Splurge or save - it's a matter of patriotism

Tuesday 9 November 2004

New Zealanders' persistent overspending puts their futures - and the economy - at risk, a think-tank suggests. Rob Stock reports.

By The Landlord

Is saving a patriotic act? Or can New Zealanders benefit the national interest more by carrying on spending like there's no tomorrow?

It's a question the rangy chief executive of the New Zealand Institute, David Skilling, will tackle in the think-tank's third paper on creating an ownership society.

In the paper, expected later this month, Skilling - an economist with a warm, human take on the world - will all but argue that getting into the private saving and investing habit is a patriotic act through which a better New Zealand can be built.

New Zealand society is in the grip of an unsustainable consumer spending and credit boom, Skilling says. People are living for today on borrowed dollars at the expense of their tomorrows, as their spending and borrowing grow much faster than their pay packets.

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