“We are committed to living within our means and having a buffer to deal with the risks and shocks that a small country like New Zealand inevitably faces.”
Hon Grant Robertson, Finance – Minister
There weren’t too many surprises with the 2018 Budget. It marks a point on a continuum rather than signifying an actual threshold crossed. The Government has been signposting their direction all year and proposals relating to tax and other sectors are still out for consultation and may not start to be realised until next year at the earliest. No big carrots. No big sticks.
Transformation and building are the keywords being employed to address social and infrastructure deficits. Treasury forecasts economic growth at an average of 3% a year over the next four years with a surplus for the 2018/19 year of $3.7 billion. Part of the strategy is to slow debt repayment but if the surpluses and economic growth rate behave as forecast, the net debt to GDP ratio should decrease below the targeted 20% within four years.