19 May, 2011
Responsible, balanced Budget for the times
Prime Minister John Key says Budget 2011 sets out the next steps of the Government’s programme to build faster growth, increase national savings and create sustainable jobs built on savings, exports and productive investment.
It also sets up a $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund to help rebuild Christchurch after the two devastating earthquakes.
“This is a responsible and balanced Budget for the times,” Mr Key says. “It takes steps to ensure the Government returns to Budget surplus by 2014/15, so we can start repaying debt and contributing to higher national savings.
“We have continued to protect the most vulnerable New Zealanders through extensive programmes such as Working for Families, New Zealand Superannuation and welfare benefits, as well as investing significantly more in health and education.
“And we have taken decisions to better target spending to those most in need. This will ensure that schemes like Working for Families, KiwiSaver and interest-free student loans remain affordable and sustainable into the future.”
The Government also intends to extend the mixed ownership model to four state-owned energy companies and reduce its majority shareholding in Air New Zealand – with the Government retaining majority control.
“We believe there is significant merit in extending the mixed ownership model to these companies,” Mr Key says. “In particular, it will help reduce Government debt, increase investment opportunities for mum and dad investors and improve the companies’ financial performance.
“As we promised, we are now clearly setting out our policy to New Zealanders well before the election in November.”