Strewth mate, hold on a bit

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 08:49 17/05/2013
WAYNE SWAN: Said New Zealand had been through a recession, had lower growth than Australia, and lifted GST in 2010.
REUTERS
WAYNE SWAN: Said New Zealand had been through a recession, had lower growth than Australia, and lifted GST in 2010.

John Key talks Budget 2013

Relevant offers

Politics

Does Brexit wreck it for New Zealand? National MP and former cop Mark Mitchell confesses to accidentally leaving police dog behind Winston Peters hails 'stunning 24 hours in world politics' Brexit: Manawatu-based UK expats divided over results Brexit: NZ politicians weigh in on referendum Tracy Watkins: Lessons from Brexit for New Zealand Auckland heart researchers to share $6 million war chest Government may step in if Auckland doesn't put a new city plan in place Duncan Garner: Tax the tourist tsunami and give us citizens a break TVNZ political editor's capital favourites

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is "completely dumbfounded" that anyone would suggest New Zealand's economic performance was better than Australia's.

A war of words broke out between Australian politicians following the release of Finance Minister Bill English's fifth budget here yesterday.

English announced a return to surplus - of just $75 million - in 2014/15.

His Australian counterpart, Swan, was asked about it during parliamentary question time in Canberra yesterday.

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey asked: "How can the Australian treasurer insist that the Government's budget of deficits, higher unemployment and slower economic growth is unavoidable when New Zealand has been able to deliver an earlier surplus without a major resources industry and a strong New Zealand dollar?"

Swan said New Zealand had been through a recession, had lower growth than Australia, and lifted GST in 2010.

The Opposition wanted to make the Australian economy smaller, he said.

"They want to make it more like New Zealand."

The debate continued on Twitter.

"@joeHockey asked me in #qt why Australia's economy can't be as 'good' as New Zealand's. Few facts for you," Swan tweeted.

He posted graphs showing New Zealand's unemployment rate and Gross Domestic Profit compared to the Australian figures.

"Australia's economy outpacing NZ's," he concluded.

Hockey responded on the social media site saying "Swan against surpluses!".

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content