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No lollies scramble in Budget 2014

Last fortnight I outlined what the National-led Government’s sixth budget will look like when it is delivered on May 15.

Our clear focus is on sustaining economic growth over the medium term, so the economy does not just burn brightly for a couple of years and run out of oxygen.

When we talk about the economy – about things like GDP and the balance of payments – we are ultimately talking about people’s jobs, their wages, and the costs they face in going about their daily lives and raising their families.

It is hugely important to continue the progress we have recently been making and that is why there will be no lollies scramble in this year’s Budget.

New spending

We will be sticking to our new spending allowance of $1 billion – focused mainly on health and education, on families and children. This also means that we remain on track to surplus in 2014-2015, as promised.

In other news, the latest crime statistics showed 20% drop in crime over the past four years. This is great news and is a result of increased foot patrols, and our Police having more time out in their neighbourhoods because of access to smart phones and tablets.

The Police focus on Prevention First is also helping to put our Police in the right places, at the right times, to prevent offending before it happens.

Declining crime

Offences dropped by 4.1% in 2013, with 15,602 fewer recorded crimes compared to the year before and 90,994 fewer offences in 2013 compared to 2009. This means we are making New Zealander a safer place to raise our children, and that is important to me.

These results have not happened by chance. We are staying tough on criminals, keeping record numbers of police on the beat, and ensuring that the justice system focuses on the rights of victims. We have passed new laws covering sentencing, parole, gangs, and proceeds of crime.

Our key objective is simple: to continue to reduce crime and the number of people entering the criminal justice pipeline – keeping our communities safer.

National is building a safer New Zealand. It is an important part of our plan to deliver better public services – one of our four priorities in this term of government.

John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand

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