Focused spending for business and the economy

"If tax revenue falters over the period, there could be some risks in delivering the proposed Budget surpluses while hoping to reduce debt."

The Wellbeing Budget contains spending that would be positive for business and the economy, says BusinessNZ.

Chief Executive Kirk Hope said the focus on innovation, research and skills would help more businesses develop at higher levels and grow the economy.

“The Budget recognizes that commercialization of new ideas is often constrained among mid-sized firms and makes a $300 million provision to support this.

“Another $157 million to assist firms in developing high-value low-emissions products recognises the deep need for research to come up with business solutions to climate change.

“New Zealand was the world-leader in initiating the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and it is pleasing to see this supported with an $8.5 million provision in the Budget, along with $25 million for the Agricultural Climate Change Research Platform.”

Mr Hope said business wants to ensure that the current reform of vocational education will increase the the number of people in on-job and other vocational training. He said the allocation of $197 million was a positive sign in support of that goal, and the allocation of unused Fees Free funding towards this was appropriate.

Investment in equipping young people with civics knowledge, financial literacy, and key workplace competencies was also important for business, Mr Hope said.

“One area where business would have liked to see more investment is in infrastructure that supports growth. We would also appreciate a fuller explanation of the Government’s infrastructure strategy, and how it fits into its wider economic strategy.

“The relatively robust figures seen in today’s Budget are dependent on the economy continuing to deliver growth so that tax rates can finance the Government’s ambitious expenditure programme. The trick will be to ensure the economy keeps growing sufficiently to ensure promised funding can be delivered to critical areas in a timely way.

“If tax revenue falters over the period, there could be some risks in delivering the proposed Budget surpluses while hoping to reduce debt.”

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