The Abbott government just borrowed a further $800 million, which brings the cumulative total of gross borrowings since 9 September 2013 to $48.85 billion.
The Australian Office of Financial Management has indicated it will borrow a further $1.8 billion next week which will bring the amount of gross debt issued since the election to over $50 billion in just over five months.
Given that some of this additional borrowing covers maturing bonds and T-Notes, the amount of new borrowing in net terms has been $25 billion.
It looks like we may have to wait a while before Prime Minister Abbott acts on his commitment to “get debt down”, or for Treasurer Hockey to address his concern when he said, “let’s be frank: whenever the government borrows money, it is borrowing future taxes from our children, because someone has to pay the money back.”
Such comments have no place in a serious debate about government debt. All sensible economists are relaxed about Australia’s level of government debt, a point perhaps best seen in the trifecta of triple-A credit ratings from the three major credit rating agencies.
It is also worth noting that Australia never should and therefore never will get rid of its government debt despite the over-blown rhetoric of some prior to the election in September.