Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


NZ must stick to Govt plan to head off global risks

Hon Bill English

Minister of Finance

17 October 2013

Media Statement

NZ must stick to Govt plan to head off global risks

A number of ongoing global risks reinforce the need for New Zealand to continue improving its own economic resilience and competitiveness, Finance Minister Bill English says.

It can do that by returning to budget surplus and addressing potential threats to financial stability such as housing affordability, he told the Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand (INFINZ) annual conference in Auckland today.

“When the National-led Government was first elected in late 2008, we set out with a long-term programme to protect the most vulnerable New Zealanders from the recession, deal with the GFC and build a platform for sustainable growth.

“After inheriting Treasury forecasts showing never-ending fiscal deficits and soaring public debt, we have successfully set a path back to surplus so we can get on top of that debt.

“In addition, we have implemented a plan to improve competitiveness and we are now on a path of steady growth. At the same time, we’re dealing with important issues such as housing affordability,” Mr English said.

“We want to avoid a repeat of the dangerous house price bubble that developed in the mid-2000s, when house prices doubled in five or six years, floating mortgages rates exceeded 10 per cent and household debt got dangerously high.

“That’s why we’re addressing the underlying causes of fast-rising house prices by freeing up more land, removing costly red tape and looking at construction sector productivity.”

Mr English said the Government’s responsible economic and fiscal management had helped keep interest rates for homeowners and businesses lower for longer and had improved New Zealand’s financial stability.

For homeowners, average floating mortgage rates are now about half of what they were five years ago. This is saving a family with a $200,000 mortgage around $200 a week in interest payments.

“Sound fiscal policy and progress with increasing housing supply will help to keep interest rates lower for longer. On the other hand, Opposition promises to increase government spending and pump cheap credit into the housing market will push up rates sooner.

“Under current settings, interest rates are not expected to return to anywhere near their 2008 levels of more than 10 per cent, which is good news for home owners and businesses across New Zealand.”

Mr English, who has just returned from a visit to New York, Boston and Washington DC, said the recent United States budget stalemate was just the latest in a number of global risks to the New Zealand economy.

“As we’ve said all along, we cannot influence these global issues, so we need to focus on what we can influence, such as New Zealand’s competitiveness, better public services and the Government’s own financial performance.

“Together these global events provide a timely reminder to everyone from politicians, to businesses and to households, that we cannot be complacent about the progress we’ve made in the past four or five years.

“Now is certainly not the time to put that progress at risk by reverting to damaging policies that have failed us in the past such as more taxes, more costs on business and more government spending and borrowing.

“We must continue with sensible economic policies, year after year, that deliver better living standards and public services for families across New Zealand.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Anzac Issue Out Now: Werewolf 47

Alison McCulloch: Lest We Remember

Local iwi have plans to spruce up the Te Ranga site as part of the 150th commemorations this year of key battles in the “New Zealand Wars”, but not a lot of money to do it with.

Information gathered from numerous government agencies shows that while more than $25 million is being spent on monuments and commemorations relating to foreign wars, primarily World War I and its centenary, only around $250,000 has been set aside for those fought on our own soil. More>>

Anne Russell: Anzac Day - Identity Politics, With Guns

Even cursory research into media reports from the past forty years reveals a cultural shift in the commemoration of Anzac Day. Among other things, turnout at Dawn services has increased significantly in recent decades.

Contemporary numbers are estimated at 3,000-4,000 in Wellington, and 10,000-15,000 in Auckland. Newspaper reports from the 1970s and 80s estimated Wellington turnouts at 300-800, and Auckland at anywhere from 600 to 4,000. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Spookwatch: New Inspector-General Of Intelligence And Security Appointed

Prime Minister John Key hasannounced the appointment of Cheryl Gwyn as Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. The appointment was made by the Administrator of the Government on behalf of the Governor General and is for a term of three years. More>>

Crowdsourcing: Green Party Launches Internet Rights And Freedoms Bill

The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand’s first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shane Jones Departure

Shane Jones has left Parliament in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with self interest coming in first and second, and with the interests of the Labour Party (under whose banner he served) way, way back down the track. More>>

COMMENT:

Multimedia: PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference - April 22 2014

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • The recent improvement in the economy with a growing job market • Income and wealth inequality • Easter trading laws • The New Zealander killed in a drone strike in Yemen... More>>

ALSO:

Easter Trading: Workers 'Can Kiss Goodbye To Easter Sunday Off'

The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. More>>

ALSO:

ACT Don't Go For Maximum Penalty: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

Three strikes for burglary was introduced to England and Wales in 1999. As in New Zealand, burglary was out of control and given a low priority by the police and the courts. A Labour government passed a three strikes law whereby a third conviction for burglaries earned a mandatory three years in prison... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home. More>>

ALSO:

Elections: New Electorate Boundaries Finalised

New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news