The Finance and Expenditure Committee called for submissions on the Budget Policy Statement 2021. We continue remain very supportive of the Wellbeing Budget and commend the Government’s ongoing commitment to this approach. We continue to recommend the five priorities are addressed in a holistic way that leverages the interconnections between them, and with other economic, social and environmental matters, which all ultimately affect New Zealanders’ wellbeing.
Our submission focuses on additional detail that we consider is lacking in the Budget Statement, including clear and measurable targets covering short, medium and long-term milestones (including the long term sustainability of the tax base), as well as consideration of both the benefits to, and obligations placed on, businesses and employers. We also encourage the Government to conduct robust post implementation reviews which are critical for determining whether policies are working as intended.
We note that the pandemic response has appropriately been healthcare driven with the inclusion of economic support measures. It is now time for the Government to be agile and bold, ensuring that the country’s population is vaccinated at pace so that we are well placed to lead the economic recovery, and are able to open our borders in line with other countries to maximise international travel, hospitality and tourism, as well as international education opportunities. The Budget Statement sets this intent but action needs to follow in a way that balances both the urgency and the long term pursuit for prosperity.