The main highlights:
- Deficit expected to be $684 million with a very slim improvement to a $176 million surplus in the 2015/16 year.
- A $25 a week increase in four major benefits from April 1 next year aimed at addressing child poverty.
- The package’s $790 million cost over the next four years will be partly funded by the removal of the Kiwisaver “Kickstarter” package — a gain of $500 million.
- But beneficiaries with children will now be expected to be available for 20 hours part time work a week once their children reach three.
- And Working for Families payments will drop for by an average of $3 a week for those earning over $88,000.
- A new border clearance levy of $6 for a departing passenger and $16 for one arriving is estimated to raise $100 million.
- Inland Revenue will write off $1.7 billion in penalty payments on child support .
- $25.4 million over two years to pay for the army’s anti -ISIS deployment in Iraq.
- Forecast ACC levy deductions of $375 million in 2016 and $120 million in 2017.
- KiwiRail receives $209.8 million capital in 2015/16 from the Future Investment Fund. A further $190 million will be funded in Budget 2016.
- The SuperGold Card off-peak public transport concession scheme will receive an additional $10.2 million of operating funding for the 2015/16 financial year. This will bring total funding for 2015/16 to $28.1 million.
- A contingency of up to $210 million in capital funding from the Future Investment Fund secures the next stage of the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) in extending it to 80 per cent of New Zealanders. This will be finalised following a business case.
- Growth to be 3.1% to March 2016; thereafter — 2.8% to March 2017; 2.8%, 2018 and 2.4% to March 2019.
- Ninety interest rates are estimated to remain stable around 3.6% to the end of 2016 before rising to 4.9% in the June 2019 quarter.
- The trade weighted exchange rate index is expected to decline in the June 2019 quarter.
- Net migration inflows are assumed to rise to 56, 600 in the year ended June 2015 but to fall to 12,000 a year in the eyar ended June, 2017.
- Economic growth forecast to average 2.8 per cent over the next four years.
- Average wages expected to rise by $7,000 to $63,000 a year by mid-2019.
- Unemployment forecast to fall below 5 per cent in 2016.
- In line with the allowance set in December, Budget 2015 has a net operating cost of $1 billion per year. This is made up of $6.1 billion of new operating spending over the next four years, of which $2 billion is funded through reprioritisation and increased revenue.
- Deficit of $684 million forecast for 2014/15, moving to a surplus of $176 million in 2015/16 and growing to $3.6 billion in 2018/19.
- Net core Crown debt is forecast to peak at 26.3 per cent of GDP in 2015/16, and then fall to 19.7 per cent of GDP in 2020/21.
Tax Cuts in 2017
- Government remains committed to $1 billion new operating allowance in Budget 2016, increasing to $2.5 billion in Budget 2017 to allow for modest tax cuts before returning to $1.5 billion a year in Budget 2018 and growing thereafter at 2 per cent per Budget.