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Collins Comments

Collins Comments

25 May 2012

Budget 2012

This year’s Budget invests in the future of our communities. It will stimulate new jobs and deliver better services for families, strengthening our economy and keeping the Government on track for surplus in 2014/15.

Budget 2012 forecasts economic growth to average about 3 per cent a year over the next four years, with 154,000 new jobs created – on top of the 60,000 new jobs created in the past two years.

National is increasing annual spending on science and innovation by $385 million over four years, to more than $1.3 billion a year by 2015/16.

Despite difficult financial conditions, investing in better frontline health services is a priority. Over four years, we will commit almost $1.5 billion extra to our public health service. This will help deliver more operations and shorter waiting times.

A new cross-agency funding pool will give the justice sector flexibility to invest in areas that deliver better results to New Zealanders.

The Justice Sector Fund will allow money saved in one justice sector agency to be used in another, recognising the important relationships across the criminal justice ‘pipeline’ – from arrest, through the court process, to sentencing and rehabilitation.

In education, our focus is on increasing student achievement. Over four years, we will commit $511.9 million towards new early childhood and schooling initiatives. $59.8 million is being invested in teacher quality to support professional development for teachers and principals.

Budget 2012 invests in improving the transition for teenagers from school into work or training. We’re providing 3,000 more free Youth Guarantee places.

We will keep protecting vulnerable New Zealanders through Working For Families, New Zealand Superannuation, and welfare benefits. However, we believe that those who can work, should work. That’s why, as part of the first phase of welfare reform, Budget 2012 invests $287.5 million on education and training to help encourage beneficiaries back into the workforce.

Budget 2012 maintains our commitment to rebuilding Christchurch. Almost $1.6 billion of the $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recover Fund was spent in 2010/11. Most of the remaining funding is expected to be spent by 2015.

National is committed to building a brighter future for all New Zealanders and their families. Budget 2012 is another strong and positive step towards achieving this goal and supporting New Zealanders in uncertain times.

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