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NZ Committed To Prudent Fiscal Policy: English

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

15 October 2015


While New Zealand achieved a budget surplus last year, "a weaker global economy and lower inflation outlooks means Crown revenue is likely to grow slower than previously expected," Finance Minister Bill English said.

Speaking at the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Wellington on October 15, 2015, English said: "Reaching [a budget] surplus was a significant milestone, and one the public service can be proud of. But the job is far from done – we now need to focus on getting debt down... the Government will focus on what it can control - responsible and prudent management of expenditure."

While emphasizing the need for "ongoing fiscal restraint," he said the Government may need to revise its budgetary goals. He said: "The surplus target has been highly effective when the books needed a sharp improvement from an NZD18.4bn (USD12.65bn) deficit. Now the books are back in balance, we need to consider whether a point target in a particular year is still the best option."

He explained however that "while the Government is open to refreshing the fiscal targets, we are not looking at changing direction. We have worked hard to establish a track record of fiscal responsibility against a challenging backdrop following the global financial crisis and Canterbury earthquakes. Now we have to maintain that reputation," English said.

TAGS: Finance | tax | economics | fiscal policy | budget | New Zealand | inflation

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