Here is a graph from the latest OECD Economic Outlook. It’s an illustration of how much more OECD governments are projected to be spending in the year ahead compared with average levels of spending in the period 1993-2012. The government spending data are on the OECD basis which is standardised across OECD countries, and includes for New Zealand central and local government.
The chart shows that for the current year, government spending in New Zealand is at an all-time high. It currently stands at 46.2% of GDP, over 2 percentage points of GDP higher than the 1993-2012 average. Spending has gone up by more than the OECD average, and only by slightly less than Greeceand Portugal, which is food for thought. Sweden has done best to rein in government spending, albeit from a high long-term average.
No OECD country has achieved sustained rapid GDP growth (4% per capita or more) with government spending at New Zealand’s current level of over 40% of GDP.