Under Key’s government New Zealand’s debt, which was at around $18 billion when the National Party was elected, it has blossomed to a staggering $86 billion today

Dirty Politics may have obscured issues of policy in the campaign to date, but given all politicians present sweetened or poisoned views on their or others’ planks, it’s debatable how much of value we’ve missed.

And the bigger the issue, the bigger the distortions.

Besides, surely the morality and ethics of those in power is the biggest issue of all, because everything else flows from an MP’s perspective on governance and how to use (or abuse) it.

However, let’s pretend to set that aside, and look at what gets most folks’ panties bunched: The economy.

Back when Labour was in power we had constant carping about Clark’s “nanny state” and how welfare and social reforms were running up debt like there was no tomorrow.

Still we hear that mantra repeated – and surprisingly, most of the time it goes unchallenged.

But it’s pure myth. New Zealand’s national debt was less after nine years of Labour than when they were elected. The Clark government was fiscally ultra-conservative, because the books really did balance.

Contrast that with debt under Key’s government. Starting at around $18 billion, it has blossomed to a staggering $86 billion today. That’s a five-fold increase, in just six years.

Yes, we’ve had the global financial crisis and Canterbury earthquakes and tax cuts for the wealthy that have to be paid for somehow. We’ve also had record commodity prices, significant departmental cost-cutting, and the sell-off of major state-owned assets. Plus very little new spending.

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One Response

  1. Trevor Mills

    And why is it I’m not surprised at the way Key just brushes it all of with his Smiling Assassin attitude. He never did care for the little people, he doesn’t want to care for the little people, and he never will care for the little people, as long as they’re kept under wraps he’s happy, as long as he’s making money off debt he’s happy, as long as he’s allowed to continue carrying on the way he has been, he’s happy.
    I do believe his days are marked.

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