National has worked hard to get spending and debt under control. The government is forecast to be back in surplus by 2014/15. We’ve reformed the tax system to reward hard work and savings, discourage borrowing and consumption, and tighten rules on property speculation. We’re pursuing free trade agreements, with an emphasis on Asia and the Pacific, where 70 per cent of our trade is focused.
Things are starting to come right. Kiwis are paying less tax and much lower mortgage rates. The economy is growing, and is forecast to create 170,000 new jobs by 2015.
Locally, the last couple of years have be tough for many small businesses. I have been involved in some of the planning for Rugby World Cup. It is estimated that the economic benefit of the Rugby World Cup to Auckland will be approximately $267 million. The primary sectors of the Auckland economy which are expected to realise the benefits are accommodation, food and beverage, transport and retail sectors.
I have also supported the Mayors proposed increase in the Major Events budget to ensure we invest in long term events that will provide more tourists coming to our city. Next year there are several large events planned, including the hosting of the ITU World Triathlon, the Volvo Ocean Race and the host city for Rally New Zealand when it next runs in June 2012 as a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).