Richard Denniss has an op-ed in the AFR today repeating the usual lines:
Australia’s level of public debt is among the lowest in the world. In fact, at less than 10 per cent of GDP, the Commonwealth’s Net Debt is so low that the financial sector has urged the Gillard Government to issue more government bonds than is actually necessary to ensure the ‘liquidity’ of the government bond market. In other words, investors are keen to lend more money to the Commonwealth than the Commonwealth actually needs and, in order to keep the finance markets happy, the Gillard Government is obliging.
The first one-and-a-half sentences are misleading. Here are some great graphics from The Economist.
In 2007 public debt per person for Australia was $6,719.73. This year it is $12,469.67. It isn’t good enough to say that our debt is low by international standards (it isn’t) when the burden of that debt has doubled over the past five years and it has to be paid back by Australians.
(HT: Julie Novak)