Finance Minister Stephen Joyce’s first Budget achieves a balance between continued careful fiscal management and sharing the benefits of sustained economic growth across the community, focusing on maintaining surpluses, reducing debt, growing the economy and supporting the most vulnerable in society via targeted ‘social investment’ spending.
The Budget raises tax thresholds to address bracket creep. Every taxpayer earning more than $52,000 will pay $1,060 a year or $20 a week less in tax from 1 April 2018. A taxpayer earning $22,000 will pay $560 or $11 a week less.
Lower income families will receive more from Working for Families. Accommodation supplements and student accommodation allowances are also raised.
There’s an additional $11 billion for infrastructure over 4 years, including $800 million for the rebuild of SH 1 to Kaikoura and $102 million for basic tourism infrastructure.
34,000 new Government built houses and more money for social housing are aimed at tackling housing supply and affordability issues.
Increased health spending includes $59 million to double crew ambulances and $60 million more to Pharmac for new medicines.
A $321 million Social Investment Package is targeted at tackling long-term social issues for vulnerable New Zealanders.
This report on the Budget from BusinessDesk written for Chartered Accountants Australia and NZ makes for some interesting reading. Report on Budget 2017