Tauranga MP Simon Bridges says Tauranga families are set to be the big winners from Budget 2017.
Simon, who's also Minister for economic development, transport and communication, told SunLive the budget delivers for all New Zealanders.
He says it shares the benefits of growth by improving public services, investing in the infrastructure needed for a growing country, reducing debt and lifting incomes.
“Our ninth budget shows continuing improvement in the Government's books and solid economic growth expected to average around 3 per cent over the next five years.”
The MP says the government's delivering more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders.
“The average annual wage is expected to reach $64,300 by 2021 – up more than $17,000 since we came into office. Well over 200,000 jobs have been created in the last three years – and a further 215,000 jobs are expected over the next four years.”
Simon believes we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise living standards for all New Zealanders. And Budget 2017 sets out the next steps in the plan to do that.
“Families in Tauranga will benefit from the $2 billion a year family incomes package, which will help New Zealanders get ahead by adjusting income tax thresholds, while also increasing Working for Families and providing additional support for people on low incomes with high accommodation costs.”
The average Tauranga family will get an extra $26 a week, while a couple, with both partners working on an average wage, will get an extra $41 a week in their pocket.
The changes to the accommodation supplement will also see families in Tauranga lifted above the threshold for severe housing stress.
Some families could be in line for an extra $150 a week.
“We are committed to helping families get ahead and this money will go a long way for those families in need,” says Simon.
“We're determined to seize the opportunity a growing economy gives us to permanently shift our country onto a more prosperous path. The budget invests $4 billion to help build the public infrastructure which will help drive further economic growth, create jobs and lift wages.”
Simon says that's not the limit of National's ambition. The Government is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable New Zealanders.
As part of the $7 billion new investment in public services like health, education, and law and order over the next four years, Budget 2017 includes $321 million in Social Investment initiatives to help the most at-risk New Zealanders become more independent.
“All New Zealanders deserve the opportunity to make the most of their potential, but we cannot provide that opportunity without a growing economy.”