Bill English, the NZ Finance Minister, has predictably gone for the traditional response when considering how to pay for the rebuilding of post-quake Christchurch: he wants to borrow $10bln and add further to the mountain of debt New Zealand already struggles under.
At current government bond yields this is likely (presuming the issue is in longer term bonds) to cost over half a billions dollars a year. That’s right $500-550m a year in cost, just to access the money we need.
Bill English has our recent proposal to use new public money in front of him but so far we have heard nothing back on it. Other than an earthquake levy, which has been ruled out also, there are no other proposals on the table.
I look forward to hearing why the Finance Minister thinks paying $500m a year is a good idea for something we could do ourselves.