Increased mental health support priority for 2019 Budget

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 12 December 2018, 10:01AM
Grant Robertson delivering this years budget. Photo / NZ Herald

It turns out its not just the National Party dealing with leaks.

The Government's plans for tomorrow's budget policy statement have been released to National.

They show that Finance Minister Grant Robertson has asked all ministers to find one percent of spending in their portfolios that isn't "in line with the Government's objectives".

It also mentions priorities for the Budget 2019, which so far include better support for mental well-being and lifting Maori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities.

Former Reserve Bank economist Michael Reddell told Mike Hosking that Ministers will review the finances, which is relatively normal.

"It doesn't guarantee they'll be cutting all those items, it's about asking ministers to prioritise. We have always known the fiscal policy under this government would be relatively tight, this goes back to the debates before the elections."

Reddell believes the economy is not growing terribly strongly, and said the high spending from Labour on health and education could send warning signs.

"Recessions are bad things, they are bad for people and very difficult for governments to handle. The country could probably ride through one easily enough on the back of this current economy, but it is always something you need to be aware of."


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