Mai i te PirimiaFrom the Prime Minister
Budget 2023 is about easing the cost of living pressures New Zealanders are facing, while making targeted investments that will grow our economy in the future.
It’s a no-frills budget that befits the times and makes targeted investments where they are needed most.
As Prime Minister I’ve reprioritised the Government’s work programme to focus on the bread-and-butter issues; support with the cost of living, work to drive down inflation and responding to the Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle. That is the focus of the Budget.
This Budget helps makes things a little easier for parents, older New Zealanders, students and children by reducing or removing some of the costs they currently face. Millions of kiwis will pay a little less as a result.
We’re helping parents who are particularly under the pump, by making childcare cheaper.
We’re helping with health costs by removing prescription charges for medicines.
We’re reducing power bills by making Kiwi homes more energy efficient.
And we’re permanently cutting the costs of public transport for young New Zealanders, alongside what we’ve done to date to cut costs for Community Service Card holders.
These initiatives help households now, while also delivering long-term education, health and climate benefits. They’re win win.
Budget 2023 includes a massive boost to our nation’s infrastructure which has been tested during the recent flooding and cyclone. We saw roads and bridges as well as telecommunications and power wiped out too easily. That can’t happen again. We’ve allocated significant funds to build back more resilient so we can be better prepared for more extreme weather in the future.
Those investments have the benefit of keeping our economy humming, helping us to avoid a recession and supporting New Zealanders into work.
Budget 2023 isn’t fancy, nor should it be. It is a practical Budget that does the basics well and makes investments where they are needed. It also locks in funding for programmes that are already working really well – like free and healthy school lunches, apprenticeship training, warmer healthier homes and the successful circuit-breaker programmes that get kids off the streets and reduce crime.
But we need to do more than just respond to the challenges of today, we also need to build for the future. This Budget makes targeted investments in areas I believe are critical to growing our economy and improving productivity – skills, science and technology and infrastructure.
Against a volatile economic backdrop this Budget is stable and resilient.
It is the investment New Zealand needs right now following Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland floods, while easing the pressure on households. It is simply what it says on the tin: Support for Today, Building for Tomorrow.
RT HON CHRIS HIPKINS
Prime Minister of New Zealand