Australian treasurer Joe Hockey says New Zealand’s economy is the envy of the world:
Mr Hockey told TV ONE’s Breakfast today that Australia could learn some lessons from their Kiwi neighbours.
“New Zealand has done a splendid job, the Key government is a standout government around the world and as a result of that it is heading towards a surplus,” he said.
“New Zealand is starting to live within its means.”
Delivering his first budget this year, Mr Hockey said he was forced to slash spending by $10 billion because of the previous Labor government’s overspending.
“They took us to a position where if we don’t take immediate action we will face much bigger debts,” he said.
“If you make the difficult but important decisions up front then you get the benefits down the track. We’ve got a long way to go to catch up to the budget position of New Zealand.”
The government borrowed to take the roughest edges off the global financial crisis but at the same time took a very disciplined approach to public spending.
By doing so it turned round the forecast decade of deficits Labour left it with and is now back on track to surplus.
The growing economy is one of the reasons we’re getting a net migration gain:
. . . In the June 2014 year, permanent and long-term (PLT) migrant arrivals numbered 100,800 (up 14 percent from 2013), the first time more than 100,000 arrivals have been recorded in a year. Migrant departures numbered 62,400 (down 22 percent). This resulted in a net gain of 38,300 migrants, the highest annual gain since the October 2003 year (39,300). New Zealand recorded its highest-ever net gain of 42,500 migrants in the May 2003 year.
In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 8,300 migrants to Australia, well down from 31,200 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other countries, led by India (7,000), China (6,300), and the United Kingdom (5,500).
In June 2014, New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4,300 migrants, the second-highest monthly gain of migrants. The highest gain ever recorded was in February 2003 (4,700).
Net migration has been positive and mostly increasing since September 2012. The difference in the net gains recorded in September 2012 and June 2014 was mainly due to:
- fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia (down 2,400)
- more non-New Zealand citizens arriving (up 1,500)
- more New Zealand citizens arriving from Australia (up 500).
Seasonally adjusted PLT arrivals of 2,000 migrants from Australia in June 2014 matched the number of departures to that country, resulting in net migration of zero. The last time this series recorded net migration of zero was in August 1991.
We’re on track for our first ever net gain of migrants from Australia.
No wonder their treasurer envies us and the benefits we’re reaping from the hard, but right, decisions taken to get the government back into surplus and the economy growing sustainably.