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Sound Management Will Underpin Economy - English

21 June 1999

Sound Management Will Continue To Underpin Economy - English

Finance Minister Bill English, who takes over as Treasurer tomorrow, said he would continue to emphasise good economic management, fiscal prudence, stability and an open economy for New Zealand.

"Lower interest rates and lower taxes are the rewards of the good economic performance that New Zealand has achieved in recent years. These things are important for all New Zealanders and I don't intend to do anything that would put those at risk.

"I am in the fortunate position of becoming Treasurer with the economy on a sound footing and heading into a recovery and for that I pay tribute to my predecessor, Sir William Birch.

"I will continue to ensure we manage the taxpayers' dollars carefully. Over the next five years in health, education and welfare alone the Government will spend more than $130 billion and I want to make sure that money is used effectively.

"In the longer-term, a country like New Zealand with a small open economy has got to earn its living in the world. We have a lower export ratio than other similar economies. The only sustainable way we are going to raise the incomes of New Zealanders in the next decade is through stronger exports.

"We are headed into an economic recovery and it needs to be a strong recovery to take us to the levels of growth that New Zealanders want to see and expect after all the change that's gone on in the last 15 years. The issue for me is what contribution the Government can make to ensure it is a strong recovery," said Mr English.

Ends

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