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Collins Comments: Budget 2013

Collins Comments

17 May 2013

Collins Comments

Budget 2013 confirms New Zealand is on the right track. It provides more support for families, and forecasts more economic growth, more jobs, rising wages, and a return to surplus in 2014/15.

The Budget builds on the momentum created by National's four priorities:

* Responsibly managing the government's books.
* Building a more competitive and productive economy.
* Delivering better public services.
* Rebuilding Christchurch.

As Minister for ACC I'm delighted to announce ACC levy cuts of $300 million for business and families.

At the end of February 2013 ACC's investment returns were $1.1 billion ahead of budget. This is fantastic news and reflects the prudent management of the corporation particularly given its new leadership and the significant challenges it has been dealing with.

I'm confident that a decrease in ACC levies is sustainable and is allowing for a reduction of around $300 million for 2014/15, increasing to a reduction of around $1 billion in 2015/16.

Over the past year, ACC has worked hard to regain the trust and confidence of New Zealanders and on improving the service it provides to claimants.

I congratulate ACC as its continues to work superbly on its priority areas - investing in better quality outcomes, improving privacy, culture change, customer service, and importantly, injury prevention.

The Justice Sector is also managing its finances more effectively. We're doing more with less, working smarter and making sure every cent of taxpayers money is spent wisely.

The Ministry of Justice has received $4.4 million in operating funding over two years from the Justice Sector Fund to extend restorative justice services by an additional 2,400 conferences by 2014/15.

This will bring the total number of restorative justice conferences to 3,600 each year. Research shows participation in these conferences can result in a reduction in the reoffending rate of up to 20 per cent when compared to offenders who did not participate.

New Zealand needs a stronger economy to earn its way in the world, and create more jobs, and opportunities.

Budget 2013 sets out the next steps in our four priorities. It builds momentum towards a stronger, more stable, economy that can better weather global storms and deliver more opportunities, higher incomes, and more jobs. It continues our work to build a brighter future for Kiwi families.

Hon Judith Collins
MP for Papakura


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