Finance minister: Budget will help vulnerable Kiwis

Finance Minister Bill English, with Prime Minister John Key.Photo / Mark Mitchell
Finance Minister Bill English, with Prime Minister John Key.Photo / Mark Mitchell

Finance Minister Bill English says the Budget 2013 will help the most vulnerable people in society "who the Government has served very poorly in the past".

Mr English said the Budget revealed on Thursday, which focused on housing affordability and a return to surplus, would be an important step in the efforts to close the gap between rich and poor.

The Deputy Prime Minister told TVNZ's Q+A programme this morning that the Budget "takes us in that direction" of addressing inequality in New Zealand.

"Closing that gap is a pretty big challenge," Mr English said.

He said improving the economy resulted in job growth and more opportunities for workers.

"There's a whole range of measures in the Budget focussing on the most disadvantaged who are a long way from being able to step into a job, whose lives are complicated, who are dealing with all sorts of problems and who the Government has served very poorly in the past, governments [have served poorly in the past], through poor housing policy" he said.

"So we're fixing that up, insulating their homes, getting their children immunised."

Mr English hinted that the Government would soon announce a plan to provide school meals for children. "There'll be more announcements on that," he said.

- APNZ

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