Finance Minister Grant Robertson will deliver his first ‘well-being’ budget on May 30, which will focus on five areas he outlined in the December budget policy statement.
The budget date is typically announced at Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee, which was due to hear Robertson and Treasury officials speak to the policy statement and half-year economic and fiscal update. However, the committee, chaired by Labour MP Michael Wood, failed to reach a quorum when Opposition MPs walked out, meaning today’s business needs to be rescheduled.
Robertson’s five key areas for this year’s budget are to: help businesses transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy; ensure access to and development of the digital technology; lift Māori and Pacific incomes, skills and opportunities; reduce child poverty, and support mental health.
“Ministers are collectively responsible for delivering on these priorities and, for the first time, have been tasked from the outset of the budget process with developing their budget bids through the lens of these evidence-based priorities,” Robertson said in a statement.
“This is a more rigorous framework for assessing bids and ensures that the government is focused on the outcomes that matter most.”
The budget may also be the last time for some ministers to keep their seats in Cabinet. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put off a reshuffle until after the budget set-piece to let ministers and government officials focus on the budget bids.
The government has two Cabinet spots open with Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri demoted last year. Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi, who picked up some of Curran’s telecommunications portfolio, has been tipped as a contender for promotion.