It’s Budget time again for the Government and my first one as a Minister. This means I’ve been flat tack whenever I’m in Wellington, but I’m still making sure to spend as much time as possible in Napier meeting people and hearing your views.
The Budget this year will show the Government is on track and sticking to its plan. It’s vital that we get the Government books back into surplus by 2014/15 so we can start paying off debt.
Many Napier households are finding it tough at the moment. We are not borrowing more money for things which are nice to have. We are tightening our belts, and looking for cost savings where we can. It would be an insult if the Government didn’t do the same.
Getting back into surplus will mark a huge turnaround in the Government’s finances, taking pressure off interest rates and exchange rates. That means lower mortgages for Napier and New Zealand families and better conditions for our exporters.
Budget 2012 will not slash and burn, but we will focus spending on the areas which provide results. We will grow the areas of public spending that are really important to New Zealanders, including health, education, science and innovation, and supporting people off welfare and into work.
The most important thing the Government can do for New Zealanders is to be responsible managers of the public purse. That’s what National is doing because we have a vision for New Zealand’s future which involves prosperity, not ever-increasing debt.