“At a time when the Government’s finances are constrained, these savings provide significant funding to put into new initiatives aimed at improving frontline public services and getting better results for New Zealanders,” Mr English says.
“At the same time, they allow the Government to run a zero Budget, ensuring a return to surplus in 2014/15, based on Budget forecasts.
“The Government is committed to getting better results with limited resources. Redirecting lower priority spending and raising some extra revenue by closing tax loopholes plays a key role in meeting this goal.”
In total, Budget 2012 includes new spending initiatives worth $4.42 billion in the current year and over the next four years, paid for by $4.39 billion in savings and new revenue initiatives. Savings and revenue initiatives include:
- Tax and excise changes that net an extra $1.36 billion over four years.
- Reprioritisation of $1.28 billion to new spending initiatives within budget votes.
- Reprioritisation of $982 million of savings from across budget votes into significant new spending initiatives in areas like health, education, welfare reform, and science and innovation.
- $772 million from contingencies.
“These savings are consistent with the Government’s approach across the past three Budgets, which have included reprioritising about $9 billion of spending.
“This Government is focused on getting better results rather than just increasing inputs. If something works, we’ll keep on doing it. If it doesn’t, then we will stop it and put the money into an area that yields better results,” Mr English says.
“At a time when many governments overseas are undertaking radical measures to get their books in order, finding these savings while maintaining high-quality frontline public services and income support to the most vulnerable is an achievement.
“The Government will ensure future Budgets continue to focus on improving frontline public services to deliver better results for New Zealanders, at the same time as improving value for money from more than $70 billion of public spending every year,” Mr English says.Tweet