English points to tough Budget round on May 28
10:36AM Wednesday Feb 18, 2009
Ian Llewellyn

All Government departments will be asked to find savings when National delivers its first Budget on May 28, Finance Minister Bill English has warned.

Mr English told the finance select committee that the Budget was being written under tough economic circumstances and the extent of the worldwide recession was still unknown.

In a one-hour hearing, he confirmed that Treasury's December's forecasts were following their most pessimistic scenario with New Zealand enduring ongoing economic recession.

The largest worry was that many main trading partners were looking at longer and deeper recessions.

The wave of "disastrous" economic events that flowed around the world in December was bound to wash on to New Zealand businesses, it was just a matter of where and who was affected, Mr English said.

The banking sector remained stable, but maintaining this was the Government's primary policy objective because if it became unstable it would cause "huge problems" for the wider economy.

More here.