Internal Affairs Saves Taxpayers $421 Million In Budget 2024

Published: Tue 4 Jun 2024 03:19 PM
Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden says this Coalition Government is making sure that taxpayers’ money is being spent responsibly and is better focused on the services that matter most to New Zealanders.
“I am proud to announce that in my Internal Affairs portfolio, we found savings for the taxpayer of around $421 million, across the entire Internal Affairs Budget,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.
This Coalition Government is delivering on improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and responsiveness of departments.
“The savings come from $402.4 million in operating expenses, meaning cost-savings in back-office functions and low value spending programmes. We have also saved taxpayers $18.6 million in capital expenditure over the fiscal forecast period.”
“The savings also includes the return of $300 million from the repeal of the Three Waters Reform programme and $112.5 million from operating baseline savings,” says Ms van Velden.
The average operating baseline savings delivered by the Vote are $28.1 million from 2024/25, higher than the original target of $26.2 million. There is also a return of unused capital injections of $8.5 million over the fiscal forecast period.
“My Internal Affairs portfolio has contributed $90.4 million towards baseline savings over the next four years, an average of $22.6 million per year.
“In December 2023, I instructed the Department of Internal Affairs to review existing baseline expenditure and identify savings options focused on low value programmes, programmes that do not align to Government objectives, and non-essential back-office functions including contractor and consultant spend.
“The aim was to find 6.5% in operating savings to support the Government’s Initial Baseline Exercise, designed in part to deliver $1.5 billion on average per annum in operating savings as part of Budget 2024.
“I’m happy to confirm that Vote Internal Affairs has been able to provide operating baseline savings of 7%. The Department considered its activities and functions and was able to uncover greater opportunities for savings than initially targeted. It was also asked to identify other options, and in response subsequently identified additional savings.”
While these initial savings in Budget 2024 are significant, they are not the end of the process. I will continue to complete a line-by-line review of the Department to identify opportunities for efficiencies and cost-savings as one of my priorities for the Internal Affairs portfolio.
Regarding the repeal of Three Waters Reform programme, the Minister also notes that Budget 2024 includes $40.7 million of new funding for implementing Local Water Done Well.

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