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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard



Question No. 1—Finance

1. INGRID LEARY (Labour—Taieri) to the Minister of Finance: What are the priorities for Budget 2023?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister of Finance): Budget 2023 has been put together under another set of challenging circumstances, including cost of living pressures, extreme weather events, and a difficult global environment. The Government has four priorities in tomorrow’s Budget as we navigate a pathway through this testing time. They are supporting New Zealanders with the cost of living, delivering the services New Zealanders rely on, recovery and resilience, and fiscal sustainability. Budgets are always a balancing act. Budget 2023 recognises that we need to look after people while at the same time moving back to a more sustainable fiscal position after the emergency spending required to get us through COVID.

Ingrid Leary: How is the Government meeting its priorities in Budget 2023?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Budget 2023 is striking a careful balance to support New Zealanders with the costs they are facing in the here and now while charting a course for a more productive and resilient economy. We are carefully considering our spending and have made trade-offs to keep our balanced approach. The ongoing costs of the recovery from weather events will be met within Budget allowances. This means we have put responding to the cyclone ahead of some other areas Ministers would have liked to focus on. Budget 2023 will continue to invest in essential public services and building a resilient infrastructure network while carefully managing our resources to ensure the long-term sustainability of our economy.

Ingrid Leary: What has the Government announced to support the priorities in Budget 2023?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: The Government has already announced a $1 billion flood and cyclone recovery package as part of Budget 2023. It covers issues such as rebuilding roads, rails, and schools, and also support for mental health, while preparing for future events with a big investment in flood protection measures. These investments will help ease the pressure on local communities already struggling with the cost of living from having to foot the full recovery build. We’re partnering with local government to make sure cost isn’t a barrier to getting recovery work done, and the package adds to the $800 million already provided in support.

Ingrid Leary: What other announcements have been made to support the priorities in Budget 2023?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: One announcement that has been made in advance of the Budget is that we will be continuing to invest in addressing climate change. Budget 2023 will support funding for emissions reductions, with a $300 million boost to New Zealand Green Investment Finance Ltd (NZGIF) to develop low-carbon projects, drive down emissions, and create jobs. This takes the NZGIF’s pool of capital to $700 million, making it one of the largest direct investors in New Zealand focused on climate change. Budget 2023 is a wellbeing Budget. It is about doing the right thing by New Zealanders facing cost of living pressures but also looking ahead to what we need to do to deliver higher-wage jobs with low emissions and economic security for all.