A lot of spending but little reform (and little joy)

Those who wanted a lot of spending to be announced in the budget got that, but people wanting significant reform of tax and benefits and other social spending have been disappointed.

But there is a wild card lurking – some big announcements to come before the election?

The Covid recovery fund is a huge $50 billion which includes $36.1 billion in additional funding.

$15.9 billion is to be spend on the immediate response to try to get the economy going, with $20.2 billion put aside for future investment.

As usual Green leaders are trying to talk up their influence and achievements. James Shaw said the Budget shows what it means to have Green support in the government.

But an ex-Green MP is disappointed:

As is a Green candidate:

But I think those expecting radical reform in the budget were always going to be disappointed for several reasons:

  • There wasn’t time to work out how to do radical reform
  • There wasn’t time to consult before doing radical reform
  • The Government does not have a mandate to do major reform
  • The Labour Party aren’t very radical and don’t want to be seen as radical
  • NZ First

Budget website: https://budget.govt.nz/

James Shaw on Twitter:

Like the voice of @MaramaDavidson , who has led the @NZGreens campaign to end child poverty. Today’s Budget scales up the Food in Schools programme – which, when we were in Opposition, we fought for – from 8,000 to 200,000 students, with $218 million of new investment.

And @golrizghahraman, who has championed the rights of migrants and the refugees who will find it easier to rebuild their families after Budget 2020’s injection of $33 million into the family reunification system.

And @GarethMP, who for a decade, has pushed to get people into work insulating homes, making them warmer and more affordable. Budget 2020 puts an additional $56 million into the Warmer Kiwi Homes programme.

And @janlogie, who’s all of Government response to family and sexual violence has picked up an additional $202 million in today’s Budget.

And @_chloeswarbrick, whose work on behalf of students has helped secure a $20 million hardship fund to help students weather the pandemic crisis.

And @JulieAnneGenter
, who has helped to deliver $1.6 billion in the Budget’s infrastructure upgrade for metropolitan rail in Ack and Wellington, buses and cycling in Queenstown, Ackd’s new Skypath, as well as funding to help councils expand footpaths and roll out temp cycleways.

And, of course, @EugenieSage. It is because of her groundwork over the past two and a half years that today our government is able to scale up our investment in nature as the most essential infrastructure and the best job creator in Aotearoa.

Leave a comment


  1. Duker

     /  14th May 2020

    “It contains no additional increases to core benefits outside of the indexation changes”

    Duh that happened back in March….Winter energy payment doubled and $25 boost to
    basic benefit…which works out as an extra $45 per week. Around 20% increase.

  2. Pink David

     /  14th May 2020

    I’m sure these are all high skill, technology based jobs.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th May 2020

      Highly productive replacement for farm exports, not. NZ heads towards subsistence fantasy world with the unemployed sent out to direct wildlife while Greens sit in offices feeling important.

      • Gezza

         /  14th May 2020

        Pish tosh, Sir Alan

        Don’t be so negative. We might yet see an explosion of entrepreneurial activity from some commoners who’ve had time & opportunity to consider having a go at working for themselves. We’ll recover faster with a positive outlook & a give it a go attitude.

        Sir Gerald

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  14th May 2020

          The nature based jobs package will produce exactly what GDP per capita? I’m not negative, the policy is.

          • Duker

             /  14th May 2020

            Guess who had the Green jobs idea first back after 2009…the same people who first thought up the Tax Working Group

  3. Geoffrey

     /  14th May 2020

    6000 houses over four years? Big spend up on low manpower infrastructure projects? What about 10000 houses per year, just to keep pace with the demand, and many thousands employed? WTF not? Oh yes, the RMA is too hard to subject to “urgency” and dump it.


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