Finance Minister Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget this afternoon.
Before it’s delivered, Prime Minister John Key offers some briefing notes:
1. More than 200,000 jobs have been created over the past three years – that equates to around 180 new jobs every day.
2. New Zealand has the third highest employment rate in the developed world.
3. We’re on track for annual economic growth of about 3 per cent for the next few years.
4. We’re also on track for rising surpluses and falling debt – we were one of the first developed countries to be back in surplus after the global financial crisis when we posted a surplus of $414 million last year.
5. Budget 2016 will contain $1.6 billion in new spending. We’ve already announced funding for more lifesaving drugs, emergency housing, and to support our thriving tourism sector.
This year’s Budget will further advance our work to support a strong, growing economy. It’s only through a strong, growing economy that we’re able to create more jobs, lift wages and deliver better public services to those who need them most.
Labour’s last Budget in 2008 was forecasting a decade of deficits.
In spite of the GFC, Canterbury earthquakes and other unforeseen hurdles, the government books were back in surplus last year and, with continued careful management, are expected to stay there.
This isn’t about a surplus for surplus’s sake. It’s the only way to sustainably fund public services, reduce debt, look after those who need help and leave us all with more of our own money.