Win­ners and losers aplenty on big day of spend­ing

The New Zealand Herald - - News - Lucy Ben­nett

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Peters called it the Bud­get in which cap­i­tal­ism would re­gain its hu­man face.

So Her­ald data ed­i­tor Chris Knox crunched num­bers to see which ar­eas won big in the Bud­get.

Among those whose ap­pro­pri­a­tions in­creased in this year’s Bud­get over 2017 in­clude Min­istry of Health (the big­gest win­ner — up 10.2 per cent or $1.68 bil­lion), Oranga Ta­mariki — Min­istry for Chil­dren (up 7.6 per cent, $67.5 mil­lion) and the Min­istry of So­cial De­vel­op­ment (up 7.1 per cent or $1.79b).

Ed­u­ca­tion re­ceived a fund­ing boost of 4.7 per cent, or $698m. But in this en­vi­ron­ment where much has been made of gen­der in­equal­ity, the pay gap and the #MeToo move­ment, the Min­istry for Women re­ceived an in­crease of only 1.9 per cent, or $101,000.

Still that was a big­ger per­cent­age in­crease than Jus­tice, which re­ceived a pal­try 0.3 per cent in­crease, or $4.4m.

An­other law and or­der ser­vice — po­lice — re­ceives a 5.5 per cent boost, or $98m. That’s less than Cor­rec­tions, which is re­ceiv­ing a 9.6 per cent boost ($43m).

In what has been dubbed the “green­est Bud­get ever”, Con­ser­va­tion has re­ceived a boost on last year of 9.6 per cent, or $43m. But the En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry has lost 14.9 per cent, or $141.9m.

Among the big­gest win­ners in this year’s Bud­get were De­fence (up 25 per cent or $62.9m), In­land Rev­enue (up 22.1 per cent, $1.3b) and NZSIS (up 19.3 per cent, $13.2m).

Fly­ing in the face of the “hu­man face” of cap­i­tal­ism, other big ben­e­fi­cia­ries in­cluded MBIE, The Of­fice of the Om­buds­man, Trea­sury, and the GCSB.

On per­cent­age terms, the big­gest loser was the Of­fice of the Prime Min­is­ter and Cab­i­net, whose fund­ing dropped a mas­sive $43.9 per cent in fund­ing, or $60m.

And some of our watch­dogs are among the big­gest losers — the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice, Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice, State Ser­vices Com­mis­sion, In­ter­nal Af­fairs and Of­fice of the Con­troller and Au­di­tor-Gen­eral.

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