Bay News column

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last week Finance Minister Bill English announced that the Government has posted a surplus of $414 million in the 2014/15 financial year. This is a target that we first set in 2011 and campaigned on at the last election.

This result represents a huge turnaround. Just four years ago, in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes, there was a deficit of $18 billion.

We are one of the first developed countries to get back to surplus after the Global Financial Crisis. This means that we will be in a position to start paying down debt sooner, while other countries are still borrowing.

Two things have helped us achieve this great result. Firstly, National has carefully managing the Government’s finances since taking office in 2008. We respect that we have a responsibility to you as a taxpayer to ensure that we are getting the best value for your money.

Secondly, the economy is continuing to grow. We have had 18 straight quarters (four and a half years) of expansion and annual growth is currently at 2.4 per cent.

We realise that we must keep working hard to maintain these figures. National will continue to focus on managing the Government’s finances in a sensible and responsible manner and on building a more productive and competitive economy.

In local news, I am really looking forward to the Tauranga Arts Festival getting underway. Whether you are into theatre, music, dance, or literature, there is something for everyone. I encourage you all to check out and book your tickets.