Grant wanted more debt!

Oliver Hartwich writes:

In his exit interview on TVNZ’s Q+A programme, former Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s suggested that New Zealand can and should sustain higher government debt levels than the current 30% of GDP target.

As Grant Robertson exits politics, it is galling to be lectured by him about an alleged need for even more debt. His legacy of profligate spending and the increased public debt he leaves behind is something New Zealand must now address.

The country needs to cut government spending and reduce debt to lower levels as a buffer against future shocks … and maybe also to protect against future governments opening the spending taps as widely as Robertson did.

New Zealand’s fiscal future depends on making prudent decisions today. To navigate our fiscal holes responsibly, the new Government should not be digging deeper, but chart a course towards long-term sustainability and resilience by reducing both expenditure and debt.

MPs sometimes forget that debt attracts interest and the more money we spend on interest payments on debt, the less we have for health and education.

In 2017 the finance cost on our debt was under $4 billion. Today it is over $8 billion. That is $4 billion less money we have for cancer drugs, schools etc.

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