Bill English has just announced:
In the Budget last year, we identified $2 billion of lower quality spending over the subsequent four years to redirect into higher priority areas.
In this year’s Budget, we will find another $1.8 billion of low quality spending between now and 2014 for reprioritising into higher priority initiatives.
$3.8 billion of savings is not bad. That is around $3.799 billion more than what would have happened under Labour.
I said in last year’s Budget that most Government agencies will receive no budget increases over the next few years. And in this Budget, I will say the same thing again.
Not because they don’t deliver worthwhile services, but simply because we cannot allow debt to escalate further.
And the private sector has had to cope with falling revenue. Staying constant is relatively a better position to be in.
And in the release:
“The Government will continue to weed out low quality spending. We will live within the $1.1 billion annual operating allowance for new spending we have set ourselves, and restrict annual increases in this figure to 2 per cent from 2011/12.”
Mr English repeated that most Government agencies would receive no budget increases over the next three or four years, as the Government moved to get back to Budget surplus as soon as possible.
This fiscal discipline is necessary so we can stop borrowing, and start paying off debt. Borrowing $240 million a week is not sustainable.
“I want to get the Government back into budget surplus as quickly as possible, because surpluses give us choices.
“For example, surpluses give us choices to invest more in public services; to pay down public debt; to resume contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund – or to do any number of other things.
“As long as we run deficits, we don’t have those choices,”