It's surprising that no cartoonist has yet portrayed Finance Minister Grant Robertson as Gollum, fiendishly protecting his "precious" surplus. His obsession over keeping government spending at low levels while the tax take soars is starting to look more than a little odd – and not just in the eyes of supporters of the coalition partners, but also to economists and even the Opposition.

Robertson's dogged protection of his conservative fiscal settings started looking even more absurd this week, with news that the surplus has ballooned to a massive $7.5bn. Hence, business journalist Brian Fallow uses the Gollum metaphor this


Demands for spending from left, right, and centre


How to use the surplus