Budget news for the Bay

Column Articles
Monday, May 30, 2016

Everyone knows that to enjoy a First World lifestyle, you first have to earn like a First World economy and this means investment in our country’s economic potential. Budget 2016 delivers on this vision by focusing on growing the economy through supporting innovation, infrastructure, social investment and health. Our economy is forecast to grow close to 3% on average in the next four years, one of the best rates of growth in the developed world. We have created 200,000 extra jobs over the last 3 years, with a further 170,000 new jobs by 2020 and unemployment is expected to drop to 4.6%. In my recent survey a whopping 76% of Bay of Plenty residents felt that the local economy was going at least well if not strongly which is a testament to the hard work that goes on in our region from our small businesses to our large industry.

I am delighted to see that we in the Bay are winners from a large investment in new schools and buildings for our growing population.  A huge $761.4 million will be invested over the next four years in science, skills, tertiary education and regional development initiatives to further fire-up our Bay businesses who are sending their products and services to the world. Education came through in my recent electorate wide survey as one of the key issues for residents so it is great that the Budget 2016 priorities match up with our region’s needs.

Healthcare is hugely important, especially for us in the Bay so it is great to see significant investment in Health with a further $2.2 billion spent in the next four years. This will provide more money for Pharmac, elective surgeries and a bowel cancer screening programme. Healthcare was also a priority as told by the survey so this extra boost will help address the needs in our community well.

All in all it’s a great Budget that we can be proud of and it will have significant positive effects for the Bay.