Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Relaxing of borrowing constraint welcome, but more needed

Relaxing of borrowing constraint welcome, but broader review needed

"The announcement by the Minister of Finance that the Government was moving from a rigid 20% debt target to a range between 15% and 25% is welcome," CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg says. "At a time when interest rates are low it makes absolute sense to fund more of our much-needed infrastructure development such as hospitals, rail, roads, public transport and housing, from debt rather than current income. That would free up revenue to be spent on urgent priorities such as mental health, repairing public housing stock, education and training, and helping people out of poverty by implementing the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group."

"Even 25% debt is low by international standards, and it is even lower when measured in the way international agencies do, which includes the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. It is currently 7% on that score. Internationally, prominent economists are debating whether countries with far higher debt levels (such as the US) need to reduce their debt in these circumstances. There are more urgent priorities."

"But there is a bigger picture. Debt levels are just one aspect of New Zealanders’ wellbeing. There is no point in having exceptionally low levels of debt and government spending when Kiwis are living in poverty, our health systems are failing in important ways, working people and businesses are crying out for better education and training, and our environment deteriorates. The "fiscal responsibility" rules of the last 30 years have accompanied historically high levels of poverty, unemployment, inequality, a deteriorating environment and a low value economy. They are not solely responsible but they have not allowed Governments to address these mounting and unsustainable problems. It is neither prudent nor responsible to privilege exceptionally low debt levels over major social, human, environmental and economic needs. A better balance must be struck."



"We urge the Government to make more use of its borrowing ability the build the productive and social assets our country needs, and to also signal a move towards the greater spending that is required to address New Zealanders’ needs. These can be done while remaining prudent fiscal managers."

"It should carry out a full review of its Budget Responsibility Rules which are not fit for purpose in terms of New Zealanders’ wellbeing," Rosenberg said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Principals Reject Offer: Primary Teachers Vote For Settlement

Primary teachers have voted to ratify a proposed settlement that will give them pay parity with their secondary colleagues, but disappointed primary principals have rejected a settlement that was unchanged from a previously rejected offer.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said the outcome was a big win for teachers, who had campaigned alongside principals for 18 months and held three strike days - including New Zealand's largest ever strike alongside their secondary colleagues. More>>

 
 

Remaking Elections: Call For Four-Year Term, More MPs

A Victoria University report is proposing extending the parliamentary term to four years, and increasing the number of MPs, so politicians can plan better for the future. More>>

ALSO:

Health: Ban On Smoking In Cars With Children Passes First Reading

The Smoke-free Environments Amendment Bill would allow police to issue $50 fines for those smoking with passengers under 18 years of age. More>>

ALSO:

Fair Pay Agreements Good: CTU Releases Report On Sector Bargaining

The Council of Trade Unions has released an independent report conducted by economic research company BERL into the validity of sector bargaining. More>>

ALSO:

Goldsmith New National Finance Spokesperson: Amy Adams To Leave Politics In 2020

Amy Adams has announced she will retire from politics at the 2020 election and as a consequence of that decision she has chosen to stand down from the spokesperson roles she holds in the Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Cosmetic Banking Reforms

The elephant in the room as the government carries out its latest bout of tinkerings with our banking practice is the extraordinary level of profit-taking still being extracted by the Australian Banking Gang from ordinary New Zealanders. Yes indeed, ... More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Offensive Language, Misuse Of Pepper Spray

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that, following a pursuit in Auckland, a man was dealt with inappropriately and unprofessionally by a Police officer during his arrest. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Gender Inclusive Questions Introduced

More than 28,000 New Zealand households will be asked to take part in the upcoming Household Economic Survey. Starting this year, the survey will ask people to describe their gender – whether that is male, female, or if they see themselves another way, such as one of many non-binary genders. More>>

New Report: Are We Listening To Children?

A report released today is a sharp reminder that what children and young people say makes a difference, and that it’s time we paid more attention to their views, says Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels