- Budget 2019 seeks to broaden the focus beyond economic and fiscal policy by adding wellbeing priorities
- Implementation of this new approach to budgeting and policymaking will be key
- Measurement will also be critical
The Coalition Government says its Wellbeing Budget 2019 represents an important step towards embedding wellbeing in New Zealand's public policy.
It is seeking to broaden the Budget's focus beyond economic and fiscal policy by using the Treasury's Living Standards Framework to inform the Government's investment priorities and funding decisions.
Implementation of this new approach to budgeting and policymaking will be key. "It will be an organic process that plays out over the years ahead, and we need to give it time to succeed," said Peter Vial FCA, Group Executive Advocacy & Professional Standing, New Zealand and the Pacific.
"That said, it is critical that success is measured robustly and transparently along the way."
"Given the new approach requires achievement of social and environmental outcomes as well as traditional financial outcomes, measuring success won't be easy."
The Government has identified five priorities for Budget 2019:
- Creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low-emissions economy
- Supporting a thriving nation in the digital age through innovation, social and economic opportunities
- Lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities
- Reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing, including addressing family violence
- Supporting mental wellbeing for all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says these priorities focus on "long-term intergenerational change."
"The OECD and the IMF have, for a while now, have urged countries to look beyond a strong balance sheet and a strong economy to redefine success."
"We must focus specifically on living standards and human, social, and natural capital when we set targets and track progress."