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A political analyst says the Finance Minister is softening us up for more bad news ahead of next month's budget.
Bill English has told a Wellington business audience the Government will amend the Public Finance Act, bringing in a cap on government spending and return to surplus by 2015.
Dr Bryce Edwards of Otago University says it shows how serious the Government is about continuing austerity measures.
"Finance Ministers always tend to try and lower people's expectations in the few weeks leading up to the budget. This shows that National are continuing with their bad medicine approach."
He says going into the next election, National wants some sort of significant trophy in the fiscal area to show the pain has been worthwhile.
"Depending on your point of view it's kind of impressive, heroic, or maybe foolish and scary because you kind of have to find some cuts somewhere to make the numbers add up and that's got to be fairly radical in some areas I think."
Photo: NZ Herald