Ardern puts bil­lions into health and hous­ing

The West Australian - - WORLD -

New Zealand’s Labour Gov­ern­ment has de­liv­ered a run of fis­cal sur­pluses on top of multi­bil­lion-dol­lar spend­ing sur­prises for health, ed­u­ca­tion and hous­ing in its first Bud­get un­der Jacinda Ardern.

“I want my child to look back on the his­tory books and judge me and this Gov­ern­ment favourably,” the pregnant prime min­is­ter told Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

“If we’re not here for kids or the fu­ture of the coun­try they live in, why are we here? If our Bud­get isn’t about peo­ple, what is it for? On both ac­counts this gov­ern­ment is happy to be judged.”

Af­ter plenty of good­ies in De­cem­ber’s half-year mini-Bud­get and an­nounce­ments in past months, the coali­tion Labour-led gov­ern­ment had been play­ing down the odds of an­other splurge.

But it pointed to the need to re­build af­ter what it de­scribed as nine years of un­der­fund­ing of schools and hos­pi­tals un­der the pre­vi­ous cen­tre-right Na­tional gov­ern­ment.

Yes­ter­day’s Bud­get — the first from a Labour-led gov­ern­ment in a decade — led with a $NZ3.2 bil­lion boost to health-oper­at­ing fund­ing over four years and $NZ1.6 bil­lion for schools. Hous­ing at­tracted $NZ1 bil­lion to build 6400 state houses.

Jacinda Ardern yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.