Budget 2016 - Scoop Full Coverage

Published: Thu 26 May 2016 11:32 AM
Budget 2016 - Scoop Full Coverage

Parliament Live - LIVE Video Of Budget 2016 from 2pm
The 2016 New Zealand Budget will be delivered on Thursday 25 May.
Scoop will be updating this page with Budget announcements, reaction and analysis once the Budget is released at 2pm. Hit reload to see the latest version.
For the latest headlines and reaction see..
For the full text (when released) of the budget see...
For previous budgets see...
BUDGET 2015 - BUDGET 2014 - BUDGET 2013 - BUDGET 2012 - BUDGET 2011 - BUDGET 2010 - BUDGET 2009 - BUDGET 2008 - BUDGET 2007 - BUDGET 2007 - BUDGET 2006 - BUDGET 2005 - BUDGET 2004 - BUDGET 2003 - BUDGET 2002 - BUDGET 2001 & BUDGET 2000
For The Birds: Gordon Campbell On Yesterday’s Budget

Budgies, so their Wikipedia page says, are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. Which is a reasonably good description of Finance Minister Bill English eighth Budget. Especially when it comes to the mimicry bit about providing an adequate response to this country’s social and developmental needs.
In reality, the $1.6 billion of new investment will be spread desperately thinly, and targeted to virtual extinction. This modest amount will be dwarfed by the $2-3 billion programme of tax cuts that the Prime Minister is mooting for election year 2017. On past performance, those tax cuts will be frittered away on consumer spending…. and will only heighten the income inequality exacerbating the social problems that this Budget deliberately fails to address. More>>
Max Rashbrooke On The 2016 Budget
The best label for this year’s announcement by Bill English might be the ‘Bare Minimum Budget’. It does the bare minimum to defuse potential political damage in a range of areas – homelessness and health are prime among them – but almost nothing to address the country’s most deep-rooted, systemic social problems. Indeed the Budget hints that these problems may get worse. More>>

Max Rashbrooke: A Failure Of Measurement: Inside The Budget Lock-Up
Shortly after the embargo lifted at 2pm news organisations started filing reports claiming that health, and to a lesser extent housing and education, were the ‘big winners’ out of the Budget. It failed to take into account the fact that in most cases the apparent increases were in fact cuts. Because of the twin effects of inflation and population. More>>

Professor Ian Shirley: The Budget That Failed Auckland
The 2016 budget offered Auckland nothing in the way of vision or hope and it continued the National Government’s threats against the Auckland Council. Threatening the Council with over-riding its democratic processes if it fails to release land for housing is a bullying tactic aimed at diverting attention away from the fundamental problems with housing in the region. More>>
ALSO:Out-Link The Morgan Foundation - Fact check: John Key & Steven Joyce on housing
BusinessDesk Coverage
Population-Driven GDP Growth
Jonathan Underhill: Finance Minister Bill English has unveiled a rosier set of fiscal projections as the fastest population growth in 40 years drives economic growth and tax revenue, giving him room to spend more on health, law and order, and education while forecasting fatter surpluses. More>>
More From BusinessDesk:NZ dollar gains from 2-month lowNZDMO trims $8 bln from bond programmeJoyce flags extra $410.5 mln for scienceHouseholds, migrants and touristsDHBs big winner in English’s spend upIndustry’s ETS subsidy axedFlavell gets $17.8 mlnCarbon hits $15 a tonne benchmarkHiFX - HiFX Morning Update, May 27 2016Out-Link - Budget 2016: Fingers in the Dyke
Parliament Today Coverage Bill English’s Budget Dominates WeekTobacco Tax Bill Passes Under Urgency - Climate Change Bill Passes Under Urgency - Urgency to Pass Two Budget Bills

Budget Building Battle: Bill English Blames Council On Housing
The Nation: Finance Minister blames Auckland Council for housing shortage, saying it is responsible for land, housing and infrastructure supply in the city, while government provides rental subsidies.
“It is the council's responsibility. That's the deal…”
Also blames Auckland Council for growing homelessness. More>>
ALSO:The Policy Observatory - The budget that failed AucklandOut-Link The Morgan Foundation - Fact check: John Key & Steven Joyce on housingTVNZ - Q+A: Finance Minister Bill English interviewed by Corin Dann - Q+A: Grant Robertson interviewed by Corin DannThe Nation - On Lisa Owen interviews Grant RobertsonNZ Govt - $100m boost to develop Auckland housing - $36m for warmer, healthier homes - $258m to boost social housing - $652.1m Social Investment for vulnerable NZers - Housing momentum to be maintainedLabour - Housing crisis has huge impact on education - Government spend up on state house sell off - Budget offers no hope of fixing housing crisis - John Key fails New Zealand with no fix for housing crisisGreens - Govt must stop blaming and start building - Budget 2016 opts for future tax cuts over real investment - Budget catches National not caringNZ First - PM Stoops To ‘Bilge Rat’ Politics On Auckland Housing - Massive Immigration Impacting On Housing And Education - Peters Speech - Budget 2016: Does Nothing For HousingMaori Party - Māori Party continues to support housing solutionsAuckland Chamber of Commerce - Budget message to Auckland CouncilMark Thomas - Budget Says Auckland Council Needs To Do MoreThree Kings Community Action - Minister of Finance misinformed or mistaken on Three KingsHorowhenua District Council - Joint transfer to Community Housing ProviderNZ Property Investors Federation - Positives for housing in 2016 Budget do not go far enoughCaritas - No bricks and mortar in Budget’s new housing spendMake Lemonade - Budget – positive steps for NZ’s planning futureWellington City Council - Budget investment in science, arts and housing welcomedProperty Council Of NZ - Budget revealed strong growth projections for New ZealandAuckland Action Against Poverty - Budget an insult to the thousands without homesHarcourts - Vision needed to plan for NZ’s housing needsNZCID - Social Infrastucture winner from 2016 budgetCommunity Housing Aotearoa - Budget sticks a bigger band aid over NZ's housing crisisNZ Property Institute - Property Institute says Budget ‘misses opportunities’Thornton Communications - Queen of Property sees social housing as a moral obligationNZ Taxpayers' Union - More Money, Few Solutions for Housing CrisisMassey University - Falling home ownership to hit older people hard Invercargill:BusinessDesk - PACT Group backs out of Invercargill social housing contractNZ Govt - Government open to social housing optionsLabour - State house sell off in disarray after provider pulls outGreens - State-house shambles in InvercargillNZ First - State House Sell-Off A FailureState Housing Action - SHAN welcomes Pact decision Earlier - New 'Payment For Relocation' Plan:Max Reid - History Never RepeatsLabour - Scrambled announcement policy on the hoofGreens - National’s latest short-sighted housing schemeAuckland Action Against Poverty - Bennett’s latest housing move reeks of panicked desperation

DOCtored Figures: Minister Clarifies DOC Budget
“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget...” DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects. More>> ALSO:Greens - Dependence on corporates puts endangered whales at risk - Creative accounting can’t hide DOC budget cuts - Budget cuts continue National’s miserly underfunding of DOCNZ First - Budget 2016: Conservation Not a PriorityForest And Bird - Correction: Conservation funding to be clarified - EarlierTourism Industry Aotearoa - TIA dismayed at DOC funding cutsFederated Mountain Clubs - Trampers disappointed with DOC cutsNZ Recreation Association - NZRA concerned about lack of recreation investmentOut-Link The Morgan Foundation - Has DOC’s Funding Been Cut?Image - delayed project Department of Conservation - Mouse blitz team leaves for Antipodes
PM's Post Cab Presser 30/5/16: Budgets, Trusts And Pacific Diplomacy
Today Prime Minister John Key summarised last week’s budget and provided further detail about his upcoming trip to Fiji. He said that there has been “plenty going on” in the last couple of weeks and emphasised the need for Auckland council to facilitate more housing supply. More>>
From Parliament:
Government/NationalNZ Govt - $8.6m to streamline and protect border - Shifting the Levers of Education - Majority of schools will get funding increase - Bill heralds start of major care and protection reforms - Support for new Customs and Excise Act - Budget 2016: Maximising FTA implementation - Government continues to invest in school property - Warmer, safer rental home law passedNational - Budget investment will save Hutt Valley lives - Budget 2016 a big boost for Technology ValleyTobacco Excise Bill passes all stagesGovernment continues to invest in schools in WellingtonTe Pūnaha Hiringa: Māori Innovation Fund boost welcomedMinister clarifies DOC budgetSchool property investment continued in Canterbury
Labour\Government spend up on state house sell offNothing in Budget to help police to solve crimeReal wages go backwards for next two yearsHealth Map shows Government cutsThe give with one hand – take with the other BudgetBudget offers no hope of fixing housing crisisParents will pay more as school budgets frozenSticking Plaster Budget fails the testJohn Key fails New Zealand with no fix for housing crisisParekura would be proud – MTS gets boostLabour - Children’s Commissioner misses out in BudgetLabour - Minister celebrates while arts organisations face cutsLabour - Government spend up on state house sell off
GreensBudget comment: Arts funding down in BudgetBudget 2016 opts for future tax cuts over real investmentFreshwater Improvement Fund can also be used to polluteState-house shambles in InvercargillScrapping two-for-one in ETS not enough to save our climateBudget catches National not caringShock school funding freeze means parents pay moreBudget cuts continue National’s miserly underfunding of DOCGreen Party Co-leader James Shaw's 2016 Budget SpeechCreative accounting can’t hide DOC budget cutsMore money, not lip service, neededBudget comment: Arts funding down in Budget
NZ FirstPeters: Farmers Must Reject Being National’s DoormatBudget 2016: $40 Million for Unproven Whānau OraSupergold Travel Funding Inadequate, a SmokescreenNational Tells Many Kiwis To ‘Get Stuffed’Bowel Screening Programme Far Too Little, Far Too LateAddress in Reply, Budget 2016Budget 2016: Does Nothing For HousingBudget 2016: Virtually Another Frozen Police BudgetBudget 2016: Only Delivers a Couple of Pills for HealthGovt Outed Allowing Kiwirail to Die a Lingering DeathBudget: Cynically Playing Smoke And Mirrors With EducationBudget 2016: Conservation Not a PriorityFat People Hitting Smokers In The Pocket
The Maori PartyMaori Party$4m for extending micro-financing$40m boost for Whānau Ora$17.9m to support Māori landowners$5m to promote Māori voter participation$4m to commemorate New Zealand WarsMāori Party continues to support housing solutions$34.6m to support te reo Māori revival
ACTACT - Budget increases taxes on those in need - Budget 2016 splashes out on fat corporate welfare cheques
United FutureUnited Future NZDunne Speaks: Meanwhile, after the Budget ...A boring budget that identifies the right targetsMore funding for intelligence services must come at a price
Non-Parliamentary Political Reaction:Maori Party - Maori Party President Hails Benefits of Being “at the Table”Wellington City Council - Budget investment in science, arts and housing welcomedOtago Regional Council - ORC welcomes Government funding for fight against pest treesMark Thomas - Budget Says Auckland Council Needs To Do MoreLGNZ - Budget 2016 boost for regional economiesGreater Wellington Regional Council - GWRC welcomes new funding to improve water qualityThree Kings Community Action - Minister of Finance misinformed or mistaken on Three Kings
Health Sector Reaction:The Heart Foundation - Heart Foundation supports tobacco tax increase in BudgetNZ Private Surgical Hospitals Association - Increase in elective surgery a welcome reliefBowel Cancer NZ - Plan for full rollout of bowel cancer screening programmeAssociation of Salaried Medical Specialists - Funding shortfalls for health set to continue underNZNO - Government can do it when they want toNZ Medical Students' Assn - Budget’s focus on disease doesn’t go far enoughRoyal Australasian College of Physicians - The RACP welcomes additional funding for healthHHL Group - Budget overlooks the “forgotten” health sectorRoyal Australasian College of Surgeons - Funding boost for electives is a good start but more neededASH NZ - Increased Tobacco Tax Continues to 2020Rural General Practice Network - Trickledown benefits for rural health in Budget 2016Association of Salaried Medical Specialists - Time for an honest look at funding of public health systemHospital Redevelopment Partnership Group - Construction beginning for new Grey Base HospitalPharmacy Guild of NZ - Crucial areas of the NZ health sector adressed in Budget
Education Sector Reaction:Early Childhood Council - Budget delivers funding cut to early childhood educationEarly Childhood Council - Budget contemptuous of children with special learning needsBarnardos - Barnardos welcomes Budget help for childrenTertiary Education Union - More students but less moneyNZEI Te Riu Roa - Early childhood education faces yet another funding squeezeNZ Kindergartens - Budget-a big disappointmentBarnardos - Barnardos welcomes Budget help for children, more neededUniversity of Auckland - University of Auckland welcomes boost in research fundingTe Rito Maioha Early Childhood NZ - Budget 2016 insulting to early childhood educationVUWSA - Budget 2016: No real change to the lives of studentsChildForum - ECE spending increase won’t fix problemsUniversities NZ - Te Pokai Tara - Universities welcome Budget fundingNZUSA - More students but less moneyLincoln University - Lincoln University welcomes 2016 budget newsPukeko Research - The brave new world of school funding
Science and Tech Sector Reaction:Science Media Centre - Budget 2016: Improving water quality - Expert reactionMarsden Fund Council - Marsden Fund Council welcomes $66 million increaseMake Lemonade - Budget a boost for a digital nation – NZTech chief saysScience NZ - Most significant Budget for S in many yearsThe Royal Society of NZ - Advancing science with increased investmentNZ Association of Scientists - Continued Change amongst the Positive News for ScienceScience Media Centre - Science Deadline. This Week in Sci-Tech
Union Reaction:E tū - Nothing in Budget to settle historic equal pay case - E tū says Budget will entrench inequalityCTU - Budget 2016 – Working Kiwis deserve a better lifePublic Service Association - Public servants do the hard yards but still miss out
Welfare/Poverty Sector ReactionAuckland Action Against Poverty - Budget an insult to the thousands without homesCommunity Housing Aotearoa - Budget sticks a bigger band aid over NZ's housing crisisWomens Refuge - Women’s Refuge on Budget 2016Tick for Kids - 2016 Budget a missed opportunityTe Taumata o Ngati Whakaue Iho Ake Trust - Education is the Circuit-BreakerNZCCSS - Budget 2016 - Disappointed as No Measures to Address PovertySave The Children - Budget investment in vulnerable children welcomeEvery Child Counts - Budget 2016 not the game changer neededUNICEF NZ - Budget: A rain shower on drought-stricken landChild Poverty Action Group - Not the New Zealand we wantPasifika Futures Limited - Pasifika Futures pleased about funding for Whānau OraCaritas - No bricks and mortar in Budget’s new housing spendTe Pou Matakana - Budget's "meaningful recognition” of Whānau Ora and whānauWhangarei Child Poverty Action Group - Disappointing Budget fails children againParent Help - Parent Help Reply Budget
Finance, Tax & Analysis:Deborah Russell - BUDGET 2016: No real tax-related surprisesPwC - NZ Budget 2016: Another big Budget for healthcare - NZ Budget 2016: Is there room for tax cuts next year?Deloitte - Deloitte Budget commentary — 26 May 2016 - Budget offers no tax surprises, but are tax cuts on horizon? - Budget 2016 continues the pattern of fiscal prudence - Cybersecurity a platform for business growth and innovation - New health spend addresses symptoms but not core problemsChartered Accountants Australia and NZ - Budget 2016: sensible and safe, but more to be doneCPA Australia - Diversified economy supported by strong well-rounded budgetPHO Alliance - Health Strategy facing a missed opportunityPharmaceutical Society - Pharmaceutical Society delighted over extra health fundingMaxim Institute - Tax Tracker Web AppOut-Link The Morgan Foundation - Budget 2016: Help for struggling families comes at a price - Has DOC’s Funding Been Cut?
Business ReactionMYOB - MYOB gives tick for Budget’s impact on SMEsFederated Farmers - Farmers applaud responsible budget and urge tax cuts - Federated Farmers welcomes Freshwater Improvement FundNZ Property Institute - Property Institute says Budget ‘misses opportunities’Thornton Communications - Queen of Property sees social housing as a moral obligationBusinessNZ - Budget 2016 shows prudent economic managementXero - Good News for Small Business in Government Budget 2016Wellington Chamber Of Commerce - Budget continues a stable platform for business growthEmployers And Manufacturers Association - Budget 2016: No Surprise Approach for Business says EMARCSA - RCSA gives tick to BudgetAuckland Chamber of Commerce - Budget that keeps New Zealand on tracks, but with some gapsNZCID - Social Infrastucture winner from 2016 budgetHarcourts - Vision needed to plan for NZ’s housing needsAuckland Chamber of Commerce - Budget message to Auckland CouncilImperial Tobacco - Tobacco Excise Increase To Drive Illegal MarketIrrigation NZ - IrrigationNZ applauds Freshwater Improvement FundProperty Council Of NZ - Budget revealed strong growth projections for New ZealandRetail NZ - Tobacco Tax Hikes May Put Retail Workers At RiskNZ Property Investors Federation - Positives for housing in 2016 Budget do not go far enoughBritish American Tobacco - Alternative to Tobacco Tax Hikes
EnvironmentForest And Bird - Correction: Conservation funding to be clarified - Budget ‘16 a tragedy for the environmentFish and Game NZ - Taxpayers still cleaning up after pollutersNZ Recreation Association - NZRA concerned about lack of recreation investmentFederated Mountain Clubs - Trampers disappointed with DOC cutsCaritas Aotearoa - ETS subsidy removal one small step on long roadTourism Industry Aotearoa - TIA dismayed at DOC funding cutsGeneration Zero - Slow phaseout of ETS pollution subsidy a let downNZ Landcare Trust - Government Support for Landcare Other ReactionPeter King Publishing - Website Challenges Defence CostsNZSO - NZSO receives $1.2 million funding increase in Budget 2016Grey Power NZ - Grey Power Greets Budget with Cautious OptimismCommunity Law Centres - Funding for Community Law offers certaintyMaori TV - $10.6 million investment in new technology to support MāoriNZ Police Association - Police Association: Status quo budget for policeMake Lemonade - Budget – positive steps for NZ’s planning futureNZ Taxpayers' Union - Sneaky Tax Hike Will See Households, Motorists Paying More - Give up the Money, Save Some Lives for World Smokefree Day - Government Choosing Tax Revenue Over Lives - The Size of the Beast Keeps Growing - ETS Changes a Tax Hike with Lipstick - Kiwirail or Kiwifail? - More Corporate Welfare in Budget 2016 - More Money, Few Solutions for Housing Crisis - Smoking Tax Hike Morally Questionable
(Note see also pre-budget announcements below)
Scoop Video: Inside The Budget 2014 Lockup
The Budget Speech English: Budget Speech
UPDATE 14/7/16: Budget 2016 Information Release
English On The Budget: Investing In A Growing EconomyBudget 2016 invests in a growing economy with significant new funding for innovation, infrastructure, the health sector and the most vulnerable New Zealanders while still managing the finances tightly and repaying debt, Finance Minister Bill English says. More>>
ALSO:Budget 2016: OverviewKey: Budget supports growing economyGovt books show rising surpluses, falling debt
Fact Sheets
Infrastructure & Economy$111.5m to support NZers into employment$761.4m for an Innovative New Zealand$357.9m invested in key transport projects$2.1b investment in public infrastructure$857m to deliver a modern tax system
Maori$49m to strengthen Whānau-centred services$17.8m to create Māori Land Service$34.6m boost for te reo Māori
Education$258m to boost social housingAnnual Education Investment To Exceed $11bExtra support for most at-risk studentsExtra support for students with special needs$882.5m investment in school property
Welfare$652.1m Social Investment for vulnerable NZersAdditional Budget support for Pacific peoples$347.8m for care and protection of young peopleFinancial help boosted for low-income earners
HealthHealth investment increases to a record $16.1b$96m to further increase elective surgery ratesBowel screening programme roll-outBudget 2016: $10m extra for Hutt Valley DHBBudget 2016: $6m extra for Whanganui DHBBudget 2016: $32m extra for Southern DHBBudget 2016: $19m extra for Capital & CoastBudget 2016: $15m extra for Lakes DHBBudget 2016: $11m extra for Nelson Marlborough DHBBudget 2016: $18m extra for MidCentral DHBBudget 2016: $32m extra for Bay of Plenty DHBBudget 2016: $55m extra for Waikato DHBBudget 2016: $3m extra for Wairarapa DHBBudget 2016: $28m extra for Northland DHB - Budget 2016: $3m extra for West Coast DHBBudget 2016: $5m extra for South CanterburyBudget 2016: $51m extra for Auckland DHBBudget 2016: $8m extra for Tairawhiti DHBBudget 2016: $56m extra for Counties ManukauBudget 2016: $51m extra for Waitemata DHBBudget 2016: $9m extra for Taranaki DHBBudget 2016: $13m extra for Hawke’s Bay DHBExtra $9.7m for West Coast redevelopment
Housing$100m boost to develop Auckland housing$36m for warmer, healthier homes
Law, Order, Defence & SecurityGovernment invests in New Zealand’s securityExtra $19.7m for Crown prosecutionsExtra $6.2m to increase Civil Defence capability$208m investment boost for Justice$96m for legal aid and community law centres$355.6m funding boost for Corrections$299.2m in additional funding for PoliceDefence Force receives $300.9m new funding
Art, Culture And Sport$11.6m new funding for the arts
Trade and Foreign AffairsLow-risk travellers streamlined at the border
Canterbury RebuildGovernment backing Christchurch regeneration
EnvironmentETS one-for-two subsidy to be phased out$16m new funding to tackle wilding conifersNew $100m fund to improve water quality
Other StuffTobacco excise to rise 10 per cent per annum$69.8m towards eliminating bovine TB
Parliament Today - Ministers Turn Focus to Budget 2016Parliament Today - Budget Statement & Debate - Questions & Answers - May 25 - Preview of Budget Week

Budget Day: Two “incidents” Outside Parliament; Man Arrested, Area Cordoned Off
A man was taken into custody after an incident on Parliament grounds this morning. And this afternoon police were called to a second incident near the rear of Parliament. More>>
Government Pre-Budget Announcements:Key: Your briefing note ahead of tomorrow’s BudgetPre-Budget Speech to the Wellington Chamber of CommerceMore Partnership Schools to openNew Funding for Pacific Employment Service$14.4m for more apprentices$9.6m to meet growing demand for Training$97m extra for health research$15m to commercialise new Kiwi hi-techCycle trail funding boosts regions$20m for high performance sport & anti-dopingTourism sector gets further boostMore kids to get teacher aide helpGovt well-placed to deliver responsible Budget$12.6m increase for Māori Housing3000 emergency housing places fundedBattle for our Birds$22.2m to boost cyber security - John Key: Speech to Cyber Security Summit - Ministerial Address to 2016 Cyber Security Summit$39 million extra for PharmacSME-friendly tax package - Pre-Budget Speech to Business New Zealand event
Other Parties' Wish Lists:Labour - Fall in Police investigations funding must be fixed - Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English - Dairy exports fall of 11% - Budget must deliver on paid parental leave - Budget building materials policy backfires - Grant Robertson: Pre Budget Speech - Andrew Little: Pre-Budget Speech 2016 - Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget - Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand - Most principals say their college is underfunded - 26 weeks paid parental leave the best Mother’s Day present - Government to Reserve Bank - Rock or Hard Place? - Scientists 'gasping for oxygen' under National - Coleman’s ‘efficiencies’ strangling healthGreens - Government cuts Warm-Up programme that saves lives - Will National’s eighth budget finally show some vision? - Greens want strong leadership on housing in Budget 2016 - Bridges and viewing platforms among unsafe DOC structures - $700 million urgently needed to boost public health system - Taking tax cuts off the table the right move - Unemployment and housing crisis trump Crown accounts - Govt must increase DOC funding across the board - 2016 Budget must close multinational tax loopholesNZ First - Budget Will Reflect Mass Immigration Obsession - PetersMaori Party - Building on the Māori trades training legacyACT - The biggest thing that’s not in the Budget - Do you feel rich at $70K? - Free Press: Tax Cuts - No tax cuts, no spine
Elsewhere:Public Service Association - Budget 2016: Value public services, value New ZealandersRCSA - Pre budget announcements good for employment.Child Poverty Action Group - Band-aids won't do it for the 2016 BudgetNZ Taxpayers' Union - Tax Freedom Day 2016 This Thursday (Budget Day)NZEI - Urgent housing action needed for children's well-beingNZNO - New Zealand’s health budget must keep up with needAra Taiohi - Government challenged to prioritise support for young peopleDemocrats for Social Credit - Budget Will Not Address $4.5 Billion Wasted Spending

Economic Omens: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations
Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>
ALSO:Fonterra - Fonterra Announces Forecast Farmgate Milk Price for 2016/17Federated Farmers - Milk price prediction means prolonged doubt for farmersFonterra Shareholders' Council - $4.25 Per Kg/Ms a Tough Number for Farmers to HearStatistics NZ - Higher fruit exports offset dairy fallLabour - Dairy exports fall of 11%WorkSafe NZ - Fonterra Co-operative wins major health and safety award

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need
NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>
ALSO:NZ Govt - Progress maintained on national health targets - Health target results by DHBGreens - $700 million urgently needed to boost public health systemNZ Council of Trade Unions - Health funding needs $691 million to maintain servicesNZNO - Extra funding needs by DHBsAssociation of Salaried Medical Specialists - Senior Doctors Urge Govt to Properly Fund Public HealthNewtown Union Health Service - Budget needs to prioritise primary health

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy
The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>
ALSO:The Nation - On Pre-Budget DebateTVNZ - DoC is Not Underfunded: MinisterLabour - Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand - Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand - Andrew Little: Pre-Budget Speech 2016 - Grant Robertson: Pre Budget SpeechNZ First - Speech: When New Zealand was all about fairnessJo Bond - Petition to Increase RNZ's Funding in this year's Budget

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open
Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>
ALSO:NZ Govt - Under-Secretary welcomes support Partnership SchoolsGreens - More charter schools not the answerPPTA - Charter school ‘pilot’ fooling no one - PPTA

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference
The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>
ALSO:BusinessDesk - Key looks to 2017 and beyond for tax cutsLabour - Key plucks $3b out of thin air - reckless and irresponsible - Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to EnglishACT - "Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” says Key on tax cuts

Budget: English Takes Election Year Tax Cuts Off The Table
In his traditional pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, English said the government would prioritise repaying government debt over new spending and tax cuts in the next five years.In his traditional pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, English said the government would prioritise repaying government debt over new spending and tax cuts in the next five years. More>>
ALSO:BusinessDesk - Key looks to 2017 and beyond for tax cutsRobert Kelly - Post Cabinet Press Conference: Houses and TaxesNZ Govt - Pre-Budget Speech to the Wellington Chamber of CommerceGreens - Taking tax cuts off the table the right moveACT - No tax cuts, no spineNZ Taxpayers' Union - National Should Stop Pretending It Stands For Lower TaxesBUT:Labour - Key plucks $3b out of thin air - reckless and irresponsibleACT - "Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” says Key on tax cuts

Budget 2016: 3000 Emergency Housing Places Funded
For the first time, the Government will pay for about 3000 emergency housing places across the country per year so people have access to a roof over their head when they need it most. More>>
ALSO:NZ Govt - Budget 2016: $12.6m increase for Māori HousingLabour - Emergency housing inevitable in national crisisGreens - Housing crisis will lead to more Aucklanders sleeping roughCommunity Housing Aotearoa - Emergency Housing Measures Welcomed

Crown Accounts: NZ Govt Posts Surprise Budget Surplus In First 9 Months
The New Zealand government posted a budget surplus in the first nine months of the financial year, against a Treasury forecast for a deficit, reflecting tax revenue that rose faster than Crown expenses. More>>
ALSO:The Treasury - Financial Statements for the nine months ended 31 March 2016NZ Govt - Govt well-placed to deliver responsible BudgetGreens - Unemployment and housing crisis trump Crown accounts

Budget 2016: Battle For Our Birds Catches $20.7Mil
The largest pest control operation in New Zealand’s history will be launched this winter in response to a pest plague which threatens vulnerable native wildlife, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says. More>>
ALSO:Greens - Govt must increase DOC funding across the boardNZ First - NZ First Backs Ground Control of Pests - Not 1080 DropsEnvironmental Defence Society - EDS welcomes Battle for our Birds 2 funding boostImage Out-Link - bird armour | Flickr

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac’s Grudging Concession To Reality
Is this any way to run a health system… whereby terminally ill patients are forced into public demonstrations before the government (and its funding agency Pharmac) will grudgingly provide the money for life-saving treatments freely available and publically funded in Australia for the best part of a year? More>>
ALSO:Gordon Campbell - Earlier On Pharmac’s indefensible stance on the new melanoma drugs - March On Pharmac’s unequal battle over the funding of KeytrudaNZ Govt - Budget 2016: $39 million extra for PharmacGreens - Pharmac funding still shortUnited Future - Dunne SpeaksMelanoma NZ - Melanoma New Zealand delighted with OPDIVO registrationMedicines NZ - Medicines New Zealand Welcomes Investment AnnouncementBusinessDesk - TPP's biologics data protection will push up health-care costs

Pre-Budget: Computer Emergency Response Team, Assemble!
John Key told the country's first ever Cyber Security Summit in Auckland that the government had earmarked funding set up a national Computer Emergency Response Team to help prevent and act on cyber incidents in partnership with the private sector and other organisations. More>>
ALSO:Gordon Campbell - Gordon Campbell on the govt’s token plans for cyber-securityBusinessDesk - Industry to advise on new cyber crime unit - Cyber-attacks a standard part of doing business with ChinaNZ Govt - Budget 2016: $22.2m to boost cyber security - Nominations open for new CERT Advisory Board - John Key: Speech to Cyber Security Summit - Ministerial Address to 2016 Cyber Security Summit

Pay As You Go: Budget Plans For Business Tax
• Provisional tax is being reformed, with a new pay-as-you-go option giving up to 110,000 small businesses a way to pay tax as they earn income from 1 April 2018.
• Use-of-money interest will be eliminated or reduced for the vast majority of taxpayers... More>>
ALSO:BusinessDesk - Key announces major provisional tax changes for businessMartin Doyle - Martin Doyle cartoon: We all hate taxNZ Govt - Key: Pre-Budget Speech to Business New Zealand event - Tax changes latest move to help small businessLabour - Provisional tax reforms don’t go far enoughNZ First - Imitation is the Sincerest Form of FlatteryACT - Pay-as-you-go provisional tax a win for businessesBusiness NZ - Tax simplification welcomedDun and Bradstreet - Dun & Bradstreet welcomes push for tax transparency in NZChartered Accountants Australia and NZ - SMEs in particular stand to benefit from tax proposalsTax Management NZ - TMNZ happy with government’s revamp of business taxNZ Taxpayers' Union - Taxpayers' Union Welcomes SME Tax PackageSmall Business Voice - Provisional tax changes welcomed by small businessXero - Small business wins with new Provisional Tax System
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