Fiscal Conservatism Is Another Victim of the Pandemicon October 28, 2021 at 1:49 am

Commentary The new Premier of New South Wales (NSW), Dominic Perrottet, and his Treasurer Matt Kean announced $2.8 billion (US$2.1 billion) of new spending last week, which in their words is to “turbocharge the NSW recovery.” It was not billed as a mini-budget—but it could have been. As a test of the Perrottet government’s approach, the package is not reassuring to fiscal conservatives. Instead, it is a grab-bag of mostly questionable measures with low benefits relative to costs, at a time when the government needs to be especially cautious about adding to spending, deficits, and debt. In a situation of rapidly rising debt, the hurdle for new spending should be very high. It is difficult to see many of the measures announced last week mounting that hurdle. But they will all add to an already large deficit and rapidly rising debt. It is no exaggeration to say that the pandemic …

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