Bud­get sup­ports econ­omy

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place -

Bill English’s eighth Bud­get will be un­veiled on Thurs­day this week.

Bud­get 2016 will be de­liv­ered as our econ­omy con­tin­ues to out­per­form many oth­ers within the OECD group of de­vel­oped economies.

This has been achieved by care­ful man­age­ment of the coun­try’s fi­nances.

It al­lows us to in­vest more in the ser­vices that mat­ter most to New Zealan­ders like health and ed­u­ca­tion.

We’ve turned an $18.4 bil­lion op­er­at­ing hole in the Crown ac­counts into a mod­est sur­plus last year.

Sound fi­nances also per­mit Bud­get 2016 to have a strong fo­cus on our business growth agenda to fa­cil­i­tate a more pro­duc­tive, in­no­va­tive, and com­pet­i­tive econ­omy.

This in­cludes in­vest­ing in the training, skills, and in­no­va­tion needed in a grow­ing, mod­ern econ­omy for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

We’ve also an­nounced $14.4 mil­lion for more ap­pren­tices to get more peo­ple en­gaged in vo­ca­tional training and go­ing on to build life­long ca­reers.

Dis­cus­sions with our job ad­vi­sory board, job seek­ers, ap­pren­tices, training providers and em­ploy­ers in South Waikato have wel­comed fund­ing for more ap­pren­tice­ships.

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen some ex­cit­ing pre-bud­get an­nounce­ments in­clud­ing a Sme­friendly tax pack­age, mak­ing tax much sim­pler for small busi­nesses.

A $39 mil­lion in­crease in fund­ing for Phar­mac and a fur­ther $41 mil­lion over the next four years for emer­gency hous­ing and non-re­cov­er­able Spe­cial Needs Grants, fur­ther sup­port­ing fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als in need.

Our tourism and tech­nol­ogy sec­tors are also get­ting a real boost, and in ed­u­ca­tion, more kids that need it will have ac­cess to teacher aide help with a $15.3 mil­lion fund­ing in­crease.

What mat­ters with all ini­tia­tives, of course, is not how much ex­tra we’re spend­ing but rather the pos­i­tive re­sults they will de­liver for New Zealan­ders.

I’ll be hold­ing post-bud­get cof­fee catch ups around the elec­torate.

For in­for­ma­tion about th­ese, you can con­tact Is­abel in the elec­torate of­fice on (07) 886 5554 or by email Up­ston.sth­waikato@par­lia­ment .govt.nz.

❚MP Louise Up­ston

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