Budget 2013 has freed up a further $1.5 billion by redirecting spending to where it delivers the best results.

When the Government’s finances are constrained, re-prioritising spending allows significant additional funding for new or proven initiatives that get better results.

It’s about spending well, not spending up.

New Zealanders were conditioned in the 2000s to believe that Budgets should be about the novelty of new, expensive spending programmes that held out promises of economic and social transformation. Those promises were illusory.

There was no sustainable revenue stream to pay for the increased spending and there was nothing genuinely transformational to show for it.

Governments should be judged on what they achieve rather than on what they spend. The value of our spending is a better measure than the amount of our spending. This Government is focused on results, and it’s paying off.