Budget 2023 delivers practical cost of living support for New Zealanders today and makes targeted investments to build a better future.
Here's how Budget 2023 supports New Zealanders today and builds for tomorrow:
We’re helping with health costs by removing the $5 co-payment for prescription medicines from July this year. It’s estimated three million people will no longer have to worry about the cost of collecting their medication. Removing the $5 charge will make it easier and cheaper for Kiwis to access the medicines they need, having a meaningful impact for many households, particularly those who have multiple prescriptions to fill on a regular basis.
We’re significantly reducing the costs of early childhood education for parents by extending 20 hours free ECE to two-year-olds. This will be a major saving for families and will reduce barriers for working parents to take on more hours if they can. Based on average costs in 2023, families who were not previously receiving childcare subsidies would save an estimated $133.20 a week in childcare costs if a two-year-old child attended ECE for at least 20 hours a week.
We’re permanently cutting the costs of public transport for young New Zealanders. We’re providing free fares on buses, trains and ferries for children aged 5 to 12 and half-price discounts for all passengers aged 13 to 24 from July this year. We’re also delivering better wages and working conditions for bus drivers and putting money on the table for councils to restore public transport services to pre-pandemic levels.
We’re reducing power bills by making Kiwi homes more energy efficient. In addition to the Winter Energy Payment, we’re helping to reduce power bills by hundreds of dollars a year through the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme. We are nearly doubling the existing retrofit programme that has reduced electricity use by 16% on average over the winter months.
We’re tackling pay and workforce pressures in the health system with a billion dollar boost that will increase pay rates and the number of nurses. This year’s Budget includes funding for 500 more nurses, a major investment to reduce waiting lists, and money to provide care closer to people’s homes.
We’re setting aside $6 billion to build back better with greater resilience from the recent Auckland floods and Cyclone Gabrielle, and to protect Kiwis from increasingly severe and unpredictable weather events. This is in addition to our $71 billion infrastructure plan over the next five years and will include future-proofing road, rail and local infrastructure such as telecommunications and electricity networks.
We’re positioning our economy for a low-emissions, high-wage future with a major investment into boosting our science, digital and horticultural technology sectors. As part of our work to grow the workforce of tomorrow, Budget 2023 also extends the Apprenticeship Boost initiative, which is estimated to support 30,000 Kiwis to upskill, and provides the biggest boost to tertiary subsidies in 20 years.
We’re building hundreds of new classrooms and more schools, as part of our work to ensure every Kiwi kid gets a great education. There’s also funding for free and healthy lunches in schools, support for Playcentre Aotearoa, extra money for teachers in education and care services and more support for students who need it most.
We’re continuing to build on the work we’ve done to tackle New Zealand’s long-standing housing shortage. Budget 2023 is delivering 3000 more public housing homes, supporting more people at risk of homelessness, building more houses for Māori, and those impacted by recent severe weather events.
We’re boosting investment in New Zealand’s transport network to make it more resilient to weather events and climate friendly. We’re accelerating the uptake of low-emissions vehicles by growing the number of public EV chargers across the country. We’re also building resilience into the roading network, with upgrades for slip prevention, flood mitigation and more.
Budget 2023 is the investment New Zealand needs right now. It eases cost of living pressures on households today, locks in funding for programmes that are already delivering for Kiwis, and continues to build towards a stronger, more resilient future
Over the past few years, we’ve delivered a plan that’s ensured New Zealand’s economy is performing better than it did during the Global Financial Crisis and better than most OECD countries.
We’re in a strong position to support households in the face of global inflation and the challenges of rebuilding following the extreme weather events, with unemployment at near record lows, wages rising faster than inflation and the Government’s books in solid shape.
Our focus will continue to be on the bread and butter issues that matter most to New Zealanders and continuing to move the economy in the right direction.
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