The New Zealand government has recently released the much-anticipated Budget 2023, outlining the country's spending plan for the coming years.
With a total allocation of $4.8 billion, this budget is expected to have a significant impact on various sectors, including infrastructure, housing, healthcare, and education. As the country continues to navigate the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the release of this budget is a crucial step toward ensuring New Zealand's economic recovery and growth.
In this context, it is essential to examine the key highlights of the Budget 2023 and understand how they will shape the country's future development.
COST OF LIVING:
• Extending 20 hours childcare to two-year-olds and increasing childcare assistance funding
• Scrapping the $5 prescription co-payment to make medicine cheaper for over 3 million Kiwis.
• Free public transport for children under 13 and half-price for under 25s, benefiting 1.6 million people.
• Lowering household energy bills by providing heating, insulation, hot-water heat pumps, and LED light bulbs
RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE:
• Supporting communities and businesses to recover and rebuild after North Island weather events.
• Establishing a National Resilience Plan with a $6 billion investment, starting with a Cyclone rebuild
• Providing a 20% rebate for the game-development sector and investing in Industry Transformation Plans for Horticulture, Digital, and Tourism
• Establishing new Science and Innovation Hubs, investing $400 million, and hiring over 260 researchers and Ph.D. students
DELIVERING SERVICES THAT KIWIS RELY ON:
• Creating 6,600 new student places and four new schools with a $3.6 billion operating and $1.3 billion capital investment in education
• Delivering 3,000 new public housing places and investing over $1 billion in Health to reduce waiting lists and increase pay for frontline staff.
• Increasing the supply of Māori housing, boosting Whānau Ora, education, Pacific Wellbeing, and languages strategy
• Achieving fiscal sustainability with a $4.8 billion per year new operating package and $10.7 billion new capital package
• Saving $4 billion through reprioritization and efficiencies to fund higher priorities.
• Aligning the Trustee tax rate with the 39% top tax rate.
• Returning to surplus in 2025/26, the same length of time as after the Global Financial Crisis.
More information here.