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Budget 2019: One week to go

Mitch Redman
NZ Currency   Flickr

In seven days, Finance Minister Grant Robertson will share details of the first ever "well-being" budget. What should we expect?

The well-being budget will be announced next Thursday, May 30.

It aims to "tackle New Zealand's long term challenges" and will sett out revenues and expenditures for the next year, with some policies planned to extend over several years.

In December, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced the following 'five intentions' underpinning the 2019 Budget

  1. Creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy.
  2. Supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation, social and economic opportunities.
  3. Lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities.
  4. Reducing child poverty and improving child well-being, including addressing family violence.
  5. Supporting mental well-being for all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds.

This year's budget has been put together using new methods, and will be published in a new format.

How this years Well-Being Budget framework is different from years gone by.

Reports from the OECD and International Monetary Fund had an influence on the details of this budget, urging governments worldwide to look beyond factors such as GDP.

The Treasury who is the lead advisor to the Government on economic and financial policy, used a new system known as the 'Living Standards Framework' to develop the budget this year.

The framework looks closer at the 'human, social, natural and financial/physical' aspects that affect our well-being, which gives the Treasury data to analyse, measure and compare when putting together the budget.

International evidence, expert advice and past observations were also taken into consideration during this process.

The budget publication will also have a new 'business annual report' look - with the Government's vision in the first part of the document and figures in the latter. 

We can expect more significant Pre-Budget announcements over the next seven days in preparation for Budget Day. This is what we already know:

  • More resources for teachers with 3280 additional teachers being trained or supported in the next four years.
  • Extra funding to fix Census results
  • A clean energy centre to be established in Taranaki
  • Funding to reduce Māori re-offending rates, decrease the prison population by thirty percent and develop tikanga Māori strategies within them.
  • More than 1,000 homeless people to be housed.
  • Removal of NCEA fees
  • More tools for women for pay equity claims.
  • Further transformation of forestry sector
  • Race betting levy to be removed
  • Funding for rheumatic fever initiative 
  • Over $320 million towards sexual violence prevention 
  • Extra $21 million for St John Ambulance
  • Over $10 million for Ethnic Communities.
  • Budget 2019 will be presented to the House of Representatives in Parliament at 2pm next Thursday by Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
The Living Standards Framework explained. Te Tai Ōhanga / The Treasury