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Joyce: No easy money for govt departments

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/02/2017
Steven Joyce © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Steven Joyce

Finance Minister Steven Joyce has given government departments notice that they'll have to put up a strong case if they want more money from his first budget.

"Just saying you have `cost pressures' in this budget round is not enough," he said on Tuesday.

"Ministers want to see specific, measurable improvements in productivity and results through innovation as part of all major budget discussions."

In a speech to the Institute of Public Administration Mr Joyce said he was going to be "very focused" on improving productivity across the public sector.

"The public sector makes up 30 per cent of New Zealand's total economy, wider government including local government makes up 40 per cent," he said.

"You can't improve the productivity of your country while leaving 40 per cent of it on the sidelines."

Mr Joyce acknowledged efforts already being made but said there was much more to do

He repeated his previous comments about his budget priorities, saying the government remained committed to reducing taxes "and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so".

Mr Joyce will present his first budget on May 25.

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