Kiwi PM de­liv­ers her first Bud­get — now for baby

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - World -

New Zealand’s gov­ern­ment boosted spend­ing on wel­fare and pub­lic ser­vices yes­ter­day in a maiden Bud­get aimed at de­liv­er­ing on the prom­ises made dur­ing last year’s “Jacinda- ma­nia” elec­tion cam­paign.

Health ser­vices are the cen­tre­piece of the Bud­get’s spend­ing spree, af­ter Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern’s cam­paign prom­ises to help “left be­hind” vot­ers eked out a nar­row vic­tory for the Labour Party.

More than $NZ4 bil­lion ($A3.7 bil­lion) of ad­di­tional health spend­ing was fore­cast through to 2021-22, in­clud­ing $NZ850 mil­lion to fix run­down hos­pi­tals. Else­where an ex­tra $NZ1.6 bil­lion will be spent on schools to hire 1500 new teach­ers, along with a prom­ise of 6000 new pub­lic hous­ing dwellings.

“We can’t make up for nine years of ne­glect in just one Bud­get, but th­ese are the first steps in do­ing that,” Fi­nance Min­is­ter Grant Robert­son said.

Ms Ardern (pic­tured) is due to give birth to her first child next month.

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