HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Balanced Budget expected, with small surplus
At the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday morning, Finance Minister Hon Mark Brown revealed to members of the media that a balanced Budget is expected, with a small surplus.
The Minister advised that it had been decided to hold a number of briefings with the media to pre-empt some of the announcements to be made in parliament on the Budget.
As to progress, he said Cabinet had sat on Friday night to consider the recommendations of the Budget Support Group.
Brown advised it would be a more informative Budget document than previously, set out in four main parts.
There would be a part on Ministry statements, a part on capital outlays which would detail all projects, their location, their costings and time frames. This part would also be on a website. There would be a part covering Overseas Development Assistance being donor funding. The fourth part would detail national debt and sovereign loans e.g. from the ADB, EU, China.
The Minister said the underpinning theme of this Budget was “making our dollar stretch further.” He said Ministries will strive to make savings. Details concerning savings in personnel will follow later.
He announced that cabinet had approved legislation which will require airlines from 1 December 2012 to show the departure tax on Tickets. As of 2013, departure tax will rise to $65 per person and be indexed to increase at 2% per year to take inflation into account.
There would be no increase in this Budget for Child Allowance. The Minister wishes to commence incremental increases to the old age pension for those over 70 years of age and over a period of 3 years to have this group on $800 a month.
Brown said the process was on track for the Budget document to be finalized in 2 weeks and proceed to Legal. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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