Scott Sumner at the Money Illusion on a recent trip to Australia:
. . . I was particularly impressed with the talk given by the representative from the New Zealand government (Bill English) but will admit to knowing little about that place, other than that their people live in Hobbit-style dwellings. . .
About which, Matt Nolan opines:
. . . Whether you agree with the policies of the National party, or the specific things that Bill English has pushed through as Finance Minister, you have to admit that he has done an incredibly good job over the past five years – during an incredibly difficult time.
This is not the first time I’ve heard people overseas sing Bill English’s praises (it is probably in double-digits now) – over here we have a Finance Minister who understands the issues, and tries to communicate them clearly.
Sure it makes it easier for me to say good things about Bill English since he doesn’t seem to be directly involved with any of National’s policies I’ve strongly disagreed with (this has been more the social welfare area) – but even if my prior beliefs were different, the fact that English has been transparent and straight up when discussing issues, and the fact he seems to strongly work to understand and work with broad expert advice about fiscal issues from around the world, tells me he has done an excellent job.
Often Finance Ministers are judged solely on the luck they faced given their time in change, so lets be honest here and admit that during a tough time Bill English and his team have done a good job. I know this post will be particularly unpopular with a section of the readers here, but it has to be said!
I’m completely apolitical – but having a Finance Minister that doesn’t make the role about themselves, and who gives an honest appraisal of the trade-offs faced from the broad thrust of government fiscal policy, is exactly the sort of person you want. . .
It’s good to know it’s not just those of us with a blue bias who admire Bill and what he’s managed to do in very trying times.