The data above (2014 is projections for 2014/15 years) comes from the OECD and it tells a pretty powerful story.
All five countries had significant deficits in 2010 in the aftermath of the GFC. Australia and Canada had lower deficits than NZ, but now have higher one. The US and UK remain with huge deficits.
NZ is on the verge of getting back to surplus. It might not quite make it this year, but relative to the other four countries, we’ve done a lot better. And the difference between 0% and say 4% is not small. If we were doing the same as the OECD average our deficit would be $9.6 billion, not possibly a couple of hundred million.
Some Labour MPs idiotically complain that NZ has been in deficit, as if somehow it was a decision of National’s. National inherited fiscal settings that would have left us with a permanent and ever growing deficit. And Labour opposed every single measure of expenditure control National introduced.
No other country of those we normally compare ourselves to, is even close to getting back to surplus. Australia actually has had the deficit start to increase again.