Government Spending Faces Large Structural Deficits, N.Z.'s English Says

New Zealand’s government faces the threat of large structural budget deficits that could last a decade if not curbed, Finance Minister Bill English said in a statement today. “There will need to be ongoing restraint on government spending increases,” he added. He also noted that “it’s important we get back into surplus in less than 10 years becauses surpluses give us choices,” but “as long as we are running deficits, we don’t have those choices,” he stated.

In an effort to fight such profligate spending, workers have been put “on notice” that they should not expect wages to rise this year as much as they had in the past, he said in a separate statement released yesterday.