New Zealanders back borrowing to rebuild quake-hit Christchurch: poll

16:03, May 23, 2011      

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Almost three in every five New Zealanders support their government to borrow money to help rebuild the earthquake-devastated city of Christchurch, according to a new poll released Monday.

A nationwide survey of 1,154 people by polling firm HorizonPoll the day after the government laid out its economic plan in the Budget Thursday found 59.4 percent of people supported government borrowing for quake recovery, while 23.4 percent did not.

The government said the earthquakes -- the first in September last year,and the second, which killed 181 people, on Feb. 22 -- will cost 5.5 billion NZ dollars (4.35 billion U.S. dollars) in years.

The government announced in the Budget that it would be issuing earthquake bonds with funds going to an earthquake recovery fund.

The poll found 1.5 percent of respondents would definitely invest in the bonds, and 11.3 percent would probably invest, representing a total 412,000 people among New Zealand's adult population of 3.2 million.

Raising the 5.5 billion NZ dollars from that number of people would require an average investment of 12,607 NZ dollars each.

The poll also found 43.7 percent of New Zealanders thought the government should set aside funds and insure to cover the costs of future disasters and avoid the need to borrow.

In the budget, Finance Minister Bill English revealed the government was running a record deficit of 16.7 billion NZ dollars and announced a series of cuts to reduce borrowing.

Source: Xinhua

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