For so many months I have been waiting for the Opposition to start stating the alternative side of the stimulus debate without resorting to simplistic arguments or convoluted ones with clear inconsistencies. Well, I was very pleased to read this account of a recent CEDA speech by Joe Hockey. Not only did he articulate a consistent argument against current deficit spending he wasn’t afraid to admit past mis-steps in order to present that case. I don’t agree with it but it raises the quality of the debate and that is a good thing.
I was equally pleased to see Hockey adopting the notion put forward by Chris Joye that the government’s guarantee should be extended to mortgage-backed securities. This is an important but difficult to argue issue that hits directly on concerns about banking competition. Early days yet but it bodes well. Hopefully, the rest of the Opposition can follow this example and restore its credibility on climate change policy as an economic rather than a populist political issue.