Sharechat Logo

Government to save $700M in cuts and reallocation

NZPA

Thursday 19th May 2011

Text too small?

The Government has freed up $700 million in this year's budget through cuts to low-priority spending and changes to key programmes, with a shake-up of the public service to save even more in the years to come.

Finance Minister Bill English today said the budget would free up $5.2 billion over four years, including $700m in this year's budget, with the savings to be re-invested into frontline services.

The big savings areas include student loans, KiwiSaver and Working for Families, which were forecast well ahead of today's budget announcement.

The changes to KiwiSaver, which include halving the member tax credit and taxing compulsory employer contributions, will save $2.6b over four years. Tightening up the Working for Families scheme will save $448m, while changes to the student loan scheme will save $276.6m in operating funds and $170m in capital funding over five years.

A well-signalled shake-up of the public sector won't come into effect until after the November election, with the first savings to be made from July next year.

The budget calls for $650m in savings over three years by requiring more than 100 state sector agencies to fund their own employer contributions to KiwiSaver and other state sector retirement schemes. A further $330m will be cut from 31 core public sector ministries and departments over three years from July next year.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will take a hit sooner, with $30m to be trimmed over two years in an efficiency review. Changes to overseas development assistance funding will save $100m by spreading planned increases over four years rather than two.

Social development savings will total $67m, with another $245m to be reprioritised within the portfolio. Reallocations include $56m of funding that had been ring-fenced for family support services and $45m from under-spending in other areas.

The health sector will reprioritise $505.1m over the next four years, with savings to be made in work place training, immunisation programmes, back-office spending, and contingency funds that are no longer needed.

Education savings will be made by reprioritising $356m of unused contingency funding left over from last year's budget.

Among the savings signalled ahead of the budget was $638m over four years from the ACC non-earners' account, which covers injuries for people such as retirees and students, due to improved returns and better cost control.

English said the savings would provide significant funding for better frontline services in areas like health, education and law and order.

"Trimming lower-priority spending, or spending that is no longer affordable in today's circumstances, plays a key role in meeting these goals and helping rebalance our economy towards more savings, investment and exports."



  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Scott Technology Limited (NZX: SCT) Announces FY21 Results
21st October 2021 Morning Report
Greenfern Industries Limited (NZX: GFI) L&Q Notice
TruScreen Group Limited (NZX: TRU) Clinical Trial Results Highlight Efficacy of TRU Technology
20th October 2021 Morning Report
Freightways Limited (NZX: FRE) Acquisition of ProducePronto
19th October 2021 Morning Report
PGG Wrightson Limited (NZX: PGW) Guidance Update
Vital Limited (NZX: VTL) Provides Update on PSN LMR
18th October 2021 Morning Report