Over at the Standard they discuss Bill English’s statement that we will become a “nation of savers”. Now their attack line is relatively weird, especially given that he is just saying that if we need a bigger deposit to buy a house we will have to save it – he doesn’t say we should take on policy that imply “save more”.
However, he illustrates a strange view that National have of savings when he suggests that tax cuts will lead to an increase in savings – it will increase private savings but it is also dis-savings for the government, hence it will lower national savings (unless you believe it will magically cause a massive increase in economic activity).
Obviously the term “savings” is being used in a loose way – which is also “loaded” in the sense that these people assume that an “increase” in savings is a good thing.
I think it would be good if we review a series of posts which was (and eventually will be extended into) our “productivity series“. In the four posts here we discuss Kiwisaver, national savings, and what savings is.