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?