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Budget 2016 Home Page Budget Speech - Budget 2016

Introduction

Mr Speaker,

I move that the Appropriation (2016/17 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time.

It's a privilege to present the eighth Budget of this National-led Government.

I recall our first Budget, delivered in difficult times, with Treasury forecasting never-ending deficits and ever-rising debt.

Today, however, I can present a healthy set of public accounts.

The Crown's books show rising surpluses and falling debt.

This is on the back of an economy forecast to grow at around 3 per cent on average over the next few years, supporting more jobs and higher incomes.

Budgets are not just an accounting exercise.

They are about achieving better results for New Zealanders and their families from almost $80 billion a year of existing spending.

And they are about ensuring that any new spending is directed to where it will make a real difference.

The Government has done that, in areas ranging from schools to child health to reducing crime and to supporting new jobs.

Budget 2016 builds on these achievements and identifies new opportunities.

Mr Speaker,

This Government is ambitious for New Zealand.

We can realise that ambition with a strong economy and continued prudent management of the public finances.

Budget 2016 invests in a growing economy. In particular, it supports four significant measures.

The first is the Innovative New Zealand package - a $761 million investment that focuses on growing our science system, producing the skills New Zealand needs, and encouraging innovation and investment in regional New Zealand.

The second is a $2.1 billion infrastructure programme that focuses on transport, schools, and the investment needed to deliver a modern, flexible tax system.

The third is a Social Investment package providing $652 million more to support vulnerable New Zealanders and help them live better lives.

And the fourth measure I want to highlight is a significant investment in the health sector. This will receive an additional $2.2 billion over four years to ensure New Zealanders continue to have access to high-quality healthcare.

The Budget delivers these measures, and more, because we have retained tight fiscal discipline and demanded better results from public services.

We owe that to New Zealanders who go out to work every day and pay their taxes.

Budget 2016 is possible because of the constructive working relationships National has with the ACT, United Future and Māori parties.

I want to acknowledge their continuing support and contribution to stable government.

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