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Government unveils budget priorities

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Staff Reporter

27 March 2024, 2:09 AM

Government unveils budget prioritiesFinance Minister Nicola Willis.

Finance Minister Nicola Willis outlined Budget priorities aimed at providing tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders and ensuring fiscal sustainability.

Willis emphasised the need to reduce debt, control spending, and return to surplus.

Speaking at the Budget Policy Statement release, Willis stated, "Our objectives include tax reductions, savings, and enhancing public services."

The focus is on delivering relief to address stagnant income tax rates since 2010.

"We'll fund tax relief through savings and reprioritisation," Willis explained, aiming to avoid borrowing and inflationary pressures.

She highlighted the impact of inflation on low and medium-income workers facing higher tax burdens.

Willis disclosed that the operating allowance for the upcoming Budget will be below $3.5 billion.

Details on the allowance and surplus timeframe will be finalised post-Cabinet review of fiscal forecasts by the Treasury.

Describing the Budget Policy Statement as a responsible course correction, Willis stressed the importance of controlled spending and fiscal discipline.

She affirmed gradual deficit reduction through structural reforms.

"Our goals are a stronger economy, efficient public services, and fiscal stability," Willis affirmed.

Budget 2024 initiates these objectives by controlling spending and providing responsible tax relief.

"To achieve long-term improvements, we'll focus on expenditure reforms," Willis concluded, highlighting the necessity of sustained efforts across multiple Budgets.