Best laid plans for worst of times

On May 24, the Government will deliver our fourth Budget to New Zealanders. Just like your household or business, the Government has a Budget, which helps us keep our spending in order.

This year’s Budget will outline how we plan to build a brighter future for you and your family through our four main priorities.

Our plan for a brighter future includes (1) Responsibly managing the Government’s finances (2) Building a more competitive and productive economy (3) Delivering better public services and (4) Rebuilding Christchurch.

In the past fortnight, I made a number of important pre-Budget announcements.

It is great that I can update the readers of Indian Newslink about these.

Alongside Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, I announced funding for the first phase of our welfare reforms.

We will invest $287.5 million upfront to help move more people off welfare and into work. We know that our welfare system is trapping too many families in poverty. That is why we are doing a number of things to help and support people back to work.

We will provide more help with childcare, put dedicated Work and Income staff in place to support jobseekers and give more assistance to young people to help them make better choices.

Another announcement that I made recently was an increase in the funding that we would provide to reduce rheumatic fever in vulnerable communities.

Rheumatic fever is a preventable disease that can have extremely serious consequences for children throughout their lives.

As part of the Budget, we will double our funding to reduce rheumatic fever in vulnerable communities, to $24 million. This is a project that I am personally championing.

Our Budget will outline how we plan to meet our commitment to get back to surplus by 2014-2015 while continuing on our long-term programme to build a more competitive and productive economy and deliver on our priorities for a brighter future.

John Key is Prime Minister of New Zealand. The above article is exclusive to Indian Newslink.

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