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Budget 2017 Home Page Budget Speech - Budget 2017

Social Investment

This Government is focused on helping our most vulnerable people lead more successful lives.

Budget 2017 includes $64 million to help people move off benefits and into work by tailoring interventions to individuals' needs.

$37 million will be provided to help improve the safety of family violence victims and stop family violence escalating.

We will be providing $185 million to further expand social housing services.

And we are making a $424 million investment in the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, including funding for caregiver support, Children's Teams, Family Start and Youth Justice.

Budget 2017 includes $321 million for fourteen cross-agency social investment initiatives that are designed to tackle long-term issues for vulnerable New Zealanders.

These cover areas like helping kids get a better start in life; addressing barriers to employment and independence; and reducing criminal reoffending.

A big focus in our social investment programme is mental health, so we've ring-fenced $100 million in a special social investment fund to support innovative solutions to address mental health issues.

Overall the Government has budgeted an additional $224 million over four years for mental health services.

Social investment is about tackling our most challenging social issues. The combination of these new initiatives and the Government's decisions about family incomes will allow us to make serious headway with some of the longer-term challenges faced by the most vulnerable New Zealanders.

Mr Speaker, it is crucially important that those delivering core public services maintain a constant focus on lifting the productivity of their sectors.

These are big funding increases, which reflect the needs of a growing country. However it is my expectation that we also achieve a greater return for each additional dollar of taxpayers' money.

As well as placing a number of requirements on results for the increased expenditure, I am today announcing that the Government is asking the Productivity Commission to conduct an investigation into measuring and improving the productivity of core public services - to ensure all New Zealanders see better results from the investment of their tax monies in these services.

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