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Budget Statement: Bill English – Audio And Summary

Budget Statement: Bill English – Audio And Summary

* The operating deficit will hit a record high of $16.7b. This is nearly twice as much as estimated in last year's Budget, but Treasury is predicting improved economic growth, a rising tax take, partial privatisations and reining in Government spending will reduce deficits in coming years -- down to $9.7b next year, $4.1b in 2013, and a surplus of $1.3b in 2015.

* Economic growth predictions from last year have proven to be wrong, but Treasury says it will now grow 1 percent this year climbing to 4 percent by 2013.

*Savings come from across core government departments who will now have to find $650 million in employee subsidies from their own budgets and from trimming back KiwiSaver, Working for Families and student loans.

* The Government would set up the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund of $5.5b to cover the Government's infrastructure, assets and emergency response costs, mostly funded from a new Canterbury Earthquake Kiwi Bond with the difference from other government bonds. ACC and EQC will cover their own costs.

* Plans for partial asset sales for State-owned power companies and selling down the Government’ stake in Air New Zealand will raise $5b to $7b.

* Some spending will rise with health getting $1.7b new operating and $40m capital funding over four years and education getting $1.3b new operating and $109 capital funding.

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