Budget 2021 delivered a number of gains across all regions and sectors, and this week I want to focus on social welfare, housing and roads.
We are lifting weekly main benefit rates by between $32 and $55 per adult, to align rates with a Welfare Expert Advisory Group key recommendation. This is expected to lift up to 33,000 more children out of poverty.
Since 2017, some 109,000 whanau with children will be, on average, $175 a week better off as a result of changes to income support. This is important, as New Zealand should be the best place in the world for children to grow up – poverty limits our kids’ options.
In housing, we’re rolling out a range of measures, including extending the bright-line test and launching the Housing Acceleration Fund, to tip the balance in favour of first home buyers and speed up the pace and scale of house building.
New rental builds are exempt from these changes, so investors could look at this option to increase dry, affordable rental stocks.
Maori are less likely to be home owners and more likely to face homelessness, so we are delivering 1000 additional new houses for Maori, funding repairs for whanau most in need, and partnering with iwi to accelerate housing projects.
We’re investing $57.3 billion in infrastructure over the next five years to drive economic growth.
The Takitimu North Link stage one will start construction, subject to property negotiations, later this year. Stage one is a 6.8km, four-lane expressway between Tauranga and Te Puna. Stage two is the route protection of the new 7km, four-lane corridor and separated shared path.