Budget 2017: What's been announced so far, what's tipped for today

Finance Minister Steven Joyce (2pm)

RELATED AUDIO: Rob Hosking has great expectations for Steven Joyce's first budget (May 22)

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UPDATE: Budget 2017 has been released. See NBR's coverage here.

EARLIER: Most pundits are expecting a package for low-to-middle income families to feature in Finance Minister Steven Joyce's first budget this afternoon.

Meaningful tax cuts seem to be off the agenda, despite an expected surplus but there could be some reshuffling of tax brackets to allow for fiscal drag.

And there will likely be a bit more in the pot for RNZ, the state-owned broadcaster that has had its budget frozen at $32 million a year since 2007. Most private media organisations were decimated over that period, of course, and would have killed to keep income at the same level [UPDATE: RNZ got an extra $11.4 million over four years.]

Journalists (including NBR's Rob Hosking, Calida Smylie and Jason Walls) will be analysing Budget 2017 in a lockup in Parliament's Banquet Hall from 10.30am. They and their stories will be released at 2pm.

All budget documents will be posted to www.budget.govt.nz from 2pm, the same time that Mr Joyce delivers his budget speech in the House.

Here's a quick wrap-up of what's been announced so far:

  • $4 billion in new infrastructure spending, including $1 billion for Kaikoura (part of an $11 billion package over four years);
     
  • $2.23 billion for 34,000 homes under an expanded Crown Building Programme over the next 10 years (funded through new borrowing);
     
  • $2 billion pay equity settlement for 55,000 aged care workers;$503 million for 1125 extra police staff and more round-the-clock policing;
     
  • $321 million for 14  "social investment" initiatives, including intervening early to help at-risk children;
     
  • $304 million to support New Zealand's film industry over the next four years, in part to attract more international productions;
     
  • $178 million for DOC and tourism infrastructure;
     
  • $91 million over four years for MFAT to pursue free trade deals and primary industries to develop value-added exports;
     
  • $74.6 million in extra funding for Callaghan Innovation Growth Grants (four-year total spending for Growth Grants is now $657.2 million);
     
  • $60 million boost for drug-buying agency Pharmac, taking its total funding for 2017/18 to $870 million;
     
  • $53 million for a New Zealand pavilion at the World Expo in Dubai in 2020;
     
  • $59 million over four years for double-crewing ambulances; 
     
  • $27 million for marae and Maori housing;
     
  • $27 million over three years for irrigation investments for farmers and growers; and
     
  • $21 million for Battle for our Birds conservation campaign.

Read also Rob Hosking's latest preview: Steven Joyce has some fat surpluses to play with.


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9 Comments & Questions

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Nonsensical comparison between RNZ and private media stations. RNZ doesn't have the ability to get income through advertising revenue, and it provides a public good. Private radio stations are for profit only, and if they can't manage to do so and collapse as a result we are none the poorer for it.

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Good to see RNZ doing well in ratings too. In these days of declining media standards I know a lot of younger Kiwis are starting to really appreciate their depth and execution. RNZ, NBR, Interest.co.nz ...there are still some decent sources around.

I'm sure there are still great journalists at the Herald / Dom etc. but they do suffer a bit from being drowned out by the constant noise of clickbait articles on their sites.

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Why give any money at all to Radio Red? Shut it down or, at the very least, make it stand on its own two feet through advertising and sponsorship.

Why should money be forcibly taken off me to fund the Labour/Green Parties' propaganda machine?

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Not to mention $27 million for marae and maori housing, Really. Why can't they do what everyone else has to do, and buy their own.

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One-eyed comment is one-eyed. What a lot of piffle.

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James I take it you would rather listen to Hosking and Williams on ZB, rather than consider an alternative view from other commentators.
As for Ivan he is west of right wing.
Remember Overseas Debt under last Labour Govt was just over $6b and since then, yes CHC earthquakes and GFC, Nats have it up to $100b.
And that is without contributing to Cullen Super Fund.
Oh Dear me, financial gurus those Nats.
.

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I (former National voter, never have voted Labour) don't begrudge National borrowing to spend through a recession. It's better than austerity, and both major parties would've done the same.

What I'm disappointed to see in this latest budget is an increase in taxpayer subsidies to property investors, via the accommodation supplement. Its distorting effect on rents does no favours for younger New Zealanders...it only really benefits older property investors - again.

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To be honest I try and get a good view from across the political spectrum; I don't have a problem with left-wing radio and tv presenters, nor right-wing ones. What I do have a problem with is having my pockets pinched to pay for them solely because not enough people are willing to listen to them for them to be able to get commercial funding.

If an enterprise doesn't think that it can get enough people to pay for its services then it shouldn't force people to pay for them through taxation.

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Cant get excited about a bunch of thieves giving me a fraction of the money they steal from me back..

Would be better to look at the waste in government 50% at least. Passing the money parcel WWF etc around taking a big cut to pay the bloated civil servants ( nothing civil about them and they regard us as the servants)..

We really have come to a bad position when we giggle with glee at getting to keep a tiny amount of our hard earned money from the bludger pollie classes

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