Tight control on spending still essential

The latest quarterly crown accounts show that tight control on public spending is still essential:

Crown accounts issued today, showing core Crown spending and revenue slightly below forecast for the three months to 30 September, reinforce the need for careful financial management, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“The accounts confirm that the Government is keeping its spending under control, but that revenue can be affected by the uncertain global economic situation and its impact on New Zealand,” he says. “This effect will continue.

“As we work to reduce our deficits and meet our target of returning to surplus by 2014/15, we will need to remain prudent with new spending and ensure existing spending delivers better public services and good value for taxpayers.

“That’s important in a world where economic and financial market conditions remain difficult and unpredictable. We need to remain on top of the factors we can control, so we can minimise our debt and have a strong balance sheet.”

The accounts also show that the danger of opposition policies:

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We continue to perform at moderate levels, but nevertheless better than most other developed countries. In the first half of this year New Zealand grew by 1.6 percent, which is higher than growth rates in the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, and the euro area over the same period. Our quarterly growth rate is about the same as Australia’s. Policies that would put this at risk would include borrowing more, spending more, and printing money, which would fuel costs for households and businesses and put jobs at risk.

Most households and businesses have accepted the need to reduce debt. The government is leading by example with no net Budget increases and continuing emphasis on lowering costs and improving the efficiency of public services and with policies which help export led growth..

These good examples are lost on the opposition which labours under the misapprehension that you can decrease debt by borrowing more and printing money.

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