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Standard & Poor's praises fiscal record

Standard & Poor's praises fiscal record

Respected New York credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has again praised the Labour-led government's prudent fiscal management, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

"In its latest Asia-Pacific Sovereign Report Card, the agency said the government's "solid fiscal profile" continues to offset risks from the country's large current account deficit," Dr Cullen noted.

In June Standard & Poor's said New Zealand was one of the best prepared nations in the world to meet the challenges of an ageing population.

The latest report reiterates that the government's "low level of debt" was a critical barometer of our ability to weather the current imbalances in the economy.

"Earlier this year the government became one of only seven nations in the OECD to achieve a net positive financial asset position.

"We have got our house in order and we are building for the future through KiwiSaver and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

Last week National voted against KiwiSaver. Today Standard & Poor's praised our "future building potential."

"National would be quite prepared to sacrifice our progress with its multi-billion dollar tax cuts. Not only would these have increased debt and fuelled inflation, they would have jeopardised our credit rating. There's one word for its fiscal policy: irresponsible."


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