The Government revealed its 2014 Budget today with much of the focus going on families, health and a larger-than-expected surplus.
Here are the key announcements.
- Extending paid parental leave from 14 to 16 weeks in 2015, then to 18 weeks in 2016;
- Widening eligibility for paid parental leave to include guardians and people in casual and seasonal work;
- Increasing the parental tax credit for people who don't take paid parental leave from a maximum $150 a week to $220, and extending it from eight to 10 weeks.
- Total new spending of $1.8 billion over four years;
- $90m for free doctors' visits and prescriptions for under-13s;
- $112m extra for disability and support services;
- $110m over four years for elective surgery such as hip and knee replacements;
- $10m over four years for surgery to combat severe obesity;
- $5.4m for breast and cervical screening programmes;
- $40m to promote healthy eating and exercise;
- $10.4m for sexual violence support services;
- $20m to fight rheumatic fever;
- $6.3m for cochlear implants;
- Predictions ACC costs could be cut by $480m over the next two years, following public consultation.
- Keeping the student loan debt repayment threshold static to bring in more money as incomes rise;
- $199m additional investment in tertiary education, including boosts to science, agriculture, ICT and physiotherapy studies;
- $284m for building five new schools and 148 classrooms, and upgrading existing rooms;
- $2.5m for the Computers in Homes scheme;
- $156m of extra funding for early childhood centres
- $155.7m extra for early childhood education.
- $50m funding boost, bringing the Govt's total spend to date to $15.4 billion;
- $75 million for Christchurch contingency housing;
- $3.5m to get beneficiaries to get jobs and move to Christchurch.
- $33.2m to help protect vulnerable children;
- $13.7m boost to Child, Youth and Family;
- $15m extra for Whanau Ora;
- $100m of new funding to help people get off welfare and into work;
- $30m to the Social Housing Fund, plus $8 million to help people find and move into more appropriate housing.
- $375m interest-free loan to the New Zealand Transport Agency for Auckland transport projects;
- $198m for KiwiRail, including $25m for the Interislander ferry Aratere.
- $26.5 million to fight kauri dieback disease;
- $3m towards simplifying the Resource Management Act;
- $5m in a joint effort with the Maori Party to clean up local streams and freshwater supplies;
- $40m for irrigation projects.
Law and Order
- Spending to be maintained at $1.46b;
- Serious Fraud Office funding reduced to $7.6m.
- Reduction in tariffs and duties on building materials;
- $80m boost to the Ministry of Social Development to help assess and review social housing needs.
source: newshub archive