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NSW budget builds for future, lives within means: Baird
12/06/2012 - NSW Treasurer Mike Baird is selling his second budget as one that builds for the future, while living within its means.
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Speaking to reporters on the eve of Tuesday's budget which is expected to contain cuts across the board and thousands of public sector job losses, Baird has acknowledged it won't be popular.
But he says tough measures are "the right things to do for the people of NSW".
Hundreds of government programs will reportedly be axed in the budget ... last Friday Baird confirmed the introduction of a 1.2 per cent annual labour expense cap which could see the loss of 10,000 public sector jobs.
Baird has defended the cuts, saying the state's bottom line has been buffeted by worsening economic conditions and a loss of $5.4 billion in GST revenue from the Commonwealth.
"This will be a budget that builds for the future, it is about government that lives within its means, just like businesses and households across the state are doing - NSW will do exactly the same," Baird told reporters in his office at state parliament in Sydney.
"By living within our means we'll have capacity not only to continue the services this state needs, but build the infrastructure that has been long overdue."
Asked if he was bracing for mass industrial action in response to the 10,000 jobs cuts - aimed at saving $2.2 billion over four years - Baird said "we're bracing ourselves for difficult times, and we've taken responsible decisions that this state needs".
"I think that anyone across NSW would ask that their government is taking responsible decisions in light of the challenges we're facing," Baird said.
"What's we've said consistently is that there are decisions we have to take in this budget that are difficult, that are difficult across the board, they're not going to be popular, but they are the right things to do for the people of NSW."
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