The 2012 Budget!

Surprise, surprise – we’re in the red!

The world is yet to recover from its prolonged financial crisis but our government is really getting the hang of this scrimping and saving business, walking that fine line between cost cutting and stimulating growth.

With the goal tattooed on Bill English’s forehead: returning to surplus by 2014/2015 – he’s left no stone unturned in his quest, raiding a little bit from nearly every piggy bank, plugging tax loopholes and selling assets along the way.

The majority of us will be affected by some relatively small changes, none of them completely surprising.  There’s only $26.5m in new spending (to 2015/16) with reprioritising of $4.4b, in favour of public services (health, education, welfare, law and order), and IRD (for tax auditing and compliance).

In a bid to create 154,000 new jobs (in four years) and substantially lower the unemployment rate, the government has committed $386m over four years for research, science and innovation to increase productivity, strengthen exports and support kiwi businesses to stay ahead of the competition.

Redeveloping the Advanced Technology Institute, increasing funding for national science competitions and supporting world class experiments in universities is all a part of the plan.

* Wilco: The 2012 Budget

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