The Government's released its Budget for 2018. It's a hugely anticipated event, but it's basically an information dump.
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We waded through the data and condensed the most important bits into bite-sized chunks.
- $4 billion is going into health, most of it to district health boards (DHBs). There's a $100 million boost to midwifery services and bowel screening will be extended. Half of the money goes to DHBs, who will spend it delivering services and paying staff.
- The education sector gets nearly $2 billion. That'll go on 1500 new teachers, 200 new classrooms, and a big boost to learning support.
- Learning support gets an extra $133.5 million over four years. That'll go toward the likes of speech language therapists and psychologists. There will be an extra $30.4 million over four years for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
- The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) operating funding will increase by $9.3 million over four years. But that increase looks tiny compared to the cost of Mycoplasma bovis - $38 million over two years.
- The Budget makes provision for building 1600 state houses a year - that’s above the Government's goal of 1000 a year but below Housing Minister Phil Twyford's stretch goal of 2000 state houses a year.
- A six-week programme for unemployed youth gets $26.8 million over four years.
- A Green Party win: Insulation grants for low-income owner-occupied homes get $140 million over four years.
- An increase to refugee funding - $7.7 million of capital investment over four years and $1.5 million of operating spending each year will go toward the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre. This will help the Government increase the quota to 1500 a year. The Government hasn't yet specified when the quota increase will come into effect.
- The Green Investment Fund gets $100 million - money that's designed to encourage private sector investment in clean tech and new jobs.
- A 30 percent funding increase for social services that support victims of domestic and sexual violence. Funding increases by $76 million over four years. It will go to about 150 providers.
- There's still no decision on Waikeria Prison. There's still money set aside to pay for it if need be, but in the meantime there will be 600 modular units built and $57.6 million over four years for accommodation and support services for 300 people a year