This Budget is no lolly-scramble

National’s Budget 2011 sets out the next steps of the Government’s programme to build faster growth, increase national savings and create sustainable jobs built on savings, exports and productive investment.

This is a responsible and balanced Budget for the times. It takes steps to ensure the Government returns to Budget surplus by 2014/15, so that we can start repaying debt and contribute to higher national savings.

This Budget is what we call a ‘Zero Budget.’ There is no lolly-scramble. Instead, we have found savings so that we can reallocate more resources to the frontline in priority areas such as health, education, and law and order.

We are also committing $5.5 billion to rebuilding Christchurch.

In this Budget, we have continued to strengthen the frontline public services you rely on. We are spending an extra $2.2 billion on health and another $1.4 billion on education over the next four years.

We have also continued to support programmes that many New Zealanders rely on, such as KiwiSaver, Working for Families, and interest-free student loans. However, we have made changes to ensure these programmes are better targeted and are sustainable into the future.

The Government also intends to extend the mixed ownership model to four state-owned energy companies and reduce its major shareholding in Air New Zealand– with the Government retaining majority control.

We believe there is significant merit in extending the mixed ownership model to these companies. It will help reduce Government debt, increase investment opportunities and improve the financial performance of the companies.

As we promised, we are now clearly setting out our policy to New Zealanders well before the election in November.

We are giving you all the information you need to make a choice at this year’s election.

Budget 2011 continues our programme to put in place a platform for growth.

That is the only way we will create jobs, boost incomes, and provide the public services you and your family need.

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