Wellington, December 14, 2017
The Government’s policy programme will deliver a stable and growing economy which is fair for all New Zealanders.
The Budget Policy Statement (BPS) released today sets out our agenda to build a sustainable and productive economy that shares the benefits of prosperity with all New Zealanders.
Investment in basics
We will fix New Zealand’s social and infrastructure deficits by investing in families, education, health, housing and our regions.
The BPS and the Treasury’s Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update show we can deliver our promises while running sustainable surpluses and paying down debt.
We can meet all of our commitments within our Budget Responsibility Rules.
These commitments include our 100-Day Plan; Labour’s other policies in the pre-election Fiscal Plan; the Coalition Agreement between Labour and New Zealand First; and the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and the Green Party.
The Treasury’s Half Year Update incorporates the costs of our 100-Day Plan.
The BPS indicates how policies outside this will be afforded within the capital and operating expenditures allowed in future Budgets.
Over the next four years, allowances for policies outside of the 100-Day Plan provide $21.7 billion in new operating expenditure, and capital allowances provide for $12.6 billion of new investments.
Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package.
This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021.*
Our priorities are different from the previous Government.
We are targeting spending at the early years to invest at the time in life where the evidence shows it makes a difference.
Boost to Working for Families
Boosts to Working for Families, the introduction of Best Start and the Winter Energy Payment, reinstating the Independent Earner Tax Credit and continuing with the recent Accommodation Supplement changes will greatly help struggling families to access the basics which all New Zealanders should have.
Within our 100-Day Plan we have kept our promise to begin fees-free post-secondary school education and training, kicked off the work on KiwiBuild, legislated for 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave and Healthy Homes, and much more.
Lifting living standards
We will measure our progress as a Government differently – by focusing on improving wellbeing and lifting living standards. The first steps towards this are in our 100-Day Plan, with legislation to develop child poverty indicators that must be reported against at Budget time.
Over the next four years, economic growth is set to remain strong, averaging 3%. Unemployment is forecast to fall to the Government’s 4% target, and wages are forecast to rise on average by more than 3% annually.
The Treasury forecasts that we will keep government spending within its recent historical range, and that net core Crown debt will fall to 19.3% of GDP within five years of us taking office – as promised.
“Our Government really will deliver for all New Zealanders. With our coalition partner New Zealand First, and our confidence and supply partner the Green Party, we will do this,” Grant Robertson says.
Grant Robertson is the Finance Minister of New Zealand. The above is a press statement issued today as a part of the Mini-Budget introduced to Parliament by the new government this afternoon (December 14, 2017).
* Defined as living in a household with an income less than 50 per cent per cent of the median equivalised household income before deducting housing costs.