Wellbeing Budget 2020

Rebuilding Together

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented New Zealand with an unprecedented health, social and economic challenge. The Coalition Government moved quickly to protect the health of New Zealanders. We have also already announced significant response measures to cushion the blow to the economy, our people, and our jobs.

The Budget 2020 package complements our response to COVID-19. The core of the Budget presented here today is focused on meeting cost pressures and supporting our public services to fight, and rebuild from, COVID-19. The COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) established in this Budget will support an ongoing programme of initiatives, both in the Budget and beyond.

Despite record investment in recent years, COVID-19 places further pressure on infrastructure and services that were already strained. We will continue to respond to the immediate crisis and begin planning the rebuild together. An essential starting point for protecting New Zealanders' wellbeing is ensuring that core services and infrastructure receive the investment required to meet our growing needs. Accordingly, the Budget 2020 package has been reoriented to focus on maintaining that critical support, and supporting key infrastructure investments.

The Wellbeing Budget: Rebuilding Together package invests more than $3 billion in operating funding per year to ensure that government services continue to support New Zealanders through this extraordinary time. It provides $5.6 billion for the health sector, so it can respond to the pandemic while maintaining the sustainable delivery of existing services. It also invests $1.6 billion across the forecast period in both government and non-government social services, which will support New Zealanders' education, employment and housing outcomes.

While Budget 2020 does not include packages of initiatives oriented around each of the five Budget Priorities (as with Budget 2019 and announced in the Budget Policy Statement 2020), the investment announced today fundamentally underpins progress towards those objectives, and a continued focus on these priorities will be essential to making the enduring, intergenerational change that this Government is committed to achieving. In addition to investing in initiatives in line with Budget Priorities once circumstances permit, the Government will also continue to consider the effect that all our COVID-19 response and recovery measures will have more broadly on our ambitious programme of change.

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