When it comes to the world economy the future is, of course, uncertain.  No-one knows for sure what might happen.

That makes the balanced and responsible approach set out by Finance Minister Bill English last week even more important. The National Government is putting the economy in the strongest position to cope with any situation that might eventuate, by getting the books into order and limiting debt.

And what we’ve shown over the past three-and-a-half years is that we can successfully adapt to situations that present themselves.

This year’s Budget achieves a balance many other countries would dearly like to emulate.

By committing to surplus by 2014/15, we are taking a responsible path of fiscal management, while at the same time continuing to invest in future growth.