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Budget

- BUDGET 2001: Treasurer Michael Cullen says today’s budget is about being careful while still trying to boost the economy. It’s also about keeping the purse strings tight while looking to next year.

Cullen said the budget is about “fiscal prudence and economic transformation.” Health didn’t get much to feel cheery about. Cullen said there may be a bit more for health next year. Education gets more money, on the proviso that institutions don’t raise fees.

Jim Anderton said the next 18 months will see a higher profile for the Alliance than the previous 18 months.

There will be more spending next year, before election. The budget surplus is on the rise. Economists say the numbers look pretty conservative, and that’s wise, given the uncertain future of the world economy. Business has given the budget a low pass mark.

Michael Cullen is hoping the budget does enough to keep business on side.

National Leader Jenny Shipley says she’s concerned health has had its smallest increase since 1991.

ACT leader Richard Prebble says this is a visionless budget.

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the small funding increases are well targeted, but there are sections of society whose needs aren’t being met.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says Alliance and Green voters have been sold down drain.

United Future Leader Peter Dunne says this budget is a soulless document that will do little to improve social cohesion.

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