I was concerned the other day when someone told me that NZ government spending was on a downwards trajectory because of “austerity”.

From The Treasury’s Budget 2012 Summary Of Trends we can see actual total appropriations until this financial year and projected total appropriations until 2015/2016.

If austerity was actually happening to the extent some people think it is, we’d see a downwards trend in total appropriations.

There is no clearly identifiable trend here.

Yes, a lot of government spending is being tinkered with. Many public servants have lost their jobs. But if “austerity” was actually happening we’d see declining government spending clearly in the chart above.

If you think that current trends in the public sector are bad, heaven help you when “austerity” actually happens in New Zealand.


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