Community Service Card holders get cheaper visits to doctor, more kids to go for free

The government hopes the fresh investment will raise the quality of New Zealand's health system. Source: 1 NEWS



'Let me tell you, sunshine' - Winston Peters calls Simon Bridges' Budget speech 'devoid of ideas'

The Deputy Prime Minister spoke today in parliament about Budget 2018, highlighting the recent boost to foreign affairs and reiterating the notion of a transformative economy. 

"The adaptive work will take longer than one Budget, but today a strong foundation has been laid," Winston Peters said. 

"There's much more work to do, and we look forward to fulfilling and continuing our role as a constructive force in the coalition to achieve positive change for our supporters and, indeed, for all New Zealanders."

Mr Peters also used his speech to criticise the Opposition, calling National Party leader Simon Bridges' speech "devoid of ideas, riddled with clichés, and speeches like that are why they created the word 'vacuous'". 

National MP Tim Macindoe at this point asked, "What's the current poll rating? Mr one per cent."

"Let me tell you, sunshine," Mr Peters replied. "I'm here after all these years because we know how to get a poll up, but not that failure, not that member there."

Mr Peters called Mr Bridges, "Mr Simon Slick Bridges", "Mr Simon Soundbite Bridges", "Mr Simon One-way Bridges", and "Mr Simon Short-term Bridges".

The speech came after Mr Bridges' speech on the government's Budget, which he said was based around "borrowing more, taxing more and spending more". 

"They are taxing, borrowing, spending when the economy and their books are the strongest we've seen in a generation," Mr Bridges said earlier today.

"Where's it going? A billion dollars for diplomats, not doctors. It's not 'let's do this', it's 'Winston made us do this'," Mr Bridges said.  

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Finance Minister reveals where extra $24b needed for Budget 2018 comes from

Grant Robertson outlined where the funding for the extra $24 billion needed would come from for Budget 2018. 

"The government's Budget allowances over the next four years and 100-Day Plan spending is about $24 billion higher than planned by the previous government for the years 2018/19 to 2021/22," the Finance Ministry said in statement. 

Of the $24b, $7.9b comes from the reversal of National's taxcuts. 

"This will fund the Families Package and other 100-Day-Plan commitments."

Nine billion dollars would be pulled from "adopting a responsible debt reduction track", $5.3b would come from "higher tax revenue driven by higher-than-expected economic growth". and $1.5b would come from change to New Zealand's tax system and reprioritisation of funding. 

Reprioritisation is pulling money from other sectors.

As part of the reprioritisation, the Provincial Growth Fund, costing $1 billion per year, will pull $148m of existing funding as part of its operating costs, including $75m from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and $13m from the Budget 2017 Between-Budget contingency. 

The Growth fund took $80m of existing funding to go towards capital, which could take a portion "of KiwiRail's capital injection for the 2018/19 financial year."

Some would come from reprioritisation, which is pulling money from other sectors. Source: 1 NEWS