The cautious budget

Treasurer Grant Robertson delivered the first Fiscal Budget of the Labour-New Zealand First-Green Government yesterday. Whilst disappointing Labour supporters and National supporters alike, the Budget kept a promise to exercise due fiscal restraint, acknowledging the poor international economic climate, the impact of the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes.

Thre was little presented in the 2018 Fiscal Budget that New Zealanders had not already been made aware of. A number of reasons exist for this:

  • The Government, as is often the case, had already outlined what it considered to be the major announcements
  • Prior to being elected, the Government had announced that it would establish a set of fiscal responsibility rules that woul ensure that the three parties acted in a cohesive yet responsible way
  • The first budget is normally the most cautious as the incumbent government wants to establish its credentials, particularly if its image has been damaged by Opposition claims

One the major announcements made was that Conservation would get  $138 million for pest control. Money was also allocated to schools, to help fill in gaps left by the previous government, though teachers signalled their considerable discontent, with one principal going so far as to say that he would not his teaching staff walking if they thought the budget insufficient. Perhaps the biggest cheer went to Health.

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