Budget 2018, at a glance: $$$ for health, houses and schools

There are currently 7890 households on the waitlist for social housing as of March 31

SIMON MAUDE STUFF There are currently 7890 households on the waitlist for social housing as of March 31

"We can't spend every single dollar that's in the kitty in one budget, that would be irresponsible", Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in Wellington on Tuesday.

"Our priorities are different from the previous government".

"The government is placing the wellbeing of people at the centre of all its work", Mr Robertson said.

As well, the Treasury is forecasting a budget surplus of $3.1b in the financial year ending June 30, $3.7b next year and rising to an estimated $7.3b by 2022.

$4 billion is going into health, most of it to district health boards (DHBs).

The Government will extend free doctors visits' and prescriptions to under-14s and also make visits cheaper for people eligible for a Community Services Card.

"A further $126.0 million of operational funding over the next four years is also being invested directly into planned care to keep up with demand for elective surgeries and other procedures". Under that funding there will be an 8.9% rise for community midwives to bring them into line with hospital midwives.

The nurses in schools programme will be extended to decile four secondary schools - meaning an extra 24,000 students have access to that support.

About $58m has also been set aside over the next four years to provide housing for more than 300 people a year on bail or parole.

Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries says delivering the Goverment's housing policy is where
SUPPLIED Trade Me Property head Nigel Jeffries says delivering the Goverment's housing policy is where"the real work will begin

Special education gets a $270m boost over four years.

The government intends to provide another 6000 homes for people with housing difficulties, a lot of them new state houses, over the next four years.

The country's new central bank governor Adrian Orr told Reuters in an interview on Friday that parts of New Zealand were "creaking at the seams" and he hoped for ramped up infrastructure spending.

Overall, it commits another $1b in new spending on top of the $2.1b allocated in the December mini-budget for the KiwiBuild programme to build 100,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.

Two child poverty expert units will be established. Funding increases by $76 million over four years. It is still unclear whether research and development grants will be scrapped once the incentive is in place.

"However, the big question from this budget is how will this drive productivity?" says Mr Campbell. This year the fund will include $684.2m of operating funding and $315.8m of capital spending.

The Green Investment Fund gets $100 million - money that's created to encourage private sector investment in clean tech and new jobs.

"From a business perspective, numerous big announcements have already been made, such as the tax incentives for research and development, the $28 billion transport package for Auckland over 10 years along with increases to the minimum wage, pay equity settlements and so forth".

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