In infrastructure funding, nothing is certain save debt and taxes

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review
Originally published in The Australian Financial Review on October 8, 2013

While the Coalition is yet to turn around a boat carrying asylum seekers, it has already made a stunning turnaround on the issue of government debt. Having raged against the ALP’s high-taxing, high-spending ways for the past six years Joe Hockey now wants us to be a bit more sophisticated in our approach to public finance.

After spending years deliberately conflating public sector debt and private sector debt in order to better scare the electorate, Hockey now wants us to distinguish between “good debt” which is used to fund infrastructure, and “bad debt” which is used for recurrent expenditure.

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