Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Squeezed middle to benefit from Coalition Government’s first Budget 

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Gladys Hartson | Senior Journalist

Health, Education and Law and Order and the ‘squeezed middle’ are the big winners in the first budget for the National-led coalition government.

But what does the budget look like  for Pacific peoples?

There appears to be no new funding specifically committed to Pacific Peoples. 

However, as part of the government cutbacks to the  public service, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples is expected to make a ‘savings’ of 7.5 percent roughly around $5million.  

The Tupu Tai Pasifika Public Sector Summer Internship Programme will remain however the programme’s funding has been cut by $200,000. 

Pacific Cooperation Funding that is funded through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will cease. 

At a glance here are main spend areas: 

  • $3.44 billion for hospital and specialty services and $2.12 billion for primary care and public heah.
  • $31.2 million to gradually extend free breast screening to 70- to 74-year-olds.
  • $1.77 billion for Pharmac to ensure continued access to medicines New Zealanders rely on.
  • $24 million for Gumboot Friday to deliver mental health services to young Kiwis.
  • $1.48 billion to build new schools and classrooms and to maintain and upgrade existing ones.
  • $516.4 million to support schools and early childhood education providers, plus $153.3 million to establish charter schools.
  • $477.6 million to continue the Healthy School Lunches programme for two years.

As promised before the election, Finance Minister Nicola Willis has delivered tax ‘relief’ which will benefit up to 83 percent of New Zealanders and should help ease the high cost of living.

Government will increase personal income tax thresholds, expand eligibility for the independent earner tax credit, increase the in-work tax credit and introduce FamilyBoost.

Families receiving the in-work tax credit will get up to an extra $50 per fortnight, supporting an estimated 160,000 families.

The new FamilyBoost payment will help an estimated 100,000 families with young children meet the costs of early childhood education.

All tax changes apply from 31 July 2024, apart from FamilyBoost which applies from 1 July 2024. 

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