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Key outlines goals for prosperity in first term

Tuesday 9th December 2008

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Prime Minister John Key said his government will consider ongoing tax cuts, more spending on infrastructure and a whittled down bureaucracy in its first term.

"My government knows that only a strong economy will guarantee financial security for families, well paid jobs in New Zealand for our young people and larger superannuation payments for our older people," according to his first speech from the thrown, which was delivered by Governor General Anand Satyanand.

He referred to the three-term Labour government's decade in power as a period of "missed opportunities" and said the nation should look forward to better times this decade.

The New Zealand economy sank into recession this year, spurring the central bank to embark on its most aggressive easing cycle since the official cash rate was adopted in 1999. Key tempered his bullish delivery by saying the economy faces tough times that pose a serious challenge to New Zealand, including the international credit freeze and ongoing economic slump.

National planned to trim the bureaucratic workforce in favour of bolstering frontline services, while reducing income tax and spending more on roads, schools and hospitals.

"These are extraordinarily difficult times for the country and the world," according to the speech. "The world is experiencing what is now being described as the worst financial crisis since the great Depression of the 1930s."

"Asset values are falling and unemployment is predicted to rise," his speech says. "The government will run an operating deficit this year and is likely to do so for some years to come."

By Jonathan Underhill



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