Nov 2, 2008

Should We Trust Labour With Economy Any Longer?

No, would be the answer if you believe the analysis from Doug Graham (brother of aspiring Green MP Ken) in today's Sunday Star Times (we don't read this publication anymore but a reader sent through the link)

Despite Labour coming to office in an economic upswing, nine years on, our score sheet makes sober reading. Of the 24 determinants of our living standards, most are in the low and deteriorating category. There are thousands more civil servants and to pay for them the personal income tax take increased 36% and corporate tax by a whopping 101%. So when other countries reduced the tax take we increased ours. Our total productivity grew only 0.4% per annum compared with an average of 2.3% per annum in the previous eight years. Inflation is over the top of the target band. Our GDP per capita growth is below all Australian states except Tasmania and we languish in 21st place out of 30 in the OECD. Our annual trade and services deficit has risen from 6% to almost 9% of GDP despite strong terms of trade, and the cost of servicing the extra borrowing to finance that increased from 17% to 25% of exports. Household debt interest payments have increased from about 7% to 14% of disposable income. Spending on welfare, despite low unemployment, has ballooned from $13 billion to about $17b. Our best people are leaving in droves.
Unfortunately we have failed to lock in the benefits of the good times and had a big spend-up. Now we face a severe world downturn. Labour invites us to "trust" it to get us out of it. The polls are suggesting not many will be accepting the invitation.