22 March 2013
Responsibly managing the Government's finances

In this issue:

Managing the Government's finances
Reforming welfare
Building on trade links
Video on trade mission

Key Notes: The Prime Minister's newsletter

Getting the Government's books in order
is one of our priorities for this term in office, and we're on track to get back to surplus by 2014/15.  At the same time, we're working hard towards our goal of building a more competitive and productive economy.

Great news out this week showed we are on the right track.  Gross Domestic Product figures show growth of 3 per cent in our economy the last year, which was higher than forecast.  In the December quarter of last year, growth was at 1.5 per cent.

Indications are that growth will continue this year as consumer and business confidence rises.  A lift in household spending signals people are feeling more secure and optimistic.  And it was good to see construction activity is picking up across the country - wider than the Canterbury rebuild - which is more good news for our communities.

This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave their approval to our plan.  They said we've got the right balance between providing the services New Zealanders need, while tracking back to surplus to protect our economy for the future.

Reforming welfare

National is reforming welfare, which we campaigned on at the last election, because our current system is not working.  Almost 12 per cent of our working age population is on some form of benefit, and about 220,000 kids are growing up in a benefit-dependent home.

When I was young my father passed away, and my family relied on the welfare system to help us.  We won't be making any changes to welfare that will stop those in genuine need from getting support to help them through.

Our changes alter the obligations we have for beneficiaries. And we're simplifying the current benefits from seven into three.  This week, the Bill to enable these changes passed a second reading in Parliament.  Our changes will be in place from July this year.

Building on trade links

Earlier this week I recorded a video where I talked through the importance of building on my connections with world leaders, to increase New Zealand's trading opportunities.  When doors are open to our exporters, and they are doing well, they employ more Kiwis, providing a much-needed boost to our economy.

Watch my latest video to find out about the importance of my trade missions for New Zealand.

From my diary

Yesterday I was in New Plymouth, where I opened Nova Energy's new McKee Power plant.  Today I'm in Auckland opening a new manufacturing facility for Fisher and Paykel Healthcare and meeting with Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra in Auckland.

John Key
Prime Minister

www. johnkey. co. nz

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#1 - Neil 2013-03-22 18:10 - (Reply)

Responsibly managing the Government's finances???? Tell me how much of the "government's finances" has been squandered on pandering to the maori party? I notice that there is never any mention of that in your key notes John.

#2 - Dianne 2013-03-23 06:24 - (Reply)

Great to read that Gross Domestic Product figures are higher than expected John. You and your Minister's are doing a very good job, albeit the very poor Global economy. It hasn't been an easy time for National. Keep up the good work.

#3 - Allan Frisby said:
2013-03-23 08:05 - (Reply)

Jobs going,half the country in drought,170 million to tuhoe,shows where your prioritys are.A lot of people work very hard in this country including Maori do not want to see there taxes spent on people whose only look to the future is hand outs from weak govt looking for votes Also is it true that the govt will give tribes credit to buy Mighty river power,if true will this be offered to the rest country,or just one segment of the population.I await your reply with interest

#4 - Hinerangi Puru 2013-03-23 14:13 - (Reply)

1.Please,please stop all the hold up on jobs for our rural people. There is too many young people on drugs and getting wasted away, sad,sad, sad. Work has to start from the home and community. 2.Education is needed with adult education with the best teachers, Hekia is doing a good job, its sometimes a bit slow. 3.We belong to the most rural community, 1hr to get to Kaitaia and the oldies find such pathetic roads, stressful and unhealthy. 4There is an oldies group formed at our marae to help them to be more self sufficient.There is a 90yr old and 89 yr old even making pickle for winter. 5 The Ngapuhi Claims please make sure the hapu are in control and not some other organisation to dominate

#5 - Vivian Smith 2013-03-25 09:12 - (Reply)

Could someone look at Public Service pay rate. People doing similar jobs in many different departments are paid mega bucks - why the difference? Big savings can be made here for little effort. Also, the Quango and SEO salary structures need examination as they to are similar jobs to the Public Service departments, but very much higher salary! Pre 1987 they used to be standard and monitored by the SSC.

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