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BUDGET 2003: Summary Sheet Highlights & Key Points

Highlights and key points

1. An operating balance, excluding revaluations and accounting changes, of just over $4 billion projected for 2002-03

2. Projected surpluses for the years ahead of $3.8 billion in 2003-04 and of $4.5 billion, $5.3 billion and $6.2 billion in subsequent years

3. Gross debt at lowest levels since data began in 1971 and forecast to continue to decline steadily as a proportion of GDP – from 27.3 per cent this year to 23 per cent in 2006-07

4. The budget brings ahead by one year the full contribution rate to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund with a $1.879 billion payment for 2003-04

5. An additional $140 million over four years, plus $12 million capital, for research, science and technology

6. $110 million over four years to respond to the sector taskforces on Biotechnology, Design, Screen Production and ICT

7. $73 million over four years to promote overseas trade

8. $1.84 million in 2003-04 and $960,000 a year thereafter for initiatives targeted at small and medium sized businesses

9. Total education spending increases by $393 million to $8.2 billion in 2003-04

10. Funding of $421 million next year for early childhood education – an increase of 8 per cent

11. $167 million over four years to provide an extra 774 primary and secondary teachers

12. $422 million over four years for tertiary students

13. $85 million dollars to raise to 150,000 the number of people in industry training during 2005

14. Total health spending rises $711 million next year to $9.6 billion

15. Another 318 new state houses above the 2393 already planned, plus a large modernisation programme for existing stock

16. $256 million package over the next four years to fight crime and the impacts of crime

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