Bill (and John and the entire National caucus) have been telling us that we are required to borrow $380 million each and every week, so that we’re scared into accepting cuts cuts cuts to services in their budget. Apparently we aren’t required to at all.
In fact they’ve been borrowing about $100 million extra each week – $5 billion for the year – because now’s a good time to borrow. Which it may be, but it also helps Bill look good.
Right now, when they’re borrowing $380 million instead of $280 million, that extra $100 million of foreign loans is pushing our exchange rate up, causing harm to our businesses – who are, coincidentally, shedding jobs left, right and centre.
But come July and the new financial year, Bill has $5 billion in the bank. His austerity budget hits as well, but it makes nothing like the difference that bringing forward borrowing does. He can magically only borrow $100 million each week – because he’s already got the cash in hand – and claim to have done a sterling job at reducing government borrowing in the lead up to the election.
Without the additional borrowing, there’s a lot less pressure on the exchange rate, which should hopefully come down. That, combined with a brief fillip from the Rugby World Cup should mean there isn’t the constant flow of job loss stories come election time – Bill’s ‘fixed’ the economy.
English has form on dodgy statistics – he seems to spend more time working out getting the numbers to look good that actually getting a plan together for the economy. He came up with Key’s figures of incomes having risen 10% under National’s watch, but only 3% under Labour’s… as long as you looked at after-tax figures rather than real incomes; only included employed people, so when low-wage people lose their jobs by the tens of thousands wages ‘rise’; included Labour’s tax-cuts before the 2008 election as National’s doing; discluded any overtime; and worked on the average instead of the median, so that when bosses got 14% pay rises and workers less than 2% the number gets skewed.
No simple looking at median incomes for Bill, that’d get him the wrong result… (in fact incomes have fallen under National)
I look forward to the results of Labour’s cost of living survey, to see how many people feel better off with National’s “Brighter Future”.