The latest $700 million bond issue by the Abbott government brings the cumulative total of gross borrowing since the election to $64.15 billion. What is extraordinary about this is not the borrowing itself, but the fact that after 7 months in office, the government has not implemented any meaningful policies to stem the rise in debt accumulation.
The AOFM has indicated it will be borrowing a further $1.4 billion next week.
Indeed, as the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook showed, policy decision taken by the new government added $13 billion to the budget deficit.
The so-called “budget emergency” fear instilled by the Coalition parties prior to the election has been downgraded to, well, much ado about nothing. By the government’s own lack of action, debt are deficit are issues that have been left unchecked and it seems will only be dealt with in the budget which is still more than a month away.
The $64.15 billion of borrowing obviously overstates the increase in gross debt over the past 7 months as some of that borrowing was to cover maturing T-Notes and bonds and short-term liquidity issues in the banking system.
Netting these out, the level of gross government has increased by $40.8 billion since the election and now stands at a record $313.1 billion.
Gross debt was $272.3 billion at the time of the election.
So much for paying down debt!