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Key says budget deficits will widen on spending plans

Tuesday 18th November 2008

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New Zealand's incoming government may widen the nation's budget deficits as it seeks to maintain spending in a shrinking economy, according to Prime Minister-elect John Key.

"We are operating in an environment with a lot less money," Key said in an interview with Radio New Zealand. "I don't think having a contractionary government will help us," he said

In its briefing note to the incoming government, the Treasury last week predicted widening deficits in 2010 and 2011 as the economic slump reduces the government's tax revenue. Key announced his Cabinet line-up yesterday, including a new role as Minister of Infrastructure, given to Finance Minister Bill English, tasked with kickstarting major projects de4signed to assist economic growth.

Priorities include the prompt roll-out of highspeed broadband services and major roading projects.

By Jonathan Underhill

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