What should we expect from the Budget?

  • 26/05/2016
Bill English
Bill English

It is Budget Day.

So what should we look for?

The government will announce around $1.6 billion in new spending in this Budget. Two hundred million dollars of that has already been accounted for by the various pre-Budget announcements.

Of the remaining $1.4 billion, around $600 million will be brought forward from next year's Budget.

Much of the focus will be on housing. It is possible there will be an anouncement on social housing. That might involve some sort of public-private partnership.

Health and education are two other areas to watch.  The growth in the population has put pressure on those sectors.

The Council of Trade Unions says the health system needs $691 million just to mantain existing services.

Paid parental leave is another area that will feature today, with Finance Minister Bill English set to announce an extension of the scheme.

Mid-term budgets are often portrayed as no surprise budgets. But there is always a surprise or two. The government will want to show that it is coming up with some innovative ideas.

Something to watch is KiwSaver. The government axed the $1,000 kickstart payment last year. But even before that it had a track record of tinkering with KiwiSaver.

It might look at introducing auto-enrolment. Some have wondered whether the $521 tax credit might be axed.

The Budget will be released at 2pm.