Tag Archive: public debt

Robertson and debt

Hamish Rutherford at stuff writes:

 Grant Robertson’s first Budget will demonstrate the scale of his challenge to meet election promises while staying within his self-imposed spending limits…

…Unless the Government decides to drop major spending plans or raise revenue through new taxes, it should quickly consider changing the commitment, or abandoning it altogether.

While still in opposition, the Wellington Central MP laid out a plan which would see debt, as a share of gross domestic product, fall to 20 per cent, over Labour’s first five years in office.

Labour is spending big, and Rutherford is correct when he says that Labour should consider changing their debt plans.

However, if you remember correctly, back in February, Robertson stated that the low level of public debt was “was the best thing about the New Zealand’s economy” (despite having criticised the level of debt during his time in opposition).

Now with his statement that public debt is in a comfortably low level, he’s in the green to scrap the debt objectives.

Smart move from the finance minster.

Grant Robertson’s U-turn on debt

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff writes:

Out of nowhere, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has made a significant U-turn, reversing what seemed to be a core Labour position.

After years of criticising National for a significant growth in Crown debt to more than $60 billion over the last decade, Robertson now seems to think the state of public debt is the best thing about the New Zealand economy….

As sharemarket turmoil in the United States spread around the world, Robertson said in an interview that he had real confidence in New Zealand’s economic fundamentals.

“Essentially the low level of public debt is a really important part of it.”

This from a man who said that under National debt had “skyrocketed”. Barely two months ago he told Parliament he “will not be lectured” by his predecessor Steven Joyce about debt levels.

This is a serious screw up from Robertson. Expect National to be on the attack during today’s question time.

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