Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hey big spender…

The key argument in the current Australian election campaign is economic management. Hours before PM John Howard delivered his campaign speech yesterday our central bank delivered it’s quarterly report, stressing “slow the growth".

The economy, on the back of a resources boom and China’s incredible growth benefiting our exporters, is overheating. The surplus is there, big time! But spending it is driving inflation and consequently rate rises.

So Howard, the consummate economic manager, pledged $64 billion dollars, an amount economists say will increase rates over the next five years at least. It wasn’t even savvy spending, simply vote winning spending.

Rather than putting money directly into key areas of health and education, for example, it delivers tax breaks at best, and then limited. There will be little money going directly to infrastructure, none to ensure that health and education facilities are available to spend tax breaks on.

Initial indications suggest a major blowout in mortgage defaults over the next couple of years. That is not a bad thing, overall – but I’m glad I’m not holding a mortgage at the moment. The fact is property in this country has risen way beyond true value and a correction is overdue.

Whichever party forms government in two weeks time has either commit to its promises and further exacerbate the economy or break its election promises. I hope for the latter. The whole process has been self-serving and dangerous.

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