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Abstract from

Setting the Fiscal Policy Agenda: Economic News and Election Year Tax Debates in New Zealand

André Broome is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. He has published in Global Standards of Market Civilization (Routledge/RIPE, 2006), and has forthcoming articles in Review of International Political Economy and Regulation and Governance.

How the media reports political debates over fiscal policy may be important, especially in an election year. This case study carries out a qualitative content analysis of print media coverage of fiscal policy in New Zealand’s three most recent election campaigns in 2005, 2002 and 1999. In contrast to earlier years, the print media narrowly interpreted the policy implications of the country’s economic performance in the 2005 election, thereby helping to limit the parameters for public debate. The print media reinforced a common sense perception that, when the budget is in surplus, governments can and should cut income taxes rather than pursuing other fiscal policy goals.

(2006) 24 No 2 Law in Context 60-77

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