National has had a strong economic plan since we first came into office in 2008. We’ve faced some big challenges and very difficult economic circumstances along the way, but we’ve shown we can get the Government’s books in order, while protecting New Zealand’s most vulnerable. One of our priorities for this term is to build……. a more productive and competitive economy. Last week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed that we are on the right track. In its Economic Survey of New Zealand for 2013, the OECD found that our policies strike the right balance between supporting the recovery and ensuring sustainable medium-term growth. It also noted that New Zealand’s economy is gaining momentum, with post-earthquake reconstruction in Canterbury, and business investment and household spending gathering pace.
This is a welcome endorsement of the Government’s economic plan. It comes just weeks after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also confirmed we have struck an appropriate balance with our programme. New Zealanders can look to the future with well-earned confidence and optimism. There are new jobs are being created, unemployment is coming down and business and consumer confidence has picked up. Last month, we delivered Budget 2013, which sets out the next steps in our long-term programme and builds on the momentum created by the previous four Budgets.
We are taking a number of steps to help businesses and exporters become more competitive and to sell more to the world.A key feature of Budget 2013 is a $100 million-a-year internationally-focused growth package, providing extra research and development assistance to businesses, additional funding for tourism, and more resources for marketing New Zealand to international students. We are working hard to build a stronger, more stable, economy that delivers opportunities, higher incomes, and more jobs for New Zealanders. Our plan is comprehensive. We remain committed to delivering the brighter future that you and your families deserve.