Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Wellbeing Budget 2019 delivers, but not for business

The EMA was not expecting much for business from the Wellbeing Budget 2019, but it was still disappointed it did not tackle some of its members’ key concerns.

Chief executive Brett O’Riley says the 8500-strong member organisation’s focus is primarily on employees and their workers.

"Nobody would argue that people’s overall wellbeing is important, and there is no doubt that a happier, healthier community is a more productive one. We do welcome the investment in mental health as it is a cost to everyone in different ways, including business, and any improvement in this area would benefit everyone," says Brett O’Riley.

"However, greater recognition could have been made of wellbeing in the business sector as a healthy economy provides the funding to deal with the difficult and complex social issues the Government is tackling," he says.

From an EMA member point of view, the best news for business probably came ahead of today’s budget with the decision not to introduce a capital gains tax.

Mr O’Riley says two positives were the $300m of expansion capital for start-ups will be able to access in order to grow, and $197m to tackle homelessness through Housing First, a social housing initiative that could further the construction sector.

With a key part of the economy’s success linked to being competitive in the digital age, and the EMA welcomes today’s announcement of $6.8m over four years to future-proof New Zealand’s manufacturing industry, as well as the additional $157m for research and innovation linked to low emissions.

This ties in to another of the major challenges for members is getting the people they need. While the EMA is pleased to be involved in the crucial Future of Work project, more focus is needed to achieve an employment framework that supports future growth. In addition, the immigration backlog needs to be addressed.

"However, we would have liked a greater focus on investment in and certainty around much-needed infrastructure and its funding in transport and distribution networks. New hospitals and schools infrastructure is good news and could also benefit the construction sector. It was also great to see funding for the National Infrastructure Commission."

"But, distribution networks in the upper north island are choking. This infrastructure is essential as businesses have to be confident that at the very least they can move goods efficiently and effectively, and provide their services when and where they need to. If the Government was serious about its investment in rail then the much-needed third main line out of Auckland would have been built by now. And really, the fourth should have been done at the same time."

EMA members are also suffering as a result of the cost of compliance due to the raft of new legislation, which is bringing more change, more rapidly to the business environment since the late 1980s.

"As a result of this we commissioned work to measure the financial impact and business - particularly in the small to medium sector. What we learned was that New Zealand effectively stopped measuring the cost of new regulation to business in 2012," says Mr O’Riley.

"We know that in 2016 when the last study of those costs was attempted - using that 2012 data - was put at $5 billion annually, and we know our members are feeling this acutely."

"We look forward to working with the Government on transitioning towards a sustainable, low emissions economy in a way that is considerately and consistently implemented for business," says Mr O’Riley.

"The Wellbeing Budget 2019 uses the business-driven growth previously in the economy to fund an extensive social wellbeing programme. Our hope is that in 2020 the budget focuses on driving better productivity, higher wages and further growth in the economy to underpin the ability to continue to maintain New Zealand’s quality of life and social wellbeing."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Commerce Commission: Retail Fuel "Not As Competitive As It Could Be"

The Commission has outlined some options it considers could improve competition. There are two broad sets of options it thinks may have the potential to help create a competitive wholesale market. These are:

• Greater contractual freedom to make it easier for resellers to switch between suppliers; and
• Enabling wider participation in the majors’ joint infrastructure, notably the shared terminals and supporting logistics involved in their borrow-and-loan system.
Further options, including improving the transparency of premium petrol prices, are discussed in the draft report. More>>

 

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare: More Measures To Help Those Facing Homelessness

Ministers have announced $54 million in Government funding for initiatives which will support at-risk individuals and whānau to stay in their existing tenancies. The funding will also provide additional wrap around services. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: New Strategy On Māori Reoffending And imprisonment

Authentic co-design with Māori, incorporating a Te Ao Māori worldview, and greater connectedness with whānau are key elements of Hōkai Rangi, Corrections’ new departmental strategy designed to address the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending and imprisonment. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels