The concept of a Wellbeing Budget has the broad support of Kiwis, though many are not entirely on board with the Government's five key priorities.
A Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) public poll result out today (29 May), ahead of tomorrow's Wellbeing Budget, shows nearly two thirds (62.8 percent) of respondents agreed with the shift to a long-term inter-generational wellbeing approach for Budgets, away from the traditional narrower focus on economic and tax policy.
However, nearly half (46.4 percent) did not support all five of the Government's wellbeing priorities, some of which only received lukewarm support. Of the priorities, reducing child poverty was the highest personal priority of 45.9 percent of respondents; supporting a thriving nation in the digital age was next (21.2 percent).
More than a quarter (26.3 percent) of respondents indicated they were unsure about the merits of the shift to a wellbeing-focused Budget.
"Our poll shows that, while there is strong support for an overall wellbeing approach, the Government has a big job ahead of it in tomorrow's Budget to deliver on public expectations," said Peter Vial, New Zealand Country Head for CA ANZ.
"Is the Wellbeing Budget just clever packaging or truly a new and better way of doing things? We'll have a better idea tomorrow."
Vial said a true commitment to a wellbeing approach will need to be given time to succeed. "Measuring that success won't be easy – it will require putting in place robust evaluation tools and a Government commitment to transparency of the results, good or bad."
The CA ANZ poll also asked respondents to put aside the Government's five Wellbeing Budget priorities and think about which traditional Budget priorities are most important to them.
That question showed healthcare is clearly Kiwis' number one issue with 46.7 percent declaring it their top priority for tomorrow. Housing (33.8 percent), poverty (30.7 percent) and education (30.6 percent) were the next highest priorities.
"These are the nitty gritty areas New Zealanders want the Government to deliver on," said Vial. "So far we have seen a lot of aspiration for the Wellbeing Budget."
"Tomorrow the Government has to show it has solid foundations in place from which it can deliver on its priorities."
About the poll
- Conducted by Ipsos
- Number of respondents – 762
- The poll was conducted between 9 and 14 May, inclusive
- Result are weighted to be nationally representative of NZ Census population figures.
The Wellbeing Budget
The Government says the 2019 Budget is about tackling New Zealand’s long-term challenges.Read the five priorities
CA ANZ coverage for Budget 2019
Expert commentary and analysis leading up to and on the day of the Budget.Read More