Budget 2018: Health the big winner in Labour-NZ First Budget.

More money has been allocated for health, housing and schools in the budget 2018. Below is a summary of some of the budget allocated in the social sector.

Health

  • $3.2 billion additional budget over four years, including $2.2 billion more for DHBs and $126 million for elective surgeries and other areas. $750 million for hospital upgrades and rebuilds.
  • Cheaper doctor visits for more than 500,000 people. Free GP visits extended to 13-year-olds (56,000 more children). About 540,000 people eligible for Community Services cards will get $20 to $30 cheaper GP visits. Cost $385m.
  • $112 million more for community midwives, including 8.9 percent fee increase to level them with DHB midwives.

Education

  • 2 billion extra budget has been allocated to the education sector for the coming four years, including 1500 new teachers, 200 new classrooms and a big boost to learning support.
  • From this budget, children with disabilities and complex needs will get an extra $133 million over four years period.
  • $30m has been allocated to provide more support to deaf and low-vision students.
  • $395 million to be allocated to build new schools and classrooms.

Housing

  • $3.8 billion to build 6400 more state houses by 2022 – and $170 million for emergency housing. Insulation subsidies for low-income families. HNZ to borrow $3b.

Six-week programme for unemployed youth

  • The number of spaces for the six-week program for unemployed 18 to 25 years old, the Limited Services Program will be increased to 1600 at the cost of 26.8 million over four years.

Funding boost for refugees

  • The government will spend a total amount of $9.2 million to build infrastructures for refugees at the Magree Resettlement Centre and increase the Quota refugees to 1500 places per year.

Climate Change

  • $100 million of new capital funding for the Green Investment Fund has been allocated in the budget 2018.
  • An additional $14 million in new funding is provided to address climate change.

The Cuts

  • A cut on funding reversible contraceptives for beneficiaries – saving $120,000 over five
  • A cut on funding policy advice on Energy and Resources and ACC (saving $650,000 and $500,000 a year, respectively).
  • A cut on planned $500,000 spending increase on the Prime Minister’s scholarship’s to Asia.
  • A removal of operational grant components and access to Te Kura subjects from private schools will save $3.5 billion.
  • There’s no funding for Waikeria Prison. Instead, there’s a funding boost for 600 new prison beds.

The full report can be found here: Strong Government finances and a strong economy or Summary of Initiatives in Budget 2018