The Government’s fourth wellbeing budget delivered a raft of initiatives to support people, communities and the environment. This Budget provides significant support to small and medium enterprises and to building strong foundations for the industries that will drive job growth.
The New Zealand economy is one of the strongest in the world, with Triple-A credit ratings, record-low unemployment and lower debt than Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. However, despite those positive results, the global inflation pressures are hurting some New Zealanders, and the world remains an uncertain and volatile place. That is why Budget 2022 provides further relief to those on lower and middle incomes, to help pay the food and energy bills until inflation is brought back under control.
Budget 2022 shows the New Zealand economy is expected to be robust in the near term. It is expected to strengthen from the second half of this year, with annual growth peaking at 4.2 per cent in June 2023.
Budget 2022 makes the most significant reform to the health sector in a generation. A nationwide health system is to be established that will provide quality care for everyone – one which will address the longstanding inequities in the system, including through the establishment of the Māori Health Authority.
An up-front investment in climate change now, provided through the Climate Emergency Response Fund, will not only deal with an environmental emergency, but will also open opportunities for innovation, better jobs and higher wages. It will mean a more secure economy as we move towards energy independence by cutting our reliance on volatile global oil markets. Earlier this week, the Government announced a new initiative to help pay for lower-income families to scrap their old gas guzzlers and replace them with cleaner hybrid or electric cars as part of a sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Budget 2022 also introduces two pilot Clusters in the Justice and Natural Resources sectors. These bring Ministers and agencies together to pursue shared goals, and they will receive multi-year funding to achieve them.
Budget 2022 aims to help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures. This Budget strikes a careful balance, building on the Government’s response to COVID-19 in continuing to support New Zealanders through a tough period, but also looking forward to support New Zealanders to seize the opportunities of a more secure future.