Each week, the Australian Official of Financial Management publish the level of Commonwealth government gross debt on its web site. It is a figure that ‘nets out’ new borrowing which are undertaken each week against the maturating debt from bond and T-Note issuance taken out sometime in the past.
I have no concern about Australia’s level of government debt – I didn’t 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 years ago. I don’t think I ever have. I still don’t now despite the surge in debt over the past 20 months. (The only exception might be that government debt was too low to allow for smoothly functioning financial markets – that is for another day.)
But those currently in government did worry about debt and made what are absurd promises about it. They made great play of government debt and still do when the go on about the debt and deficit “disaster’.
Maybe I am wrong and government debt is a problem. Maybe Hockey and Abbott are right. I strongly doubt it but if they are, then their efforts to tackle the problem have been not only ineffectual, they have compounded the with this record breaking borrowing binge.