Spending controls forever is the recipe Bill English says we need if New Zealand is to return to surplus in 2015.
The Finance Minister delivers his fourth Budget in a month from today.
His own advisors are now predicting a deficit three years out but Mr English remains determined to return the books back into the black even if he isn't sounding all that confident.
"Returning to surplus will be a big challenge, and will require tight control over spending effectively forever. The Governments operating deficit for last year was $18 billion 9 percent of GDP, one of the highest in the developed world."
"We're not going to have a big surplus. If we can get to near surplus, somewhere around there, I think that will be an achievement."
ACT is claiming a win out of the Finance Minister's pre-Budget speech.
As agreed in the ACT-National confidence and supply deal, new spending limits are to be imposed on Government Ministers with the arrangement to be written into the Public Finance Act.
ACT leader John Banks says it's a welcome victory for his party.
He says it'll create greater accountability and transparency in government spending and could prevent future spending blow outs.
Photo: NZ Herald