Dim Post on privatising Treasury

Another spectacularly sarcastic post by the Dim Post – this time pretending that John Key has privatised Treasury.

Prime Minister John Key is pressing ahead with his plans to trim the state sector, today announcing that he will be privatising the Treasury Department and opening up their roles of fiscal advice, budget projections and government accountancy to competition from the private sector.

Now, the Standard actually made a similar claim sarcastically a while back.  But you know what – there are parts of this that might not be a bad idea.  If Treasury was an under-performing department, competitive pressures could help to increase the quality of the output received.  In order to make this very claim the Dim Post article states:

It cannot be denied that for the last decade, Treasury has repeatedly made inaccurate forecasts, first underestimating surpluses and now underestimating deficits. Their advice is routinely dismissed by almost all serious political commentators and both our major political parties. At times it is difficult to see what the purpose of this department even is

Now in reality this is a real problem – but it is a problem that can’t really be solvedMacroeconomists are often attacked on these grounds – but with the type of data we have, we can’t do much better!  A made up Treasury official then suggests:

To replace the highly qualified and experienced professionals of the New Zealand Treasury with a bunch of Tarot card reading frauds would be a category error

However, given that Tarot Card reading and economic forecasting share very similar methods, I’m not so sure if this made up quote is fair 😉