Govt seeks ways to pay for Christchurch earthquake

Last updated 15:19 01/03/2011

Relevant offers


Former GNS Science chief executive was highest-earning CRI boss on $800,000 India cranks up security a notch for Prime Minister John Key's visit Kashmir world's largest prison after crackdown, Palmerston North protest organiser says PM's delegation grounded by a faulty microswitch, airforce confirms Pattrick Smellie: Global trade politics just got harder NZ Fire Service to train Syria's 'White Helmets' civil defence volunteers Serco-run Wiri prison towards bottom of Corrections prison rankings Chris Laidlaw chosen as chairman of Greater Wellington Regional Council Former MPs and spouses spend over $700k on taxpayer-funded travel New Zealand under a Gary McCormick regime

Finance Minister Bill English is refusing to rule out cuts to Working for Families payments or interest free student loans as the Government looks for ways to pay for the reconstruction of Christchurch.

Mr English said he was not ruling any thing in or out, though he said in terms of income support the Government would continue to "protect the vulnerable'' - a likely signal that any cuts to Working for Families would only be made at the top end of income earners.

He said he did not want to loosen the Government's short and long term targets for debt reduction, but that was also not ruled out.

A slower return to surplus than the current forecast 2014 was also possible, but the Treasury was still working on the details.

He said the Government wanted to stick to its framework of reducing debt and returning to surplus "but we will have to be a bit flexible".

"We want to deal with this issue within the fraemwork without being rigid about it."

It was also possible to delay big ticket infrastructure spending, such as the roll out of ultrafast broadband or the Auckland CBD loop road, to give Christchurch infrastructure a higher priority.

Labour leader Phil Goff said cuts in areas such as KiwiSaver, Working for Families and student loans were the wrong way to go.

"It would be wrong to cut financial assistance to families and students who rely on that support, especially when the cost of living is sky high. That would simply slow the economy down. We must keep money in the pockets of people who will spend it,'' Mr Goff said.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?



Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content