Bill English Outlines Government’s Key Economic Policies

February 24, 2012 New Zealand Taxation

The Seat of GovernmentThroughout the next three years the government of New Zealand will concentrate on four economic priorities aimed at ensuring that the country experiences strong economic growth and the national budget returns to a surplus in the 2014 – 2015 fiscal year.

On February 23rd the Minister of Finance of New Zealand Bill English gave a speech at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, outlining the government’s intended economic policies for the next three years, and explained that the government currently has a comprehensive plan to build a more competitive economy with a greater level of international exports.

According to the Minister, one of the government’s key priorities is to responsibly manage its own finances and return to a budget surplus within three years. He said that all of the data and projections currently available indicate that the budget goal is still achievable and realistic. As part of the policy, the government will continue with its previously announced plans to sell off minority stakes in several state owned assets. Bill English maintained that the sale is still the best option for raising large streams of revenues, which will be used to finance the education sector and national health care.

In order to foster a competitive and productive economy the government will continue to implement strategic fiscal and economic policies to encourage taxpayers to borrow less, while saving more and making more productive investments. The Minister explained that this goal will take several years of work to show results, saying that “… there are not one or two magic things that will transform the economy – literally, we need to do more than 100 things well.”

During his speech the Minister outlined the government’s policy towards improvement of public services, saying that in the current fiscal environment there can be no extra investments into departments that work with the public. However, all the management teams of all public services in New Zealand have been tasked with finding new means to improve services provided and products offered, without relying on new payments.

The Minister also reiterated the governments dedication to rebuilding the earthquake stricken city of Christchurch, noting that in the 2011 budget the government set aside NZD 5.5 billion to help pay for reconstruction and development projects.

Photo by Ewan-M