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Copeland attacks 'lazy' debt

Copeland attacks 'lazy' debt

It is time to address the "nation's balance sheet" which sees New Zealand as the most indebted nation in the OECD, United Future finance spokesman Gordon Copeland said today.

"We have got to be worried about this because it is not what could be described as 'healthy' debt - a lot of it is lazy debt that achieves nothing," Mr Copeland said.

"I'd be a lot happier if the country's $80 billion had been borrowed by businesses for strategic gearing to generate wealth, but the fact is that some $23 billion worth of private sector borrowing from overseas has gone into non-revenue producing assets such as cars and houses.

"In all, the country's net external liabilities are close on 55 percent of our GDP.

"Those numbers have got to start ringing alarm bells," he said.

"And with the Budget coming, the Government can't hide behind a balanced Budget. That is simply not enough.

"It is worth noting that during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Crown's balance sheet was positive and its budget was balanced," Mr Copeland said. "Look where it got them."

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