CTU Economic Bulletin

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  • May 2011

    The 2011 Budget was a victory of story-line over needs. The story was that the New Zealand government has a debt problem that according to the Minister of Finance’s Budget speech “leaves the Government vulnerable and less able to meet future shocks. Its double-A plus credit rating is on negative outlook with two rating agencies.” We must therefore “eliminate the deficit faster and target a lower level of public debt... Finance costs would otherwise rise unacceptably...” It was therefore a Budget of a thousand cuts, as we anticipated.

  • April 2011

    The government’s 19 May Budget is a fateful one. It could push New Zealand back into deeper recession and unemployment, or it could give us a chance to pull out of three years of stagnation.

  • March 2011

    It’s common sense isn’t it? In hard times like these, just as you and I have to cut our spending to balance our budgets, so must the government. The government is just like any household or firm. It must urgently reduce its debt and return to a budget surplus.

  • February 2011

    Just as both life and geology in Christchurch seemed to be stabilising from the September earthquake and 5,000 aftershocks, the vicious 22 February quake has hit with terrible human pain and physical destruction. It would be hard to show more starkly how inadequate standard economic measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are to measure our progress and welfare. It does not measure the loss of life or searing physical and emotional pain, nor the huge loss in quality of life and leisure as people struggle to obtain life necessities such as shelter, food, water, and power. Neither does it measure the enormous destruction of homes, commercial buildings, water pipes, roads, power lines, environment, historic buildings and much more.  We are long overdue for adopting better measures of welfare and meaningful progress – and for economic policies (and theories) that take them into account.