Billions at NBR

My NBR column is online now, titled Billions and Billions:

Have you noticed how the numbers our politicians are playing with, are now in the billions not millions?

Michael Cullen unilaterally announces a $150 billion deposit guarantee scheme – more than twice the size of the actual Government. Not to be outdone John Key announces that 40% of the NZ Super Fund will be invested in New Zealand on his watch – that is 40% of a fund which will be worth $100 billion one day.

I miss the days when an expensive policy was anything more than $10 million. Now that is chicken feed as our MPs play around with billions.

In the normal ratings, the summary is:

  • Best Play of the Week: Act’s tax policy gets an A
  • Worst Play of the Week: I could not settle on one – Labour get a D- for not consulting on the bank deposit guarantee, National a D+ for the NZ Super Fund intervention and Labour a D for their universal student allowances policy.
  • EFA Breach of the Week: Shane Jones and the Radio Network have a B+ breach and I wonder how John Banks on talkback as an MP would have survived under the EFA!
  • Scandal of the Week: The PM’s bizarre behaviour the day after the Leaders’ Debate.
  • Blog Analysis of the Week: Bernard Hickey on the bank deposit guarantee scheme. A must read.

You can comment on the column at NBR.