As you’ll be aware, I’ve been pretty flabbergasted by the way day after day Bill English is getting up in the House and telling out and out lies about Labour’s record on the economy only for Labour to sit there and take it.
Well, I’ve been thinking about this a little more and I think I get it now.
Look at English’s behaviour. How pathetic is it that the only thing a sitting Finance Minister can do is lie about the record of a past government? How weak is his own record that he can’t point to any achievements?
More than that, English couldn’t talk about any achievements even if he had any. He is desperately trying to make the government’s fiscal situation sound worse than it is so. If he acknowledges that the government’s books are in a far less dire state than once feared, he will lose his excuse for slashing the public sector and selling the value out of SOEs by having them sell bonds to private investors.
What’s a poor boy to do? He can’t talk up his own performance – there’s nothing to skite about and it’s against his political strategy even if there were some successes to point to. So, he has to disparage Labour’s performance, even if that means telling lies.
So I’m starting to get Labour’s reaction too. Personally, I still think they should be calling him out on each and every lie. David Cunliffe should be coming to the House armed with a page of economic indicators for Labour’s last term, ready to correct English and table the facts. But Labour seems quite happen to let English quietly discredit himself by lying about the past while doing nothing in the present.
Anyway, for reference, here are some key economic metrics for the last term of Labour and National’s first year:
|(2009$)||Sept 2005 year to Sept 2008 year||Sept 2008 year to Sept 2009 year|
|GDP||$9.4bln increase to $190bln||$4.6bln decrease to $185bln|
|GDP growth per capita||2.5% increase to $43,700||1.8% decrease to $43,000|
|Employment||up 93,000 to 2.184mln||down 41,000 to 2.143mln|
|Net government debt||$17.8bln reduction to $2.8bln net assets||$8.4 bln increase to $5.6bln net debt|