This is a theme of much commentary on this and other blogs. Of course, we raise the issue why, such as the sound economic stewardship of John Howard and \Peter Costello, in contrast to that of clark and Cullen, who squandered so many good years, leaving behind a legacy of a decade or more of deficits. And at a time of global crisis, it will be particulalrly tough for National to remedy.
The continuing good fortune of Australia, which its Liarbor government seems not to have spoilt yet, is reflected in comments from ambitious deputy PM Julia Guillard. In comments reported a few days back, the hard leftist and Clarkula clone spoke of a job situation that 'could get worse' in 2009. Year-end unemployment of 5.75% doesn't seem bad, 'Bankrupt Britain' has surpassed that aleady.
Indeed, Britain is set for its wiorst recession in decades, economic growth of NEGATIVE 3%, three million unemployed, another ten per cent or so off house prices and so on. Not to mention one in ten stores closing once the January sales are over. It is all increadibly gloomy and seemingly getting worse. Government borrowing is at horrendous levels and the pound Sterling is sinking fast, even against our own Pacific Peso.
So which track will New Zealand follow? Admittedly, Australia has been cushioned by its mineral wealth to some extent. But the best guide will be to look at the economic policies of the past as well as the present. New Zealand under Uncle Helen followed similar tax and spend socialism of Blair and Brown, where property booms, rather than producticity, fuelled economic growth and prosoperity. Now, such booms have turned to bust, it is likely that we will suffer more than Australia, though not as much as Gordonistan. Fortunately, we now have wise heads in the Treasury and Beehive to help stave off the worst. John Key and Bill English have a much greater understanding of world events and markets that Gordon Brown and his ill-fated Chancellor Alastair Darling ever could hope to have.