Budget 2021 is all about securing our recovery from COVID-19. We’re focusing on helping our more vulnerable children, building more houses and critical infrastructure, and tackling climate change.
The headline item is an increase in benefits. By this time next year, benefits will have been lifted to at least the levels recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. That will obviously help the lowest income people in our communities, but it will also help all our local businesses. We know that the extra money will be spent in our local shops, giving a much needed stimulus to our local economies. By helping our lowest income families, we help everyone.
We’re also putting more money into housing, partly by simply building more houses, and also by helping city councils fund infrastructure for housing. We know that one of the big barriers to getting more houses built is having the infrastructure for roads and electricity and water ready to go. We’re putting $3.8billion towards getting that infrastructure built. And of course, that will create jobs along the way.
The big decisions about climate change will only be made after the Independent Climate Commission makes its final report. In the meantime, we’ve committed to using the money generated by the Emissions Trading Scheme to help make the changes the Climate Commission recommends.
Out west, $28 million will be spent putting in place a National Pest Management Scheme for kauri dieback. I’ve been working on this ever since I was elected to Parliament and I’m thrilled that we now have a solid commitment to saving our beautiful and iconic kauri trees.
This is a bold budget that is absolutely focused on recovery and helping the most vulnerable in our community. I believe it will make a real difference to all of us.
MP for New Lynn