And you can squarely blame federal Labor and state Labor gov’ts from 2007 onwards for blowing the dough.
Australia’s net debt figure is almost twice the 10.6 per cent estimate you’ve been told is so comforting – the real number was around 20 per cent in 2012-13. Importantly, this has exploded off a sub-zero base in 2007 when we had allegedly no net debt.
Excising the influence of the Future Fund and “other investments”, total government net debt rises to roughly 25 per cent (see above chart).
When financial markets consider a company’s riskiness, they focus on the gross level of borrowings relative to assets. We can do the same.
In 2007, the Commonwealth and states owed about $150 billion. These were just the bonds on issue and ignore other borrowings. By December 2012 Commonwealth and state government debt on issue had more than tripled to $500 billion. That’s nearly 35 per cent of GDP and excludes government-guaranteed companies. The true gross debt-to-GDP ratio is probably circa 40 per cent. While that is still relatively low, it is not the ultra-benign image that has been projected.
Make sure you read the AFR’s Christopher Joye’s article in full.
It’s Labor that has sentenced your children and grandchildren to paying off their reckless spending. Remember that when you vote on September 14.