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Budget 2017 Home Page Budget Speech - Budget 2017

Better Public Services

Mr Speaker, the Government's biggest single fiscal priority in Budget 2017 is to invest in the public services necessary for a growing country.

We are therefore allocating $7 billion over four years to sustain and expand public services in health, education, law and order and social development.

This investment reflects our commitment to meet the requirements of a growing population while investing prudently in the core services Kiwis rely on.

The new funding in Budget 2017 includes $3.9 billion over four years for New Zealand's Health Sector - taking health investment to a record $16.7 billion next year.

DHBs will benefit most, with an extra $1.76 billion added over four years to invest in services, improve access, and help meet cost pressures and population growth. Over $200 million will be invested in Disability Support Services, and $38 million more in primary care.

$59 million will be invested in our ambulance services, across health and ACC, so that all emergency road ambulance call outs are double crewed by 2021.

$60 million more will be provided to Pharmac for access to new medicines for Kiwis that need them.

The Health budget includes $1.54 billion for the pay equity settlement of 55,000 care and support workers. From 1 July this dedicated and predominantly female workforce will receive a significant pay increase. For the 20,000 workers currently on the minimum wage, this increase will be at least 21 per cent which means full-time workers will be taking home at least an extra $100 a week.

Mr Speaker, we are committing $1.1 billion over four years in additional operating expenditure for schools and early childhood centres, including $767 million for roll growth, a $61 million increase in operational grant funding for schools, and $35 million in targeted additional funding for early childhood centres.

$63 million will be provided to support students with additional learning needs including more teacher aide hours and a new programme for parents and teachers of young children with autism.

We are also investing significantly in school infrastructure and I want to come back to this later because infrastructure is a major focus of Budget 2017.

We are investing $1.2 billion in new operating expenditure over four years for law and order.

This includes funding 10 per cent more police staff to reduce crime and reoffending and ensure 95 per cent of the population will live within 25 kilometres of a 24/7 police presence.

We're also upping our investment in justice, courts and corrections services, and introducing new initiatives in burglary prevention, reducing youth reoffending, and supporting at-risk prisoners.

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