So what is Lianne’s debt solution?

The Press reports:

Christchurch mayoral candidate has slammed the level of debt the city council will be taking on as “fiscally irresponsible”.

Great to hear a Labour MP blast fiscal irresponsibility and raise the alarm on debt. I can only presume Lianne will not be voting Labour at the next election then, as their policies are for more spending and more debt.

In her speech Dalziel said it was “fiscally irresponsible” to take the council’s debt levels to 2% short of the maximum allowable ratio “giving us no room to manoeuvre should any calculations fall short of budget”.

I agree.

3 News reports:

But Ms Dalziel, the current Christchurch East MP, did not offer a solution to the planned uptake. Instead, she says she’s not making any promises around level of debt.

“I’m just offering absolute fiscal responsibility in terms of insuring that we’re not placing our council into so much debt that we don’t have we anywhere to move just in case something goes wrong,” she says.

Ms Dalziel says she’s opposed to asset sales as a solution – but is not ruling them out completely.

“I’m opposed to strategic assets being sold, [but] I’m not having a conversation at the moment about what strategic means,” she says.

It is pointless to criticise unless you have a credible alternative.

Debt is a function of spending. You borrow money to fund either an operational deficit or capital expenditure.

There are basically just two ways to reduce debt – spend less, or increase revenue.

If Lianne is saying the Council is spending too much money (which is very possible) she should identify what spending she would chop.

If she is saying the Council needs to increase its revenue, then she should spell out which assets she would sell, or how much more she would increase rates by.

“My final decision to run was only made two weeks ago so I haven’t got a detailed policy platform, but I will have one when I launch [the campaign] formally,” she says.

“I’ve got a couple of months to basically work with a variety of people across the city to put together that policy platform.”

Fair enough not to have it yet, but having blasted the Council for their debt she will in time need to be specific about what spending she would cut to reduce debt – or alternatively which assets she would sell and/or how much rates would increase.

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