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Abbott laughingstock for saying Aussie should copy Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 pm, February 21st, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: australian politics, Economy - Tags: ,

The Australian Liberals’ new drongo of a leader, Tony Abbott, has been widely derided for saying that Australia should ape National’s economic policies:

”There are other countries which have chosen a different path, and there is no evidence that their response has been any less effective than ours,” Abbott told ABC Radio National yesterday.

”For instance, in New Zealand they have tried to reform their way through the global financial crisis under the new government’s leadership, and they seem to be doing pretty well. What Mr Rudd chose to do was to spend his way out of the crisis.”

I don’t recall any major reforms under Key, a few favours here and there to mates but nothing that would influence overall growth. The idea that Australia should copy the do-nothing governance of Key and co is dumb:

“Abbott’s remark came the day that Australia’s unemployment rate fell from 5.5 to 5.3 per cent. The NZ rate? It’s 7.3 per cent. If we had the NZ level of unemployment, we’d have another 219,000 people looking for work.

We’ve fallen further behind Australia by every measure since Do Nothing Key and his gang of rightwing zealots and incompetents came to power.

”And bear in mind, New Zealanders have the option of coming here,” said Saul Eslake, an economist at the Grattan Institute in Melbourne. ”If more New Zealanders had stayed home, their unemployment rate would probably be higher.”

True, Australia’s government spent lots more money proportionately on stimulating growth in the teeth of the global recession. But guess what? Not only will Australia emerge from the global recession with higher growth and lower unemployment than New Zealand, but it will also have less debt in proportionate terms.

The OECD projects that Australia’s government will be in deficit equal to 2.6 per cent of its GDP, while NZ will have a deficit of 3.9 per cent of GDP.

How so? ”Because unemployment rose more, the cyclical impact on the next budget was worse,” Eslake said.”

Ouch. Key has seen our unemployment go higher and far from saving us money by not having a stimulus programme all he has really succeeded in doing is let the potential of tens of thousands of Kiwis go to waste. The result is we are worse off than if we had borrowed and invested smartly.

“guess which country the conservative Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, is holding up as his model? ”Our vision is to close the gap with Australia by 2025,” Key said.”

Interesting that political commentators seperated from the spin have no problem identifying Key as rightwing while some here still persist in calling him a pragmatist. And he has no ‘pragmatic’ plan to catch Australia, just the same failed rightwing perscription.

What I find really odd is that Key never suggests that if we want to catch Australia we ought to be copying what Australia does. For example, why don’t we adopt Australia’s tax system with a tax-free bracket at the bottom, top personal tax rate of 45%, stamp duty, capital gains tax, and GST of 10%?

Why would heading in the opposite direction work to close the gap?

27 comments on “Abbott laughingstock for saying Aussie should copy Key ”

  1. mike 1

    I can see you are very bitter about the latset poll on TV1 Marty. It must be bloody frustrating for you guys – crying wolf every other day that ‘Labours message is getting through..” “honeymoons over…”etc etc only to have the NZ public repeatedly proving you very, very wrong.

    • Marty G 1.1

      stop trolling. you want to talk about a different subject, use the open mike

    • sk 1.2

      Sure, the polls allow a lot of smugness. But the only stats that matter this far out from the election are the economics one – and here Marty has been one of the few commentators pointing that out. It looks as if we are only track for 1% growth in 2010, after -2% in 2009. Credit growth is zero, the dollar is hurting exporters, and small business is in world of hurt. 1-2% growth over 2010/11 = 10% unemployment by mid-2011.

      So for NZ’s stake stop looking at the &%$* polls, and look at the economy. Was at a lunch y’day, that included nat party donors, and everyone was depressed by the lack of attention to the fact that the economy is going down the tubes, as the rest of the world recovers. Trouble Mike and Gooner, is that you guys reflect where Mr Key’s head and focus is at . . . .

      • gitmo 1.2.1

        Ummmm the rest of the world is recovering…. really ?

        Have you seen the figures coming out of the UK and USA in relation to debt and unemployment, and these were countries with monumental spend ups. NZ and Australia are different economies they are lucky to have never gone into recession and to have Western Australia as a very large open cast mine.

        That being said the Nats are doing fuck all.

        • Marty G 1.2.1.1

          UK unemployment is 0.5% higher than ours and hasn’t risen for half a year, we’ve closed that gap to nearly nothing.

          US unemployment is falling.

          The US grew 2% in the last half of last year. NZ grew 0.4%

          • sk 1.2.1.1.1

            If you take as a starting point 4Q’08, when the Nats were elected, by the end of this year (2 years into their term), Australia will have grown 5%, the US 3%, Korea (a middle income OECD economy just below us) 10% . … and NZ 2% if we are lucky.

            With the Aussie banks shrinking their NZ exposure, we face huge structural headwinds, but from all accounts John Key does not give a damn. We need to get this economy growing, and that means gettings kids into jobs, or else we will be facing a crisis in a year or two.

  2. Jenny 2

    Marty G
    “Key has seen our unemployment go higher and far from saving us money by not having a stimulus programme all he has really succeeded in doing is let the potential of tens of thousands of Kiwis go to waste.”

    Despite the Job Summit and all the rhetoric around it all the evidence is, that Marty is dead right. Key couldn’t give a damn about unemployment.

    They can tell this clear across the Tasman sea.

    • SHG 2.1

      They can tell this clear across the Tasman sea

      No, they can’t. Because they’re not looking. And even if they did look and did see, they wouldn’t care.

      This may come as a bit of a shock, but Australia as a whole cares about what’s happening in New Zealand about as much as it cares what’s happening in, say, Tuvalu.

      • Akldnut 2.1.1

        You’re a moron if you think that – I lived there for 20 years and they hold great importance to the state of political affairs in NZ. It even gets to the stage where Liberals use our GST as scare a scare tactic during election campaig. 15% here we come.

        • SHG 2.1.1.1

          The Liberals would use the price of tofu in Los Angeles as a scare tactic during elections if they thought it would get them votes. That doesn’t mean they give a shit about the price of tofu in Los Angeles.

          The only people in Australia who take any more than a passing interest in what’s happening in NZ are a) ex-pat Kiwis, and b) businesspeople trying to sell something in NZ.

  3. B 3

    Abbott’s plan could see NZ catch up with Australia by 2012!

  4. Gooner 4

    Mike, you missed the TV3 poll.

  5. Cnr Joe 5

    so – new plan over trans-tasman lunch – Aus.corp will slow down for us to catch-up?
    PLan.

  6. SHG 6

    ‘And bear in mind, New Zealanders have the option of coming here,’ said Saul Eslake, an economist at the Grattan Institute in Melbourne. ‘If more New Zealanders had stayed home, their unemployment rate would probably be higher.’

    The average Kiwi in Australia is better educated and better paid than the average Australian in Australia. If all those Kiwis had stayed home, who knows? Maybe New Zealand would be in a different situation economically. Maybe the unemployment rate would be lower.

  7. bobo 7

    Guyon gave Bill a patsy interview on Q+A, no mention of GST, I must admit Bill has got better at saying nothing in interviews trying not to contradict Key like he used to, then on the news I cringe seeing Key goofing around like hes a member of the B-Sharps,.. Helen had a much tougher interview from a smug Holmes criticizing her UN failure in Haiti and making the argument we need to mine conservation land to give 17 year olds jobs. Holmes at times uses logic like Ralph of the Simpsons…

  8. tc 8

    Hey SHG if all the economists in the world were layed end to end they still wouldn’t reach a conclusion……bank economists always have a predictable line for example centered around exciting interest in mortgages and saying how doomed it all is….therefore we’re raising our rates to cover risk.

    Talent travels and you’d find we get paid more all over the world more than the average local as the mobile/educated travel not the welfare recipients/blue collar workers which generate the averages.

    This type of talent, especially IT, will never find the quality/scale of work in NZ…..it’s called globalisation/consolidation….the jobs just don’t exist here anymore.

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