ImperatorFish: The Dog Has Eaten John Key’s Budget Surplus

Written By: - Date published: 5:34 pm, June 19th, 2012 - 4 comments
Categories: accountability, debt / deficit, john key - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

Few people would be surprised to learn that the budget surplus we were promised again and again now looks to be only a distant hope.

John Key will blame the European crisis for the failure to reach yet another target. This target will probably be quietly dropped from National’s narrative over the next few months. Just like the target of closing the income gap with Australia by 2020. We don’t hear much about that nowadays.

The right may talk up the virtues of self-responsibility, but when it comes to the failure of the Key government to achieve even modest targets, there’s always someone else to blame. It’s all Labour’s fault, or it’s all because of the earthquakes, or it’s all because of Europe.

The surplus target never made much sense from an economic perspective. New Zealand’s public debt levels are modest compared to those in other countries, but we are drowning in private debt. Nothing this government has done will address that problem. Cutting government spending to the bone just sucks money out of the economy, which leads to job losses, which leads to more people unable to save and struggling to pay their debts.

However, Key insisted last year that we should give him a second term in office because his government was going to return us to surplus earlier than Labour. He made this promise knowing full well the likely cost of the Christchurch earthquakes, and with the knowledge that the situation in Europe was toxic and was likely to deteriorate further. Those excuses won’t work this time.

When the surplus target is missed we must hold John Key’s government responsible, and not allow him to find some new excuse for his government’s paucity of imagination and lack of vision.

4 comments on “ImperatorFish: The Dog Has Eaten John Key’s Budget Surplus”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    It might be refreshing if the Government could at least dream up new excuses. As ever, it is projecting blame upon the same old targets (beneficiaries and teachers added, of course). The Christchurch earthquake is apparently become “a blessing in disguise” (economic hopes dependent on the rebuild). Nevertheless, as convenient to Key and his lot, the disaster remains a source of blame for their failures. That is the name of the Tory game “Having it both ways”.

    • bbfloyd 1.1

      It’s the tory version of pass the parcel…..”pass the buck”…..

      the one thing they can claim champion status over……..

  2. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 2

    The technical term for a Tory making a prediction about the future state of NZ’s economy: “wrong”.

  3. Adrian 3

    On RNZ this morning it sounds like more builders are leaving Chch than are arriving. You go, Jerry.

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