Political Parties Covered Up Gigantic NZ Foreign Contingent Liability Debt
New Zealand’s general election was a political line dance because all the main parties performed the same sequence of steps and all ended in the same position as when they started electioneering.
They all sidestepped the unspoken issue of how the nation is to fund its foreign commitments in the matter of zero.
The nation’s Treasury frames this debt obligation in the widest possible terms as somewhere between $3billion and $24billion.
Given the disappointing outcomes of the offset auctions the liability looms as being at the more expensive end of this spectrum.
The other participant in this hesitation waltz was the government subsidised media which knew on which side its bread was buttered. They avoided the unspoken issue too.
Not one of these entities believed it lay in their sphere of responsibility to reveal that this liability means money earned in New Zealand will be paid outside New Zealand and will never come back.
The parties coyly displayed solidarity on this non-disclosure. New Zealand First seeing there was no light between National, Labour, and ACT now managed a late run.
Yet it too dodged the issue.
This was not so much to avoid offending those who consider themselves refined and who live in leafy suburban enclaves as to avoid drawing attention to its one-time massive pine planting policy plank.
A gigantic tranche of New Zealand cash is scheduled in just a few years to be transferred overseas with no corresponding benefit to the taxpayer.
While the parties bickered over health benefits, identity privileges, and the size of the public service they adroitly danced around the billions to be paid out overseas with no tangible benefit to anyone but the politicians already planning to establish and embellish their global reputations as the instruments of giving it away.
The cost of living was the background music of the election campaign. Yet nobody pointed out how the transfer of so much earned money to the global multilaterals was scheduled to push inflation skyward simply because it would have to be borrowed back to pay for things like health and the public service.
Dishonestly none of these guardians of the public prosperity intervened to say that with the continuing fall in the NZD the money will have to be borrowed back at increasingly alarming rates of interest.
As it delicately skirted the forbidden issue the National Party especially in its soft shoe shuffle laid the groundwork for the election result.
This was its failure to win anything like an outright victory meaning the ensuing coalition boondoggling with partners who had done the same thing – dance around the real issue of the immense sum of public treasure about to b dissipated somewhere between New York and London.
The main political parties diverted attention from their vainglorious and foolish involvement in embarking on the undertaking and then sustaining it just as its consequences started to loom.
This is at a time of an already serious drain on international funds when the monthly trade balance shows a startling deficit of $2.3 billion.
Politicians of parties which had entered into this commitment and sustained it failed to mention any of the escape routes offered to them such as the war in Ukraine and the resulting global food shortage.
Instead during the general election they laid down diversions.
This included going after public servants knowing that government departments have contingency plans for just this political eventuality and which centres on re-hiring back as consultants the fired staff.
This is why the general election was a line dance. National, ACT, Labour and late entrant New Zealand First ended in the same position as when they started.
They did so by dancing around the contingent liability that they created and knowing that money earned here will be spent somewhere else and with nothing to show for it here except for deprived social services and other cutbacks such as defence.
Grandstanding New Zealand politicians seeking international acclaim embarked upon and sustained a massive financial commitment based on selective modelling and which is now coming due at the very time that country is least able to pay it.