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Spending debate needed

25 November 2004

Spending debate needed

Business NZ would like more debate on government spending.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly says the review of the Fiscal Responsibility Act by economist Bryce Wilkinson has some good perspectives on where the Act is falling short, providing fertile ground for debate.

"The Wilkinson report shows how the Fiscal Responsibility Act has helped sustain surpluses and reduce net indebtedness over the last decade.

"But it also shows up some instances of the Act's failure to curb excessive government spending, and its inability to improve the quality of the spend," Mr O'Reilly said.

"The report puts forward possibilities for improvement, like a cap on government expenditure, or requiring a 75% majority in Parliament to increase tax, and other options.

"Notably, many of the options involve citizens having more say over government spending decisions.

"While we may not agree with all of the ideas in the report, they are worthy of debate. Business NZ would like to hear what people think about keeping government expenditure under control, because our growth prospects and standard of living depend on it."


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