10 highlights of Budget 2021

This year’s Budget is focused on securing our recovery while tackling long term issues like child wellbeing, housing and climate change. It’s full of initiatives to help us meet the challenges of COVID-19 and come out stronger on the other side.

There’s a lot in Budget 2021 – here are 10 key things you need to know.

1. Up to 33,000 children lifted out of poverty

We’re boosting adult benefit rates by between $32 and $55 per week, in line with a key Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommendation. This will support our work to tackle child poverty – with up to 33,000 children expected to be lifted out of poverty thanks to Budget 2021.

2. More than 200,000 people in work

Treasury forecasts show that 221,000 more people will be in work over the next four years, as we continue with our recovery and the initiatives set out in Budget 2021.

3. $175 a week better off

Thanks to the changes made by our Government since 2017, more than 100,000 families will be, on average, $175 a week better off. This includes the benefits increases in this year’s Budget.

4. Around 16,000 people supported into careers or training

Through Budget 2021, we’ve reinstated the Training Incentive Allowance for higher level study. The Training Incentive Allowance supports sole parents, carers and people with disabilities with study costs, such as fees, books, transport and childcare. This removes barriers to accessing further training, helping people get the skills they need for a career and ultimately, get into work.

5. 47,700 warmer homes (and cheaper power bills)

We’re making homes healthier and reducing families’ energy bills by providing an extra 47,700 heating and insulation retrofits. The extra funding in Budget 2021 for our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme is good for people and the planet – making more Kiwi homes warmer and more energy efficient, and reducing our emissions.

6. More whānau in homes

We’re already rolling out a package of measures to get more Kiwis into homes. With Budget 2021, we’re taking the next steps. We know that Māori are less likely to own their own home and are more likely to face homelessness, so the Budget includes a suite of initiatives designed to help more whānau into homes, while creating jobs and driving our economic recovery.

7. $300m for low carbon technology

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Budget 2021 helps us to meet this challenge, with a funding boost for Green Investment Finance, to accelerate investment in low carbon technology, renewable energy, and low emissions vehicles.

8. More cochlear implants

We’re funding more cochlear implants for adults, almost doubling the number of people who can access the life-changing device.

More New Zealanders with severe hearing loss will now be able to access cochlear implants, making it easier for them to work and socialise with family and friends.

9. More medicines, treatments and lifesaving devices

We’re providing an extra $200m to Pharmac so more New Zealanders can access the medicines, treatments and medical devices they need. This increase will help 370,000 patients a year.

10. ...and we’re doing all this while continuing to manage the economy responsibly.

Budget 2021 is focused on securing our recovery from COVID-19. To ensure we can weather the challenges ahead, we need to continue to manage the economy responsibly and keep a lid on debt. At the same time, we’re committed to supporting the people and places that need it the most, so we don’t leave anyone behind.

This means making sure that we target investments at initiatives that not only drive economic growth, but also help us tackle long term challenges like inequality, child poverty, housing and climate change.

Find out more about this year’s Budget here. Not really sure what a Government Budget is? Check out this explainer.

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