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Budget 2004: A responsible budget - PM

The Budget 2004 Releases

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

A responsible budget that rewards work

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that Budget 2004 was delivering a further growth dividend to low and modest income families after several years of economic growth and careful budget management under the Labour-led government.

Helen Clark welcomed Michael Cullen's fifth budget, saying it sets out a coherent and highly credible programme to help build a fairer society.

"Budget 2004 strongly supports the government's aim of building and maintaining solid levels of economic growth through innovation and business-focused programmes, and of funding good public services and infrastructure sustainably." Helen Clark said.

"Because the government has been a responsible fiscal manager, it is now in a position to afford significant upward adjustments to family incomes.

"That is the most satisfying aspect of the announcements we are making today.

"The budget addresses some of the most critical barriers to employment, such as access to affordable childcare and accommodation costs.

"The measures we are outlining aim to ensure that families with dependent children are always better off when in work, while also improving the circumstances of families with children whose parents are not currently in the workforce.

"From the outset the government I lead has been building the foundations for economic growth and higher living standards. Good results are emerging from the seeds sown over the past four and a half years.

"Budget 2004 continues to support economic growth through programmes which support exporters, improve access to skills, attract investment, and build international connections for New Zealand research and innovation.

"A combination of continuing economic growth and responsible fiscal management have put the government in a position in this budget to deliver even more in areas of critical importance to New Zealanders, such as family incomes, education, health and justice. "I am proud of the growing opportunity, security, and fairness which the Labour-Progressive Government has brought to New Zealand.

"The overall effect of Budget 2004 will be to help build a nation which is innovative, enterprising, confident and more prosperous, and which, most importantly, cares for all its people," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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