The Australian reports:
JOE Hockey frequently admits he’s a little bit jealous of our cousins across the ditch, in an economic sense at least.
THE treasurer’s green eye probably went an even deeper shade of emerald after New Zealand’s latest employment figures showed their jobless rate tumbled to a five-year low of 5.6 per cent in the June quarter from a revised 5.9 per cent previously.
The best we can hope for is Australia’s jobless rate not reaching 6.25 per cent this financial year, as predicted in Mr Hockey’s May budget.
And what does Hockey say:
He said New Zealand has stolen the advantage from Australia during the past few years by combining domestic structural reforms with newly negotiated trade opportunities in Asia.
“As a result, they have falling unemployment, rising living standards and a budget that is coming into surplus,” Mr Hockey said.
Faced with a hostile Senate over his first budget, Mr Hockey also said he was “quite jealous” that NZ Prime Minister John Key has to deal with only one parliamentary chamber.
Even so, Mr Key and Finance Minister Bill English are showing the world how economic reform should be done.
And it has not been achieved through “luck or complacency”.
“There is no she’ll-be-right attitude,” Mr Hockey said.
Except those parties who want to spend the surpus before we even achieve it, and send us back into deficit.