Awaiting The Wellbeing Budget
By Dougal McGowan, OCCI, CEO | Posted: Thursday May 23, 2019
It is with much anticipation that many of us look forward to the upcoming budget. As usual there will be the pre-releases and we have already seen some of these. With the countrys first wellbeing budget ready to be socialised and shared with the country, it will be interesting to see the details.
Now we are seeing a renewed collective bargaining strength which is putting the Government and its accounts under considerable pressure. The upcoming teacher and junior doctor strikes are only some that are beginning to have a significant impact on people, families and the communities they live in. What we are keen to see in the Budget is stimuli for business.
We have been made very aware through a variety of surveys and reports that small to medium business confidence and profitability projections are significantly low. There needs to be thought and support given to these organisations that employ the significant majority of workers throughout the country.
Recently in their election the Australian parties talked about lowering the business tax rate to try to stimulate the economy and continue to attempt to increase employment. It would be nice to see the outcomes from the many working groups and some plans around how the significant horizontal and vertical infrastructure is going to be completed. New Zealand’s capability to complete key jobs is stretched through a limited skilled labour force and this is the key to addressing the significant productivity issues we have.
With major works under way to our motorways systems in Christchurch, Wellington, Kaikoura and Auckland already causing major issues and delays, how do we expect then to add Dunedin’s motorways and one-way system, the hospital rebuild, Central Lakes growth, Wellington’s new $6 billion transport system, increased rail networks, let alone the local Government’s 3 Waters projects throughout the country. Of course, this does not include the significant housing shortage throughout the region and country.
What I would like to see is the detailed business plan and budgeting that sits behind all these announcements so that we are realistic about what can be achieved, not just sending out good news but turning ideas into action.