Budget 2019: Govt cuts urban infrastructure fund in half
By Pattrick Smellie
May 30 (BusinessDesk) - Government funding for water and roading infrastructure “to support the timely increase of housing supply” is halved without explanation in the Budget.
Having announced a $600 million capital allocation for CIP in last year’s Budget, this year’s states that a capital allocation of $300 million has been made, appearing at first to suggest an increase in funding.
Close interrogation of the Budget documents reveals that what appears in the most accessible public documents to be a $300 million boost for CIP is in fact a halving of last year’s allocation in favour of other “related” government priorities.
The government has struggled to make the progress it hoped to on its KiwiBuild affordable housing initiative, in part because legislation to fast-track major housing and urban infrastructure through a new urban development authority is not yet in place.
CIP was the vehicle initially set up by the last National Party-led government to fund the rollout of a national fibre-optic cable network for ultra-fast broadband.
Its scope was expanded by the incoming Labour-led government.