Budget 2018: 'There's so much more to do' - Newshub's politics team

  • 17/05/2018

Health was the big winner of the Government's Budget 2018 revealed on Thursday. 

Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien and political reporter Jenna Lynch have called it 'The Good Start Budget' because it's "a good start but there is so much more to do," they said. 

"There are so many more promises that Labour need to deliver on from the election campaign, and they do have two more budgets to deliver on them. You have to look at it across a three-year period," Lynch said. 

Health was the big winner of the day, according to O'Brien. 

"$2.3 billion is going into DHBs and another $750 million for all those shoddy hospitals, and also free GP visits for under 14-year-olds, and community service cards being extended and cheaper."

Another winner in Budget 2018 was education, said Lynch. 

"Education is a big one - they've put a lot of money into special education, but they've also put a huge amount into fixing up school buildings and bringing 1500 more teachers on board. It's a package worth $1.9 billion - it's more than the previous government put into education." 

For housing, the Government has announced 1600 more state houses; more than the 1000 they promised, but less than the 2000 that Housing Minister Phil Twyford "ambitiously pledged", Lynch pointed out. 

The losers in Budget 2018 include the Greens, biosecurity, and cyber-security. 

The Green Party's equivalent of the Provincial Growth Fund or New Zealand First's "slush fund" is its Green Infrastructure Fund. The New Zealand First Fund is worth $1 billion, but the Greens only got $100 million - a tenth of what NZ First got. 

Biosecurity also got shafted in the budget. New Zealand is in the midst of a biosecurity disaster with Mycoplasma bovis spreading throughout dairy farms.

The Government had previously pledged $85 million to biosecurity - "a tenth of what it's expected to cost the country," Jenna said. 

"And today, they pledged another $9 million, which seems like a drop in a bucket."

The Treasury has indicated that Mycoplasma bovis is a huge financial threat to the country. 

As for cyber-security, the Government has pledged around $3.9 million over four years to tackle the issue that's costing New Zealand $5 million a year. 

"We're losing money here and they're not ramping up anything to protect us from those threats," Lynch said.  

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Government will deliver on all its promises by 2020.