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Out-going Government delivers strong economy

Crown accounts released today confirmed that the out-going Government had delivered a strongly growing economy and left the Government books in good shape, Treasurer Bill English said today.

"The Government Financial Statements for the four months to October 31, released today by the Treasury, show an operating surplus of $258 million compared with the $169 million deficit forecast by Treasury in its pre-election update. The gains are mainly due to timing differences. Crown debt has been reduced to $22.693 billion against a forecast of $23.166 billion.

"The Bank of New Zealand is predicting today that growth in the third quarter will prove, when the figures finally come through, to be 2% or even higher. That prediction is well ahead of the Reserve Bank's most recent forecast, made last month, of 1.3% for the quarter.

"The out-going Government has made a contribution of exceptional quality to our prosperity in the years ahead.

"This is the best set of books an incoming government has seen for 25 years, and contrasts sharply with the shambles left behind in 1990.

"A huge responsibility rests on the new Government not to fritter away the gains achieved in the last nine years. The business community will be watching its performance with interest and some anxiety during coming months.

"Labour's plans to increase taxes, spend more and change terms of employment may reduce the rate of job growth otherwise likely to occur. And early signs of expenditure creep from already high proposed levels will be a risk for the new coalition," said Mr English.

Ends

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