The Government have been pushing a line that Christchurch is holding us back as an economy. The poor people of Christchurch are to blame for all our woes apparently, with their earthquake. We shouldn’t blame National, just Cantabrians.
But it’s not true.
Since the earthquake Canterbury has been our main source of economic growth. This is not surprising – it’s a classic case of how GDP fails as a measure of success. All those broken lives and buildings need… rebuilding. That costs money, that means spending, that means GDP growth.
If it wasn’t for Canterbury the Government’s GDP record – 0.5%/year, the worst growth for any government in over 75 years – would be noticeably worse.
And indeed John Key is now citing this as to why the economy is going to be as rosy as Treasury’s figures – even though most economists think this is ‘at the top end’ of possibilities, and every forecast so far by this government has been wildly over-optimistic. He needs it to be of course, or his promised surplus won’t materialise. You need to growth to get your surplus.
It’s yet another case of Key wanting it both ways: Christchurch is dragging us down, and Christchurch is our saviour.
Just like Labour’s saving allowed us tax cuts (for the rich), but Labour’s profligacy is what got us into such trouble (not the tax cuts).
It’s just not my fault, see?