austerity

The policy dimension of the election appears to be about the concerns with past restraints on government spending and the consequential social failures. But whatever the rhetoric, implementation of campaign promises is going to be much harder.

Last Saturday, the Minister for Social Housing, Amy Adams, admitted her government had a poor record on social housing but promised to do better. On the same day, the Prime Minister said the government would (might?) spend $1.2billion on the Dunedin Hospital which was a similar admission of poor past performance on capital funding for DHBs.

Economists and policy analysts have paid insufficient attention to the distributional consequences of change. Hence the rise of the angries.

In order to get to this column’s conclusion I am going to recall a little of my scholarly journey.

One take out from today’s budget says it all.

The government thinks that the net fiscal impact on the economy will be contractionary.

Here’s what Bill English says in his Fiscal Strategy Report for the budget:

“Having been stimulatory during the recession, fiscal policy is expected to exert a mildly contractionary effect on the economy throughout the forecast period.”

Canadians are aghast at revelations the government is splurging more than a billion dollars hosting the G8 and G20 summits for three days. While most goes on security and of course flowers, there's also cash for a fake lake

Forgive me, but I thought the world was in a bit of a squeeze when it came to financial largesse, and that the requisite austerity measures many countries are grappling with to stave off bankruptcy were the focus of global financial gurus.