Mai i te Minita Ahumoni From the Minister of Finance
Budget 2023 – Support for Today, Building for Tomorrow is this Government’s fifth Wellbeing Budget.
As with previous Wellbeing Budgets we are looking beyond traditional measures of success and taking an intergenerational approach to ensure we improve New Zealanders lives now and into the future.
Budget 2023 strikes a careful balance between supporting New Zealanders with the cost of living, delivering core public services well, improving the resilience of the country’s critical infrastructure and economy and returning to a more sustainable fiscal position.
The volatile global economic backdrop, including high levels of inflation and domestic challenges, including from Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary weekend floods, make our balanced and targeted approach essential.
In Budget 2023, net new operating spending of $4.8 billion per annum is lower than the $5.9 billion in Budget 2022.
Managing within this operating allowance is possible because of a reprioritisation and savings process that has led to $4 billion in savings across the forecast period. This has allowed us to target resources where they are needed most at this time.
For Budget 2023, we have focused on targeted cost of living support that will not unnecessarily exacerbate inflation pressures, and will take pressures off Kiwis in their everyday lives. We have a particular focus on supporting parents through reducing costs for early childhood education, scrapping prescription charges and targeted support to reduce household energy bills and public transport costs.
This Budget also invests strongly to deliver core public services, including in health, education and housing. It takes significant steps towards the goals of our Economic Plan, for a high-wage, low-emissions economy that delivers economic security. Investments in the Budget will improve our economic resilience through investing in research, innovation and skills, and infrastructure.
New Zealand’s low public debt allows for $10.7 billion total capital investment from the multi-year capital allowance, coupled with $6 billion into a new National Resilience Plan, focused initially on rebuilding from Cyclone Gabrielle and then on closing the infrastructure deficit which has built up in this country over decades.
The Government’s careful fiscal management has allowed us to commit a $71 billion of infrastructure investment over the next five years, while keeping net debt well below the 30 percent of GDP ceiling. Long-term investment allows for long-term planning, and a clear programme of work will provide confidence and certainty to the infrastructure sector.
Anchored by the fiscal rules we set at Budget 2022, we remain committed to returning to surplus within the forecast period and keeping net debt below a ceiling of 30 percent of GDP.
As a Government we have been faced with ongoing severe and unexpected challenges, from natural disasters and cyclones to global pandemics. Through all of those we have supported New Zealanders while also looking to the future and continuing to tackle the country’s long-term challenges.
This Budget continues our careful balance – providing support for our people today while building back better for tomorrow.
HON GRANT ROBERTSON
Minister of Finance