When I looked at last year’s budget figures, from the 2022 BEFU (Budget Economic and Fiscal Update) , I found that the extra government expenditure during Covid has been baked into every year into the future. This year’s budget, from the 2023 BEFU (Budget Economic and Fiscal Update) , continues that trend, only worse.
The graph below shows actual expenditure compared to what it would have been with a 4.5%pa growth rate from the pre-Covid trend. The government is making no attempt to return to the pre-Covid trend line.
The government chooses to represent numbers either as a percentage of GDP or in terms of net debt. Both these approaches have wriggle room for the government as the first allows them to use heroic GDP forecasts (over 5% every year), and the later allows them the change the way net debt is calculated.
The bottom line here is that we deserve to be told what we are getting for all this extra expenditure. That is not happening. New Zealander’s deserve so much better!