The Government has announced its first Budget – and there are a number of big winners and losers.
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PricewaterhouseCoopers says there have been a number of trade-offs in the Budget, including “less of a focus on agriculture, defence, and tourism”.
Newshub has kept count of who has come out ahead. Are you one of them?
- Sick children
The vast bulk of new spending is going into health.
Very low-cost GP visits will be extended to all Community Services Card holders. Eligibility for the card will be extended to all Housing NZ tenants, and those receiving an income related rent subsidy or accommodation supplement.
Free doctor visits and prescriptions are extended to all under-14s.
- Teachers and students
The education sector gets nearly $2 billion. That’ll go on 1500 new teachers, 200 new classrooms, and a big boost to learning support.
Learning support gets an extra $133.5 million over four years. That’ll go toward the likes of speech language therapists and psychologists. There will be an extra $30.4 million over four years for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
- People who need housing help
The Government has provided funding for an additional 6400 state houses over four years – or 1600 a year. It’ll come at a cost of $234 million over four years.
And a classic insulation win for the Greens – funding has also been made available for insulation grants for low income owner-occupied homes, at a cost of $142.5 million over four years.
The Government will fund two additional accommodation blocks at the Māngere Refugee Resettlement Centre. The Government says this will support increasing the Refugee Quota to 1500 places per year.
There’s also a funding boost of $3.8 million over four years for the Refugee and Protection unit.
- Unemployed youth
The Government is doubling the number of places in its six-week programme for unemployed 18 to 25-year-olds, the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme, to 1600 places.
- The Green Party
Newshub political reporter Jenna Lynch says the Green Party has “been shafted” by Budget 2018.
“The first red budget is actually a tinge of maroon, with New Zealand First in command of some big bucks,” Lynch writes.
NZ First leader Winston Peters got more than $1 billion for Foreign Affairs, however she says Green Party leader James Shaw has “next to nothing to claim as a win”.
“The Green Infrastructure Fund, which will be a key element of getting the private sector on board to transition to a low carbon economy, is worth just $100 million,” Lynch writes.
“The Greens calling this the ‘Greenest Budget in Living Memory’ is a load of organic waste.”
- Child-free beneficiaries
The Government is no longer funding long-acting reversible contraceptives for beneficiaries – saving $120,000 over five years.
- Private schools
Private schools face funding cuts in the Budget. The Government expects the removal of operational grant components and access to Te Kura subjects from private schools to save them $3.5 billion.
- Waikeria Prison
There’s no funding for Waikeria Prison – instead, there’s a funding boost for 600 new prison beds, through rapid-build modular units added to a number of prisons.
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