Despite being presented as a ‘zero’ Budget, this year’s spending has been well focused on areas helpful for future growth, says BusinessNZ.
With all new discretionary spending having to be matched by savings or tax revenues from elsewhere, Budget 2012 has nevertheless managed to reprioritise spending in a responsible manner, said BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly.
“Science and innovation have received significant funding this Budget, with big ticket items like the Advanced Technology Institute and the Performance Based Research Fund looking set to improve outcomes in commercial science and innovation.
“New Zealand business increasingly finds competitiveness is dependent on innovation, and funding announced today for science and innovation initiatives will be well received by the business community. More funding for science and engineering tertiary courses also fits well with this.
“The investment approach to welfare reform displayed in today’s Budget is highly positive, given the critical need for a more engaged, highly skilled working population.
“Ongoing improvements in the tax system are also positive, although business would have liked to see more fundamental tax reductions to increase New Zealand’s international competitiveness.
“The overall aim of getting the books back in the black is responsible and will be widely supported by the New Zealand community, although many would like to see a faster programme of reform in areas such as superannuation eligibility and interest free student loan expenditure.
“It is to be hoped that a mandate for the decisions needed to grow the economy will emerge from the foundation of Budget 2012.”