Dom Post editorial confuses gross and net debt

A fake news editorial from the Dominion Post:

That is partly because he has also set himself an onerous new target for reducing the national debt. The Government has been aiming for a level equal to 20 per cent of GDP for its time in office; now he proposes a new standard of 10 to 15 per cent .

The announcement by Steven Joyce clearly refers to net debt.

In 2008, a few months before coming to power, English could see this. Debt was 17 per cent of GDP, Labour was targeting 20 per cent, and he had no intention of trying to wrestle it down further.

But if you look at the 2008 Budget, it is gross debt that is 17% of GDP. Net debt in 2008 was 1% of GDP, well below the 10% to 15% proposed by Joyce.

So the failure of the Dominion Post leader writer to understand the difference between gross and net debt has resulted in a factually incorrect and misleading editorial.

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