Kiwi PM delivers her first Budget — now for baby
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.