Do you want a borrow-and-spend budget, or a frugal budget?
Prime Minister John Key says elections in Europe show the National-led Government is right to hand down another zero Budget this year, despite rising unemployment.
France's president Nicolas Sarkozy is out of office after one term following his defeat by socialist Francois Hollande.
He is the latest European leader to be tossed out of government after voter anger at spending cuts.
Austerity in Greece has led to riots on the streets and a vote there today is considered critical to pulling world markets out of financial crisis.
Key this morning said the result in France showed the Government here was taking the right action.
"Which is deal with your problems up front and don't let them get too bad," he told TVNZ's Breakfast programme.
"If you look at Greece where you have the really big push back against austerity, they have really lost control of their own country."
People wanted governments to spend more but borrowing put more debt on future generations.
"That's a really irresponsible thing to do."
Unemployment rose last week by 0.3 percentage points to 6.7 per cent, higher than the 6.3 per cent economists had forecast.
The number of unemployed people increased 6.1 per cent to 160,000 but the labour force participation rate also rose, by 0.6 points to 68.8 per cent.
Key said the unemployment rate was "a very weird one at the moment".
About 9000 jobs had been created and the Government was on track to create 170,000 over four years, he said.
"The number of people looking for work or in work is virtually a record in New Zealand, the second highest rate ever. What that shows you is that New Zealanders are more confident the economy is coming right and actually bothering to look for work. I know it sounds crazy."
Asked if the Government was doing enough to create jobs, Key said it couldn't affect monetary policy or interest rates as that was up to the Reserve Bank.
"We can effect things like labour laws and if you look at the jobs creation that we have been promoting; the SkyCity convention centre, more mining and exploration, Australian companies coming back... they will create jobs."
The Government was focused on getting New Zealand back into surplus and New Zealanders were "totally" supportive of austerity measures, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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