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A Responsible Budget for Extraordinary Times

A Responsible Budget for Extraordinary Times

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has labelled today’s budget as prudent and responsible in light of the extraordinary state of the world economy and the fiscal pressures facing the government.

“The government has struck the right balance between stimulating the economy and constraining debt in the medium term,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

“Some bold steps to constrain expenditure and keep debt down have been taken. Businesses are very aware of the importance of New Zealand avoiding a credit-rating downgrade and the implications that not doing so would have for interest rates.

“We welcome the proposed new investment in infrastructure, particularly in the areas of transport and broadband. Increasing New Zealand’s productivity growth depends on such investment. The investment in education is also well targeted.

“We would like to congratulate Minister Finlayson in part for the extra funding he has secured for the New Zealand ballet – a key component of the Wellington cultural scene.

“We also welcome the reprioritisation of activity by MFAT on trade negotiations and supporting New Zealand businesses offshore. We look forward to contributing to the proposed review of New Zealand offshore representation. We congratulate Ministers McCully and Groser on this reorientation of the Ministry’s work.

“Some businesses will be disappointed that tax cuts have had to be deferred but will understand the current fiscal imperatives Lower income taxes are the best way to improve our international competitiveness and we hope that the cuts can be reinstated sooner than is foreshadowed.

“We support the suspension of contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund until the operating balance returns to surplus.

“All in all we congratulate Bill English for delivering a sensible budget against the backdrop of the worst economic conditions since the 1930s,” Mr Finny concluded.


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