunting costs elsewhere in the system or into the future. 


  • Saving money through simple living
  • Self-control
  • Smart buying.

  • Save money at the expense of others
  • Skimping on gifts
  • Ducking out of their round at the bar
  • Pinching office supplies.

NZ budget 2017


Link299 NZ budget