16 May 2014

English blames decision-making

11:29 pm on 16 May 2014

The Minister of Finance, Bill English, says the lack of decision-making and not money is the barrier to fixing Christchurch's flooding issues.

Mr English made the comments to media in Christchurch on Friday afternoon after giving a Budget speech to a business audience.

He defended the absence of money for flood remediation in this year's Budget, and said that the Government had worked hard to ensure finances don't get in the way of the city's recovery.

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Photo: RNZ / Nicola Grigg

Mr English also has defended the Government's surplus, and said was not only based on a lowered Earthquake Commission bill.

Critics accused the Government on Friday of manufacturing the surplus by cutting the commission's insurance bill by $200 million.

Mr English said the commission's numbers went up and down about every six months and the Government was told about the figures by accountants.

He said there is no particular decision or accounting measure that mades a difference on the surplus.

The Government assigned another $50 million to earthquake recovery in Christchurch, bringing its total spending to $15.4 billion.

The money will go towards the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's operations and will be spread over two years.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the money was part of a four-year operating fund of nearly $313.8 million.