Victoria’s state budget is out and the Andrews government has big, bold and laudable spending plans. Stimulus is needed and so the state is going into debt. It will pile up over the next four years to a number that might once have seemed huge: $150 billion.
The budget is full of good ideas, not least of which is the construction of 12,000 affordable and public housing dwellings. It will cost $5.3 billion and the state will issue bonds to pay for it.
People don’t care about debt nearly so much any more. Joe Hockey’s debt and deficit disaster line is like something from another era. We are better informed about the merits of stimulus in an emergency, and much more chilled about the repayments now that interest rates are so fabulously low.