The Government has successfully obtained a second surplus, this time totalling $1.8 billion for the year to June 30. Five years ago, New Zealand faced the global financial crisis and the devastating Canterbury earthquakes, both resulting in an $18 billion deficit. The latest surplus builds on a $414 million surplus for the years 2014 to 2015.
The Crown accounts also showed tax revenue increased by $3.8 billion during the year, compared to spending growth at $1.6 billion. We have also been able to get Government expenses under 30 per cent of GDP for the first time since 2006, and net debt has stabilised at 24.6 per cent of GDP.
Responsibly managing the books and increasing surpluses means giving New Zealand real choices. For example, paying down debt, investing in public infrastructure like hospitals, schools and public services, and resuming contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund and, if economic and fiscal conditions allow, we can begin reducing income taxes.
New Zealand’s economic outlook is positive, with the economy growing at more than three per cent, rising wages and 250,000 jobs created in the last three years. New Zealand’s economic boom not only helps the economy, it also helps the people of Rodney.
The economy is always a talking point when other members of Parliament visit Rodney and this was no different when Sarah Dowie, MP for Invercargill, visited a few weeks ago. Sarah and I were able to visit a few businesses and meet with a range of people. The highlight for her, however, was visiting Snowplanet. At Snowplanet, Sarah and I were able to have some fun and test the slopes in snow tubes.
At the beginning of October, the Prime Minister also visited Warkworth. Whilst there, he was able to engage with and talk to members of the community. This included visits to MS Engineering and Core Builders Composites to learn about the advanced work they do. Both of these companies offer interesting and unique services, which attract worldwide interest and business.
Column in Local Matters NZ