Finance Minister Bill English has delivered a tiny surplus – just 0.3% of GDP. Unlike Budget 2015, he’s not making a big deal of this. Once bitten, twice shy?
The numbers are good but they don’t scream a $3 billion tax cut in 2017 to us. The purse strings have loosened a little, with net new operating spending averaging $1.6 billion per year - the highest under the current national-led government.
This is a balanced budget seeking to meet today’s needs and build a strong foundation for the future. Is the Government managing this balancing act?
Finance Minister Bill English is attempting to deliver on a 20 to 30 year view. That’s shown in his choice of themes and targets:
- Innovative New Zealand
- Social investment
He’s seeking to set in place the building blocks for a sustainable future. But has he done enough to meet today’s needs around infrastructure and housing?