Budget 2016: What John Key promises

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Prime Minsiter John Key talks about Budget. Photo/NZME
Prime Minsiter John Key talks about Budget. Photo/NZME

Prime Minister John Key has promised a record investement in health, education and more support for businesses to create jobs on the back of a growing economy.

"Our eighth Budget shows rising surpluses and falling debt, with the economy forecast to grow at 2.8 per cent over the next five years on average through to 2020,'' Mr Key said.

"This means more jobs and higher incomes and more capacity for the Government to support New Zealanders through better public services and a more confident and prosperous country.

"As our economy continues to grow we now have choices we simply did not have eight years ago. Budget 2016 embraces those choices by investing in New Zealand's future."

Mr Key said the focus of Budget 2016 remains on achieving better results for Kiwis and their families from almost $80 billion in existing spending, and ensuring that new spending is directed where it will make a real difference.

Investment in Budget 2016 includes:

• $761 million for Innovative New Zealand, a package of science, skills and regional development initiatives to help grow and diversify the economy.

• A $2.1 billion public infrastructure package focused on transport, schools, and the infrastructure needed to deliver a modern, flexible tax system.

• A $652.1 million Social Investment package that supports vulnerable New Zealanders.

• An additional $2.2 billion for the health sector over four years to ensure New Zealanders continue to have access to high-quality healthcare.

Mr Key said Kiwi businesses were creating thousands of jobs and the Government wants to ensure that innovation and effort is supported and the benefits are spread around the country.

"That's why we have focused on providing New Zealanders with the skills they need in a modern economy, boosting regional economies and making it even easier to do business through initiatives such as improvements to the way businesses pay tax.

"A strong economy allows us to invest more in priority public services such as increased access to next-generation medicines, more elective surgeries and schools, and vital social services such as emergency housing, ensuring all New Zealanders benefit from our country's success.

"This Budget builds on that success, focuses on supporting Kiwis, and helps ensure we are prepared for the future.

"Our challenge over the next few years is to stay on course with a policy programme that's working for all New Zealanders, and this National-led Government remains committed to doing that," Mr Key said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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