The Manufacturers' Network on Budget 2018, released today by the Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, ticked some boxes for the economy, particularly around health, with some investment in infrastructure, education and R&D spending. There was, however, little else for the manufacturing sector to get excited about and not much focused on addressing productivity and skills shortages.
The Taxpayers’ Union is fuming that Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods has broken her word and capitulated to Callaghan Innovation’s pressure to keep its precious corporate welfare grant schemes, rather than phasing them out in favour of the new R&D tax credit.
New figures released today by Council of Trade Unions Economist Dr Bill Rosenberg and the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Director of Policy Lyndon Keene show the health funding gap since 2009/2010 has grown to $2.7 billion. This amount would be needed in Thursday’s Budget to fund services to the same level they were supported in 2010, and pay for new initiatives.
PM Jacinda Ardern has revealed that Deputy PM Winston Peters will take charge as Acting Prime Minister while she is on maternity leave. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released details of how the running of the country works when she goes on maternity leave and hands the rein to deputy Winston Peters. In effect, it will be no different to any other time the prime minister is out of the country which automatically renders Peters acting prime minister. But the extended length of time - six weeks Ardern was hoping to take off after giving birth to her first child - heightened the scrutiny of the situation.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters reaffirmed the Coalition Government’s commitment to restoring lost capacity in New Zealand’s Foreign Service today, announcing a significant increase in funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
An inclusive and comprehensive review of dairy industry legislation will help our biggest export sector get in shape for the future, says Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.
The Government has released the terms of reference for a review of the 17-year-old Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA), which regulates Fonterra to protect the long-term interests of farmers, consumers and the wider economy.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries will consult widely throughout the review, including surveys and formal consultation later in the year and I encourage you all to get involved and have your say,” says Damien O’Connor.
“The review will allow us to take a strategic view of issues facing the dairy industry.
“In particular it will look at open entry and exit for farmers, the raw milk price setting process, contestability for milk, the risks and costs for the sector, and the incentives or disincentives for dairy to move to sustainable, higher-value production and processing.
“The whole dairy sector needs to look ahead to see what trends and potential disruptions are coming our way and get ahead of consumer trends.
“Only through a frank appraisal of the issues will we come to the right conclusions.
“In December last year I announced this Government would review DIRA as a matter of priority, in February we rolled it over to stop certain parts expiring, and today I release the terms of reference setting out the objectives, approach and timing of the review.
“The dairy industry will be fully consulted throughout the review so that any issues can be given full consideration before any changes happen.
“I look forward to receiving feedback from farmers, dairy processors, consumers and the wider public in the upcoming consultation process.
“A high-performing, innovative and sustainable dairy sector is vital to New Zealand’s economic wellbeing,” says Damien O’Connor.
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has unveiled a nearly $1 billion boost for the Government’s foreign policy and international aid budget, arguing the funding is crucial for our security after a decade of underfunding writes Sam Sachdeva for Newsroom.