John Armstrong

John Armstrong is the Herald's chief political commentator

Budget 2014: 10 things you need to know

Finance Minister Bill English checking copies of his 2014 Budget as they roll off the press. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Finance Minister Bill English checking copies of his 2014 Budget as they roll off the press. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The ten things you need to know about the Budget:

1. A $372 million surplus in the coming year - the first since 2008 - and forecast to reach $3.5 billion in 2018.

Bill English - return to surplus:

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2. Treasury forecasting economic growth to average 2.8 per cent over the next four years, peaking at 4 per cent next year.

3. Free doctors visits' and prescriptions extended from children under six to those under 13.

4. Paid parental leave extended from 14 to 18 weeks - and eligibility to be expanded to cover seasonal workers and those who have recently changed jobs.

5. Parental tax credit raised from $150 a week to $220 - and the payment period extended from first eight weeks of baby's life to ten weeks.

6. ACC on track for more cuts in levies, including possible $130 cut in levy for for private vehicles.

7. Interest-free loan of $375 million for New Zealand Transport Agency to accelerate Auckland transport projects.

8. 5 cent duty on cheques abolished.

9. Import duties on plasterboard, reinforcing steel and nails suspended to cut the cost of building a new home by an estimated $3500.

10. A further $198 million injection into Kiwirail to make its freight operations commercially viable, taking the cost of bailing out the state company to more than $1 billion.

Expenses and revenue:

Herald economics editor Brian Fallow's Budget 2014 analysis:

Video

Read more:
Graphic: Where the Budget money goes
Budget 2014: Live video stream
Bigger surplus unveiled, doctor visits for kids
Comment: The Great Brain Robbery
Housing affordability measures
Auckland transport projects get boost
$500m to extend paid parental leave
R & D tax break for startups
Police budget frozen
Beneficiaries left out
$25m to fight kauri dieback
Fees slashed for targeted tertiary courses

- NZ Herald

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