The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
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Wednesday’s Chorus: The PREFU's missing debt
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Wednesday’s Chorus: The PREFU's missing debt

Treasury sees higher bond debt in PREFU, but misses reporting growing climate, health, productivity & housing debt due to public investment drought in tandem with 2% population growth for 20 years
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Yet again, Treasury has not included the liabilities being stored up for future generations in the form of higher public health, climate, education and housing spending because of the systematic and ongoing underinvestment in infrastructure, relative to population growth. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: Treasury published a PREFU yesterday that exposed the Opposition’s claims about the Government being ‘addicted to spending’ and presiding over a ‘fiscal catastrophe’ as both hollow and dangerous, given these politicians are quite likely to be in charge of those same finances in just over a month, and will need to assure foreign investors the Government’s credit is good.

But the PREFU isn’t all ticketyboo. Yet again, Treasury does not include the very real liabilities being stored up for future generations in the form of higher public health, climate, education and housing spending because of the systematic and ongoing underinvestment in infrastructure, relative to population growth of 1.5% to 2.0% per year, which is being pursued by both sides of politics in an unacknowledged, undebated and unplanned-for way that essentially pulls forward well to today’s voters and stores up climate and health liabilities for renters under 40 and/or yet to be born.

Both sides of politics are betting on higher migration and tax cuts to keep themselves in power, but by doing so are freezing in place an unsustainable structure of our tax system and Government that is starving the nation of investment. In essence, Labour and National are consuming today’s cash profits, rather than reinvesting surpluses to help the young deal with a more difficult future, let alone improve their health and wealth. It’s a selfish, short-sighted and fundamentally sociopathic approach to governing.

Paying subscribers can hear more detail in the podcast above, along with the PDF of a powerpoint presentation. UPDATE: I have now opened this up for listening, reading and sharing for all after requests from paying subscribers.

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Bernard

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
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