Budget ‘all good news’ for working families: Breen

Measures announced in yesterday’s Budget should have positive impact on region.

Measures announced in yesterday’s Budget should have positive impact on region.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce at with Budget speech. NZ Herald picture

GISBORNE’S business and economic development experts say tax cuts and funding boosts for business and regional development announced in yesterday’s Budget will have a positive impact on the region.

“The wider Budget announcements are all good news, particularly for working families,” Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said.

“The investment in improving the financial capability of young New Zealanders will produce significant long-term benefits for the country and is a great move.

“We have the ideal delivery vehicle in place — the Regional Action Plan — and I’d be looking to maximise it as the channel for providing more effective Government support into our region.”

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive Terry Sheldrake also welcomed the Budget announcement.

“Local businesses will be optimistic in terms of a sound economy as we head towards the General Election later in the year.”

The Budget allocated “significant” sums of money to the public sector including health, education, justice, police, conservation, tourism, roads, rail, defence, technology and innovation.

There was also an announcement of $1b for the Business Growth Agenda.

“All these areas could have significant impact on local industry.

“Further investment via regional and local tourism is another opportunity for Tairawhiti which one hopes will also see a generated additional spend across our local retail.

“An extra $61m into tourism to add to the $102m for regional New Zealand, plus $86m for DOC Tourism Infrastructure around New Zealand will impact in a positive way.”

Tax cuts will also have an impact here, with the Government announcing it will increase the $14,000 income tax threshold to $22,000, and the $48,000 tax threshold to $52,000.

BDO Gisborne partner Charles Rau said that meant workers on more than $22,000 would take home an additional $11 a week.

Those on more than $52,000 would take home an additional $20 a week.

“This will also benefit superannuitants by up to $13 a week more per couple.”

Increasing the Family Tax Credit rates for young children to the level of those for children aged 16 to 18 means some families will get up to $145 a week more.

The total tax package is expected to cost the Government over $2 billion a year.

“The extra money in workers’ and families’ pockets will be a welcome boost to incomes in our region.”

Businesses will also benefit from changes in tax law to allow tax deductions for some previously non-deductible expenditure commonly called “black hole expenditure”.

This has been welcomed by Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd.

“If we want to encourage innovation and new investment, then allowing companies to deduct the costs incurred in assessing these opportunities is very important.”

East Coast MP Anne Tolley said Budget 2017 had “something for everyone in Gisborne”.

“The most important change that will help our low and middle-income households is the $2 billion per year Family Incomes Package. This will lift families’ incomes by an average of $26 a week, or over $1350 a year.

“Many of our households will also benefit from the increase in Accommodation Supplement payments.”

Gisborne falls under Area 3, meaning a family of three gets an extra $40 a week to help with housing costs.

“The $7 billion in new operating funding for public services is also fantastic news for our schools, early childhood centres and DHBs.

“We’re already seeing the benefits of this new investment in areas like policing, with the addition of 68 new police staff to Eastern District.

“Our tourism industry has enormous potential for growth so I’m particularly pleased to see funding for a Maori historical tour trails pilot in the East Coast/Bay of Plenty.

“This will encourage domestic and international tourists to learn more about our region’s incredible history and culture while encouraging new business development and ongoing economic growth.”

GISBORNE’S business and economic development experts say tax cuts and funding boosts for business and regional development announced in yesterday’s Budget will have a positive impact on the region.

“The wider Budget announcements are all good news, particularly for working families,” Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said.

“The investment in improving the financial capability of young New Zealanders will produce significant long-term benefits for the country and is a great move.

“We have the ideal delivery vehicle in place — the Regional Action Plan — and I’d be looking to maximise it as the channel for providing more effective Government support into our region.”

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive Terry Sheldrake also welcomed the Budget announcement.

“Local businesses will be optimistic in terms of a sound economy as we head towards the General Election later in the year.”

The Budget allocated “significant” sums of money to the public sector including health, education, justice, police, conservation, tourism, roads, rail, defence, technology and innovation.

There was also an announcement of $1b for the Business Growth Agenda.

“All these areas could have significant impact on local industry.

“Further investment via regional and local tourism is another opportunity for Tairawhiti which one hopes will also see a generated additional spend across our local retail.

“An extra $61m into tourism to add to the $102m for regional New Zealand, plus $86m for DOC Tourism Infrastructure around New Zealand will impact in a positive way.”

Tax cuts will also have an impact here, with the Government announcing it will increase the $14,000 income tax threshold to $22,000, and the $48,000 tax threshold to $52,000.

BDO Gisborne partner Charles Rau said that meant workers on more than $22,000 would take home an additional $11 a week.

Those on more than $52,000 would take home an additional $20 a week.

“This will also benefit superannuitants by up to $13 a week more per couple.”

Increasing the Family Tax Credit rates for young children to the level of those for children aged 16 to 18 means some families will get up to $145 a week more.

The total tax package is expected to cost the Government over $2 billion a year.

“The extra money in workers’ and families’ pockets will be a welcome boost to incomes in our region.”

Businesses will also benefit from changes in tax law to allow tax deductions for some previously non-deductible expenditure commonly called “black hole expenditure”.

This has been welcomed by Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd.

“If we want to encourage innovation and new investment, then allowing companies to deduct the costs incurred in assessing these opportunities is very important.”

East Coast MP Anne Tolley said Budget 2017 had “something for everyone in Gisborne”.

“The most important change that will help our low and middle-income households is the $2 billion per year Family Incomes Package. This will lift families’ incomes by an average of $26 a week, or over $1350 a year.

“Many of our households will also benefit from the increase in Accommodation Supplement payments.”

Gisborne falls under Area 3, meaning a family of three gets an extra $40 a week to help with housing costs.

“The $7 billion in new operating funding for public services is also fantastic news for our schools, early childhood centres and DHBs.

“We’re already seeing the benefits of this new investment in areas like policing, with the addition of 68 new police staff to Eastern District.

“Our tourism industry has enormous potential for growth so I’m particularly pleased to see funding for a Maori historical tour trails pilot in the East Coast/Bay of Plenty.

“This will encourage domestic and international tourists to learn more about our region’s incredible history and culture while encouraging new business development and ongoing economic growth.”

Cautious approval from health board

HAUORA Tairawhiti has given the Budget cautious approval but is waiting for more details on how it will be affected.

“As the health board that looks after the statistically proven board with the sickest population in New Zealand, I welcome any increased Budget allocation for Hauora Tairawhiti,’’ said chairman David Scott.

“Our board will be working with chief executive Jim Green and his staff to utilise the ‘new money’ for the benefit of the people in our Tairawhiti district.”

“The Budget announcement provides a record amount of funding for health,” said Mr Green. “It is especially pleasing to see the emphasis on areas such as mental health and the recognition of better staffing for our St John colleagues. Confirmation of the funding for the pay equity settlement will bring a boost to workers in community care.

“As for Hauora Tairawhiti itself, it will be some time before we know the full impact as the Ministry of Health provides actual funding figures which come out of the population-based funding formula.

“We know our population in Tairawhiti has grown but until that is translated into the formula we will not know our starting point for plans for the 2017/18 financial year.

“Our first priority will be to address the significant deficit we will take into that year, which has arisen through population growth, our addressing increasing care needs in our community and the rising cost of doing that.”

Hauora Tairawhiti is forecasting a deficit of $4.7 million for the year ending in June following a deficit in the previous year of more than $6m.

Yesterday’s Budget includes $3.9 billion in increased funding over four years in New Zealand’s health sector.

Nearly half of the funding is for wage increases for 55,000 care and disability support workers as part of the recent pay equity settlement.

About $1.76 billion is new money for district health boards and there are increases in disability support services, ambulance services, pharmaceuticals, elective surgery and primary health care.

Critics in the health sector and in Parliament describe the funding increases as inadequate.

Criticism includes that increased funding does not take inflation into account, and that almost half of the spending is made up by the pay equity settlement for aged-care workers.

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