May 20, 2015
All eyes on Budget seven
Finance Minister Bill English delivers his seventh Budget today, with half the $1 billion in new spending set to go on health and education.
Mr English has dampened expectations of new initiatives, saying he’d rather give a bit to programmes that have shown they work.
There could be more upheaval for some Maori communities though, with the minister indicating housing shortages could be tackled through more Tamaki-style redevelopments of government-owned land in and around Auckland.
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says there will be a Maori Party hand in some of the initiatives, but the Government’s failure to deliver a surplus means departments have to live within their means.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Mr English’s election-year promise the books would be back in the black will cast a deep shadow over the Budget.
"That was an appalling lie. They never had a surplus. They were miles out of it. But they said it anyway and what I find difficult is how come these guys can get away with these things? If other politicians said that they would be down their throats, but the media have been playing it real soft on National for far too long," he says.
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