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Budget 2000: Fairness, security, opportunity

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister

15 June 2000


Budget 2000: Fairness, security, opportunity

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today the coalition government's first Budget was about fairness, security and opportunity.

"When the Labour-Alliance coalition was sworn in last December, we stated as our principal goal the need to give New Zealand a fresh start," Helen Clark said.

"We have already done much towards achieving that, and today's Budget gives momentum to our programme of renewal.

"The government made a strong commitment in the Speech from the Throne to promote policies which improved the economic and social wellbeing of all New Zealanders, which reduced inequality and which is environmentally sustainable.

"That commitment is reflected in today's announcements.

"We are setting out a range of measures to help the transformation to a high skills, high employment value-added economy. That transformation is critical if New Zealand is going to foot it in the global economy.

"Another important theme in the Budget is the assault on the rich/poor gap, which is nowhere more starkly seen than between Mäori and other New Zealanders, and Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders.

"Today we are demonstrating that this government is determined to meet that challenge head-on. A raft of announcements in the Budget are about ensuring that a significant slice of our population is not left behind.

"Budget 2000 is consistent with the key goals the government has set itself. They are to build an innovative economy, to foster education and skills, to reduce inequality, to restore trust in government and rebuild public services, to nurture the environment, and to build national identity.

"The decisions we are setting out today demonstrate that we are serious about delivering on those goals.

"Last November New Zealanders' voted for a change of direction in economic and social policy. With today's Budget that process of correction is now well under way.

"My government promised to run a no-surprises programme and deliver what we said we would deliver. We are keeping our word.

"This Budget gives momentum to our plans to create a more dynamic economy, to share the gains and to make New Zealand a fairer and more secure society," Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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