PM: Transformation takes time
Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern believes people, including her future child, will look back on her Government as transformational.
But after Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivered a mostly cautious first Budget, Ardern said change would take time: ‘‘You don’t transform anything in one Budget. As a government we will be transformational.’’
Yesterday’s Budget was a long time coming for Labour – it has been a decade since the party’s last one was delivered by then-finance minister Michael Cullen.
Ardern said yesterday’s Budget was ‘‘a good start’’ – but ‘‘it is just a start’’.
Expectations have been building among Labour’s core supporters, particularly the teacher and nursing unions.
While health got a hefty rise in funding out of Robertson, he was less generous in education, earning his budget a rebuke as a ‘‘major disappointment’’ to teacher union the NZEI.
But Ardern disputed that education had been passed over, with the Budget delivering 1500 new teachers, the first universal increase in funding for early childhood education in 10 years, and extra support for 1000 more children with special needs.
But Labour had also felt the need to be cautious with memories of the global financial crisis, and Canterbury earthquakes fresh. That was why it committed to running surpluses. ‘‘Just having that little buffer protects us against those shocks,’’ she said.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson is congratulated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after delivering the Labourled coalition’s Budget for 2018 in the House of Representatives in Wellington.