27 Apr 2012

Doubts Government getting books back on track

8:20 am on 27 April 2012

Opposition parties are casting doubt on the Government's ability to get its books back into surplus over the next three years.

A revised forecast of a $1 billion deficit for the 2014-15 financial year has prompted the Government to confirm there will be little new spending in next month's Budget.

Finance Minister Bill English says tight control over spending is needed to get the books back into surplus by 2014-15.

New Zealand First says it does not believe the surplus target can be achieved without much bigger cuts to spending, while Labour says the Government should be more focussed on the country's debt.

The Greens say the Government has made some poor decisions and now the books are in real trouble.

Mr English is ruling out cuts to big spending areas. Business leaders and commentators are calling for cuts to areas such as interest-free student loans, superannuation and Working for Families.

But Mr English told Morning Report that the Government will focus on implementing more savings and measures to close tax loopholes.

He said the Government will push ahead with plans already in place for cuts to the public service, but there will be no new cuts.