Yes indeed; it's that time of year again, and all eyes will be on Bill English this Thursday afternoon as he delivers his first budget as Finance Minister.
And what an important budget this one is. We don't profess to have any eceonomic expertise, but we would expect a budget that is far less generous in its public spending allocations than Michael Cullen's budgets. Clearly, there's a degree of legacy about this budget; National being saddled with some of Labour's spending commitments. That's an unfortunate reality for governments delivering their first budgets.
But we believe there are some promising signs of National putting state spending under the microscope. And in this morning's Herald, Audrey Young notes that Standard and Poors will be paying close attention to English's budget to determine whether New Zealand's credit rating will be downgraded. S&P will be looking for long-term stability in English's announcements.
Self-interest is always evident in the run-up to the budget. As an Early Childhood Education provider, we welcome the government's pre-budget signal of increased investment in education, as well as in health. And we'll be keeping a close eye on budget-related stories this week, as we look to the government to provide leadership and direction both through the present recession and beyond it.