The lies keep flowing as National desperately tries to limit the damage from the double downgrade. First, it was ‘doesn’t matter’ – Treasury says it does. Then, “hey, it’s just private debt” – the agencies’ reports say otherwise. Then it was just an international problem – less 1/4 of the OECD has been downgraded. Then, somehow, it was all Labour’s fault and would be worse under Labour – S&P says they’re lying on that too.
In the House last week, John Key said:
“[S&P] did go on to say, though, that if there was a change of Government, that downgrade would be much more likely.”
Don’t know about you but that just didn’t seem credible. No international body like S&P is going to risk its relationship with future governments by making such remarks. Sure enough:
Standard and Poor’s sovereign rating analyst Kyran Curry, who attended the meeting in Auckland, said that would not have happened.
“In Auckland last month, I might have talked about the importance of the Government maintaining a strong fiscal position in the medium term but I would never have touched on individual parties.
“It is something we just don’t do,” Mr Curry said. “We don’t rate political parties. We rate Governments.”
Another Key lie exposed. Curry goes on to say:
Asked what New Zealand needed to do to have its higher ratings restored, he said it would require a sustained improvement in New Zealand’s external position first.
This would come through stronger export performance and an improvement in public savings – “getting back to what New Zealand was actually doing not three years ago,” Mr Curry said.
Rather contradicts the line that NZ is in a stronger position than 3 years ago. Course, that never made sense anyway. Don’t get downgraded for making your position stronger.