The Government delivered its first Wellbeing Budget on 30 May 2019. In line with its strong focus on social policy, the mental health sector, child wellbeing and social welfare all gained significant increases in spending.
The Wellbeing Budget focuses on five priority areas:
- taking mental health seriously
- improving child wellbeing
- supporting Māori and Pasifika aspirations
- building a productive nation, and
- transforming the economy.
Budget measures announced that will be of particular interest to the business community include:>/p>
Building a productive nation
- a new $300 million fund to fill the “capital gap” in venture capital funding, and
- R & D initiatives to support a target to 2% investment in GDP by 2027.
Transforming the economy
- a new “Productive and Sustainable Land Use” package ($229.2 million) for projects to protect waterways and wetlands on farms, and
- infrastructural spending – increased allocations for KiwiRail ($1 billion) and increased capital spending for schools and hospitals.
The Government also made announcements regarding Tax Policy Ahead.