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The Forum > Article Comments > The sweetest memories of all > Comments

The sweetest memories of all : Comments

By Cameron O'Reilly, published 13/3/2013

It is exactly 20 years since Paul Keating enjoyed what he termed 'the sweetest victory of all', and he had achievements to boast about.

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Yes, the Hawke-Keating era introduced some major reforms that set the foundation for Australia's improved economic performance. But we see nothing of that courage and conviction in today's Labor, which is why I don't anticipate another unexpected victory in September.
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 2:10:56 PM
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Rhian,
what was the national debt when Howard took over ?
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 7:53:56 PM
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Yep, Iíll admit that debt was not one of Keatingís strong points. Net debt peaked at 18.1% of GDP in 1995-96. In dollar terms this was just shy of $100b. It is much higher now in dollars terms (over $140b) but less as a percentage of GDP.

http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/bp1/download/bp1_bst10.pdf

In Keatingís defence, debt to GDP was comparatively modest by OECD standards, and the country had just come through its worst recession since WW2.

Howard succeeded in bringing debt down sharply, though this was mainly through asset sales with the contribution of surpluses quite modest, so Iím guessing net financial worth would have improved much less than net debt (I can only find net worth estimates back to 1999-00)
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 8:15:58 PM
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