The Tom Column - National delivers on its surplus target
Four years ago, following the Canterbury earthquakes and Global Financial Crisis, the National-led Government set a target of achieving a surplus for the 2014/15 year.
The final numbers are in, confirming the Government’s books are back in surplus. This is a significant milestone and one we can all take great pride in.
The $414 million surplus in the year to 30 June 2015 is a huge turnaround on a more than $18 billion deficit New Zealand faced in in 2011.
It makes us one of the first developed countries to get its books back in a strong position following the global financial crisis
By setting a path back to surplus and running a clear economic plan to support growth, more jobs and higher incomes, National is providing opportunities for New Zealanders and their families to get ahead.
We’ve worked hard to get on top of spending and to deliver better public services within tight financial constraints. We’ve focused on getting better results from taxpayers’ money, particularly for our most vulnerable people.
National will remain focused on managing the Government’s finances in a sensible and responsible manner, continuing to pay down debt, and on building a more productive and competitive economy.
Getting back to surplus is part of National’s wider plan to build an economy that is far more productive, more efficient, and more globally connected than ever before.
Under National’s stable, responsible management the economy is growing. It recently registered its 18th consecutive quarter of expansion to deliver annual growth of 2.4 per cent in June 2015.
We’ve also had 11 straight quarters of job growth, with 69,000 more jobs in the last year. The average annual wage is now over $57,000 for the first time – that’s $10,000 more than when National first came into office.
We’ve recorded five years of positive household savings – the first time this has happened in a generation. Very low interest rates are helping households and businesses.
Our country has high labour market participation and a near-record high employment rate.
We’ve just successfully completed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – New Zealand’s biggest ever trade deal – which is expected to benefit our economy by $2.7 billion by 2030.
This year we’ve also signed a free trade deal with Korea. This means we now have free trade agreements with our top five trading partners: Australia, China, United States, Japan and Korea.
We’re rolling out ultra-fast broadband across New Zealand, investing in infrastructure, and in research and development.
We’re also putting more money back in your pockets through ACC levy cuts of almost $500 million over the next two years. That’s on top of the $1.5 billion we’re already reduced levies by since 2012.
The outlook continues to be for ongoing moderate growth delivering jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders.
Providing we stick with National’s plan that’s working for New Zealanders, we can build on the good progress we’ve made over the past seven years.