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Analysis - Budget 2018: 1 NEWS' Jessica Mutch and Simon Dallow break it down - 'A little bit flat'

The Budget 2018 was announced today, as the government opened its books to the country. 

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch and presenter Simon Dallow analysed the impact of the decisions. 

OVERVIEW

The Budget 2018 release was a prudent and cautious, and a "little bit flat", say 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch and presenter Simon Dallow.

The sector will receive $4 billion in funding, allowing for cheaper doctors' visits for half a million Kiwis. Source: 1 NEWS

Mutch said what was revealed today was "almost half of the Budget", after Finance Minister Grant Robertson "played all of his big cards in the mini-Budget".

"It's prudent... it's cautious," Dallow said.

Mutch described it as the "nuts and bolts" Budget, being "a little bit flat", with "all the fun things" already announced.

Health

Health was "clearly the winner" in Budget 2018, said Mutch.

The sector will see a $3.2 billion boost over the next four years, with an extra $850 million in new capital.

It includes a $2.3b boost for District Health Boards, cheaper GP visits for 600,000 low income Kiwis and an extension of free doctor visits for children up to age 14, as well as a nod in the direction of community midwives.

Despite the boost, Mutch said it wasn't as much of a cash injection as what was expected. Dallow said the allocation to GP visits came after the criticism of Labour's election policy to implement cheaper GP visits for all New Zealanders on July 1, which is now being "phased".

Education

Early childhood took a "big chunk" of education funding, with $1.6 billion not seeming "like a lot", said Ms Mutch.

Housing

Dallow said the funding for housing was "quite disappointing", however, if the KiwiBuild is factored into this Budget it increases the allocation.

Budget 2018 did not give "as much as expected" to housing.

Pay Parity

There was no provision in the Budget for pay parity, Dallow said.

"That case [pay parity for rest home workers] opened up a whole new can of worms for the government, it's an interesting thing to leave out," Mutch said.
 

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch says there was no lolly scramble in Wellington today. Source: 1 NEWS