Bill English’s buggering around with budget numbers is bad enough—expect from him tomorrow the sort of sleight of hand used by other governments in a similar debt hole—but I hadn’t realised the Greens were ready to join the big budget liars. But with their commissioning of BERL to lie for them, they’ve made a bid for the big league.
The commissioned report purports to show that the government can somehow magically earn more for itself by not selling half of the assets they propose to—and will no double now be waved by economic illiterates to say (rather as they have with other reports): “Look, even the dismal scientists agree partial-privatisations are piss poor.”
Eric Crampton explains the simple process however by which BERL’s Ganesh Nana throws up exactly the result which the Greens ordered: the magic dust Nana sprays around is all the assumptions he starts with, not one of which holds water.
Garbage in. Propaganda out.
And another large cheque for a consultant happy to lie for a living.
UPDATE: “Present discounted value, explained slowly.”