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Crown accounts show need for economic action

Hon Bill English

Minister of Finance

 5 December 2008
Media Statement


Crown accounts show need for economic action

 The Financial Statements of the Government for the four months ended 31 October 2008 underline the need for action to make our economy more productive and competitive, Finance Minister Bill English said today.

The Statements released by Treasury today show the investment portfolios of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, ACC and EQC have taken significant losses due to international financial market turmoil. They also show Labour’s legacy of deepening operating balance deficits, rising debt and a deteriorating economic and fiscal situation.

“New Zealand, like other countries, is feeling the impact of the global downturn. However, our economy was slowing markedly before the latest global events unfolded because of Labour’s complacency and refusal to address structural issues dragging down our growth potential,” Mr English said.

“2009 is going to be a challenging year for everyone, including the government – our books are going to get worse before they get better. But New Zealanders should be confident that the National-led government is ready to face the economic challenges that lie ahead.

“We are introducing a series of measures to remove barriers that have prevented New Zealand becoming more competitive and achieving higher productivity growth. National is cutting personal taxes at our first opportunity with reductions on 1 April 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“We are boosting infrastructure investment through a 20-year national infrastructure plan, reform of the Resource Management Act and adding $8.6 billion in new capital projects over the next six years.

“Over time, 40 per cent of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund will be invested in New Zealand, keeping more of our capital for use at home.

“And the National-led government is bringing responsibility back to fiscal policy. We want to ensure that every taxpayer dollar delivers value for money, with a focus on delivering better front-line services rather than bigger back-room bureaucracies.

“Our country needs fresh policies to build a strong platform for sustainable economic growth when the outlook improves over the medium term and beyond. That’s what the government is


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