Budget 2019 largely overlooks one of the key drivers of people’s wellbeing – their livelihoods, says Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson.
Budget 2019 utilised the Treasury’s Living Standards Framework to inform the Government’s investment priorities and funding decisions.
“This is not a Budget that will transform our economy,” says Ms Watson. “While it will go down in history as the first wellbeing Budget, it does not go far enough in terms of supporting businesses to enable growth.
“We are generally supportive of the concept and impetus behind the wellbeing framework, but it doesn’t work if we don’t have the financial wherewithal to fund those wellbeing initiatives. The key aspect that has been overlooked is an explanation of how the wellbeing Budget approach might assist business growth and reduce the burden on business.”
Ms Watson says that while this was not a ‘business Budget’, there were aspects of the Budget that would be welcomed by the business community.
“It was positive to hear the Government’s $300 million fund for investing in venture capital markets, with a particular focus on mid-sized businesses, as well as the $157 million allocated to help support start-ups focused on innovation to promote low-emissions. We also welcome the investment in infrastructure through the $1 billion earmarked for rail over two years.
“At a local level we are very pleased to see the increase in funding for the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, which will make a significant difference to our community. We also look forward to hearing how the confirmed funding for the Reform of Vocational Education will be parcelled out.”