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Rebuilding Together – My Thoughts on Budget 2020

Kia ora koutou katoa,

For many reasons, today has been a big day for New Zealand. On the first day we’re at Alert Level 2, I delivered our Rebuilding Together Budget.

This Budget is now delivered in the shadow of a 1-in-100 year threat to the wellbeing of our people, our communities and our economy. By going hard and early - getting on top of the virus, while protecting jobs and businesses - we now have a head start on many countries around the world to get the economy moving again.

So much of that is thanks to you. In Wellington Central, we’ve decided to work together by staying apart. I’d like to specifically show my appreciation for the countless public servants in our community that have put in massive effort over the last two months. Your dedication is a measure of true public service.

We can all be grateful to each other for the sacrifices we’ve made, and be proud of what we’ve achieved so far. There is a way to go, but we can do it together.

The core of Budget 2020 will boost our critical public services, fund infrastructure and provide the unprecedented investment we need for the next stages of our plan to face COVID-19: Recover and Rebuild.

As we move into Alert Level 2 and the Recovery stage, our purpose is to see people back at work, to clear the pathway back for communities and sectors most affected by COVID-19, and to lay the groundwork for our rebuild.

We have a chance to make things better for all New Zealanders. And we have taken that chance with Budget 2020 and our $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. It will be critical in seeing New Zealand through the economic struggle that is coming, and rebuilding our economy for the better over the long term.

We want to keep New Zealanders in work as much as possible, so we’re extending the successful Wage Subsidy by eight weeks for the most affected businesses. In Wellington Central, many of our cafes and restaurants in the hospitality sector will still be doing it tough, and this extension will provide further stimulus, keep people in work and give our businesses more time as we move through Level 2.

We are putting $3 billion into additional infrastructure investment to be decided by Cabinet in the coming weeks and months. These will build the infrastructure needed for a 21st Century New Zealand that, among other things, supports meeting our climate change goals.

We have announced a housing package that will create 8,000 additional public or transitional housing places over the next 4 to 5 years. It is one of our greatest areas of need, and it is also a job rich sector. This will take us further down the path of ending homelessness.

We’ve announced a $1 billion Environmental Jobs Package to create thousands of jobs while also supporting habitat protection, pest control and biodiversity on our public lands.

We have funded $1.6 billion in a Trades and Apprentices Package, and a $16 million boost to Adult and Community Education to restore their funding and help providers meet increased needs for training and up skilling in the wake of COVID-19.

Close to the hearts of many Wellingtonians are our Arts and Sports sectors. Both have been devastated by COVID-19. In Wellington Central and across Aotearoa, they are very much part of our social infrastructure and make our communities strong. With Budget 2020, we will be providing sector recovery packages and details will be announced in the coming days.

These are just a few of the $15.9 billion of funding announced today, which also includes more investment in our health system, our tourism and transport, a pay boost for early childhood teachers, and more. We have laid significant groundwork with this Budget, and it is just another moment in our pathway to economic recovery. There will be more support as the impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer into the future.

Our rebuild must be one that takes the very best of who we are, and uses it to take on the issues and challenges in front of us. We will rebuild this country with hard work, innovation, creativity, compassion and courage. We will grow our economy sustainably to pay back our debt, we will fairly share that burden, and above all we will do it together.

Thank you for your support, your courage and commitment in these truly unprecedented circumstances. Be bold, be kind, be strong. He waka eke noa, we are all in this together.

Ngā mihi,

– Grant

How I can help

My electorate office on Willis Street is a great place to get help if you are having difficulties with agencies such as Work and Income, ACC, Inland Revenue, Housing New Zealand or Immigration. 

Don't hesitate to get in touch:
Ph: 04 801 8079     Email: [email protected]   Address: 220 Willis Street
Wellington Central Electorate Office
220 Willis St, Wellington 6141
Ph: 04 801 8079
[email protected]

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Hon Grant Robertson MP · 220 Willis Street · Wellington, Wgn 6011 · New Zealand

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