Budget 2018: What's in store?

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 17, 2018

The houses will be funded largely through Housing New Zealand borrowing up to $2.9 billion from third parties and investing $900 million from its own operations, as well as an additional $234.4 million in operational funding from Budget 2018.

"We have seen evidence of this with many people turning up to hospital emergency departments because they can't afford $40 - $70 to see their GP".

After plenty of goodies in December's half-year "mini-budget" and announcements in recent months, the coalition Labour-led government had been playing down the odds of another splurge.

This starts with making sure Kiwis have access to high quality public services, says the Finance Minister while delivering the Labour-led Government's first Budget.

Six thousand and four hundred state homes will be built over the next four years, equating to 1600 builds a year.

And despite promises of $NZ10 billion of new capital investment over four years - to a total $NZ42 billion - only $NZ1.8 billion was set aside for the coming financial year.

"This is particularly relevant as we approach World Family Doctor Day on 19 May, a day to celebrate the enormous contribution Global Positioning System make to our society".

Net crown debt is forecast to drop to 19.1 billion by 2022, below the 20 per cent target promised to voters.

And 2018/19 is pegged at an even better $NZ3.7 billion, followed by more, rising to $NZ7.3 billion by 2021/22.

But in a fiery speech in parliament, opposition leader Simon Bridges refused to let the government wear the glory, saying its predecessor had "gifted" it an economy to be proud of, which was now being wasted.

"Grant Robertson has an enviable position for really any finance minister all around the Western world".

Meanwhile, Treasury's forecasts for GDP growth has steadied to 3.3 per cent for 2018/19.

However, the outlook has improved for each year after 2020 - averaging out to about 3 per cent - and unemployment is expected to flatten out at 4.1 per cent.

"Whether it's 1800 police they are not delivering, whether it's KiwiBuild that is becoming more and more of a shambles, whether it's universal cheaper visits, they are not delivering", he told Newstalk ZB.

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