BUDGET RESPONSE: Peter Dunne: Govt positioning productive sector for success
24 May 2012
UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne described today’s Budget as stepping beyond short term electoral cycle politics and setting the scene for future growth based on an enabled productive sector.
Speaking in Parliament this afternoon, he described it as a Budget that requires the Government to “continually lift its game” in delivering efficiency, value and prioritising so the “productive sector can lift its game and make an increasingly positive contribution to New Zealand’s economy moving forward”.
Citing the words of President John Kennedy – “for it is the fate of this generation to live with the struggle we did not star, in a world we did not make” – he said that New Zealand had no choice but to respond to an environment it did not create, namely the global financial crisis and “four major earthquakes in Christchurch in thirteen months”.
“That has been huge on the city and province, on New Zealand and one cannot pretend that that $20 billion impact can be ignored or has simply gone away,” Mr Dunne said.
He said the Budget highlighted a significant increase in savings since 2010 tax initiatives – “probably stronger than imagined at time, and likely to strengthen further with increase in KiwiSaver contribution rate from April 2013.
“In this context, the announcement deferring the auto-enrolment exercise is disappointing – I continue to believe in the virtue of compulsory KiwiSaver,” he said.
Mr Dunne also described Labour leader David Shearer’s ‘zero Budget’ criticisms as an “absurdity” and “one of the greatest fallacies of all time”.
“The Budget’s reprioritisation of nearly $5 billion in spending highlights a new approach – seeking better performance, rather than more spending.
“This Budget says that a government cannot have all the answers, but it can know where the most effective groups in the economy are and work with them to get the best outcome.
“Growth is the province of the wealth creators, not governments – a government’s role to get fundamentals right to allow that growth.
“This is the first Budget for many years to focus unapologetically on the long term challenges ahead – far more than just return to surplus in 2014/2015 – and set challenge to productive and other sectors of economy.
“That is bold and forward thinking which just loses Mr Shearer and Labour in its wake,” he said.