Budget 2017: What we know so far

Prime Minister Bill English, left, and Finance Minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister Bill English, left, and Finance Minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Mark Mitchell

With Finance Minister Steven Joyce set to unveil the 2017 Budget in a few weeks, we take a look at some of the things the Government has announced so far.

Social investment

Prime Minister Bill English today announced there will be an additional $321 million spent on social investment initiatives in this month's budget, to be spread over four years.

The initiatives include:

• $28.1 million to expand Family Start, a home visiting programme;

• $34.7 million to support more children with behavioural issues;

• $6 million to help children with communication issues.

He also outlined a new set of 10 public service targets which include having 90 per cent of pregnant women register with a lead maternity carer in their first trimester; reducing the number of hospitalisation for children aged 12 and under with preventable conditions; and improving the literacy and numeracy of children and focusing on higher achievement of students in Year 8.

Another target will be to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in the time it takes to house priority clients on the social housing register.

Infrastructure

Last month Finance Minister Steven Joyce said the he will lift infrastructure spending to $4 billion more in the May Budget and to $11 billion over the next four years.

Of the $4b in next month's Budget, $812m will go towards repairing State Highway 1 north and south of Kaikoura, which was damaged in the November earthquake.

Earthquake spending in Wellington

Joyce has indicated the Government could be spending some to help Wellington in case of an earthquake.

"But I wouldn't overstate it in terms of numbers, it is more a case I think of the Wellington councils prioritising some of the things they know need to be done particularly in the areas of water and so on," he said.

- NZ Herald

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