If you’ve been following the news this past week, you might have heard that our Government has released this year’s Budget.
At its core, the Budget is about securing our recovery from Covid. It lays the foundations for coming out of the pandemic stronger by addressing long term issues while making sure we can continue to grow the economy, all while making sure we are still protected against the virus.
A few weeks ago, I visited the Covid-19 vaccination centre at East Care in Botany. It was incredible to meet some of the people on the frontline of our vaccine rollout. After seeing the challenging and precise work they’re doing, I was particularly proud of the $1.4 billion for the vaccine rollout in the Budget.
We’re taking a balanced approach that will create jobs, grow the economy and keep a lid on debt while tackling those long-term issues like child poverty. For example, one of the key initiatives in this year’s Budget is raising benefits by between $32 and $55 a week, in line with a key recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.
This money will help families put food on the table, buy shoes for kids and heat their homes, and ultimately, will help to lift up to 33,000 children out of poverty.
However, this initiative won’t just support Kiwi families – it will also create stimulus to bolster our economic recovery. This is money that gets spent in local communities so it will provide a boost for our businesses here in east Auckland.
We’re also continuing to upgrade infrastructure across New Zealand to drive economic growth. Budget 2021 includes a record $57.3b investment in infrastructure over the next five years that will create jobs and address the long-term underinvestment in infrastructure in New Zealand.
The Government is committed to a recovery that ensures our finances remain sustainable while tackling the long-standing challenges. With Budget 2021, we’re getting on with the job.
- Naisi Chen is a Labour List MP based in Botany