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Source: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Kia ora Evening,

Today, our Government released this year’s Budget, focused on securing our COVID recovery. I’ll go into more detail about what’s in the Budget and why it’s important below, but if you’re short on time, here are the key things you need to know:

Budget 2021 will lift up to 33,000 children out of poverty, with a major increase to weekly benefits.
The Budget is creating jobs. Forecasts show 221,000 more people will be in work and the unemployment rate will drop to 4.2%, thanks to our policies.
And it will do all this while growing the economy and ensuring New Zealand can come out of the pandemic stronger than before.

Those are three of the most important things to know about this year’s Budget (and if you want to let others know, you can share this graphic!), but I did want to take some time to explain in a little more detail how Budget 2021 will support the next steps in our recovery.

As we continue to respond to the uncertainty COVID has thrown our way, we know that our recovery plan has to be about more than just growing GDP and keeping debt down. As we do all we can to strengthen our economy, we must also prioritise the wellbeing of our people.

That’s why our Government has set out a Budget that achieves both. We’re taking a balanced approach that will create jobs, grow the economy and keep a lid on debt, while tackling long term issues like child wellbeing, housing and climate change.

Our work to tackle child poverty is a good example. Budget 2021 includes the largest increase to main benefits in a generation, raising benefits by between $32 and $55 a week, in line with a key recommendation of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. This will help to address inequality, and builds on the work we’ve already done to lift 40,000 children out of poverty. It will make a real difference for those families who need the most support.

But like many initiatives in the Budget, this policy is not just about helping families. It’s also about creating stimulus to bolster our economy through the recovery. Evidence shows that people on the lowest incomes are more likely to spend any extra earnings, supporting local businesses and helping to drive economic growth.

It’s what some people would call a “two birds, one stone” strategy: putting in place targeted policies that support our recovery, while also addressing long term challenges like inequality.

This is so important right now. There are uncertain times ahead, and COVID will be with us for some time. Because of this, it’s vital we continue to invest wisely and keep debt down – and we are doing that. But we’re doing it in a way that supports all New Zealanders so that together, we can come out of COVID even stronger.The Budget is just one part of our plan to secure our recovery, and I’ll keep you updated as we continue to navigate the challenges ahead. For now though, you can find a full overview of today’s Budget announcements, along with more information about our recovery plan, here.

Jacinda Ardern

P.S. Will you help us spread the news about today’s Budget? Share this graphic with your friends and family on Facebook to let them know how Budget 2021 will support New Zealand’s recovery.