Mining magnate Gina Rinehart believes the Australian federal government is not facing up to the crash in commodity prices threatening to blow a hole in the budget.
Labelling government as “too big, too costly, too onerous’’, Mrs Rinehart warned that debt levels were increasing and without the flow of commodity revenue to Canberra, Australia could experience a shocking deterioration in living standards and the type of poverty seen in parts of Asia.
However she saved her most harsh criticism for fellow business chiefs, arguing that as Australia stares down the barrel of worsening economic times they need to speak up about the crisis and stop asking for taxpayer-funded bailouts.
“Remember, one-third of Australia’s exports and revenue are from iron ore and coal alone and both have devastated prices now,’’ Mrs Rinehart said. “This is hurting the budget and blowing out our government borrowings, and we are fast approaching uncharted territory with Australian debt. This is an urgent problem for the country and it should be a priority in Canberra.
The prices for our commodities are international prices which we can’t dictate. All we can do is cut our costs, which should and must include government burdens. Regulations, licences, permits and compliance burdens must be urgently and significantly cut.
I think Mrs Rinehart’s advice could apply just as well to the NZ govt, concealing high debt to GDP rations by mass immigration, and facing a serious drop off in dairy based revenue. They don’t seem to be doing much other than flying around the world with their wives (in economy class) on trade and information missions of doubtful benefit.