Roughan on Key

John Roughan writes about John Key, and how people should be paying more attention to the message he is sending out on changing the economy.

As ’s finance spokesman at the last election it was evident in Key’s speeches that he wants to make quite a distinct change of economic speed. He is fond of saying that if New Zealand was a stock he would buy it, but he would change its gearing.

He thinks the country is past the stage when it needs to continue with cautious, thrifty, balanced budgets and that it is time to invest in greater expansion. Besides returning revenue to the private sector in tax cuts and targeting welfare better, as indicated this week on family tax credits, he would, I think, borrow happily.

Borrowing to fund an operating deficit is basically always a bad thing. Borrowing to fund infrastructure and capital investment can be good or bad – it depends on the quality of the investment.

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