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Budget 2024 highlights: 10 key points from the government’s announcement

Follow our live report of Budget Day here.

Tax cuts

Tax cuts of $4 to $40 a fortnight for all workers over $14,000 after the budget delivered on National’s election campaign promise. The $3.7 billion tax cuts will take effect from July 31.

Other tax assistance

The Working for Families tax credit for workers will be increased, giving 160,000 low- and middle-income families with children up to $50 per fortnight. The income ceiling for the Independent Earner Tax Credit will also increase from $48,000 to $70,000 – meaning 420,000 more people will qualify.

Health

$8.15 billion in health care over the next four years, mainly to cover cost pressures – including $3.4 billion in hospital and specialty services and $2.12 billion in primary care and public health. Specific measures include funding for security staff in emergency departments and expanding the breast screening program to 70-74 year olds. The Budget does not deliver on National’s promise to fund new cancer treatments. Nicola Willis said it was a work in progress.

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Education

$3 billion including $1.5 billion for new schools and classrooms, $67 million for structured literacy support and $477 million for healthy school lunches

Police

$651 million over four years, including $226 million to provide 500 additional police officers by the end of 2025, money for new cars and equipment and $242 million for the pending decision on police compensation.

The cuts

Nearly $6 billion in spending has been cut through cuts to back-office staff and government programs. $3.7 billion will be used to pay for tax cuts.

The expenses

The operating allowance (new spending) was $3.2 billion and Finance Minister Nicola Willis has set a tight allowance of $2.4 billion for the next three budgets.

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The prospects

The Ministry of Finance predicts that inflation will fall back below 3 percent by the end of the year and that government books are now expected to (just) return to surplus in 2027/2028.

Physical disability

An additional $1.1 billion over five years to meet the demand from the Ministry of Disability following budget deficits in recent years.

Māori development and Te Matatini

A budget that saw cuts to the Ministry of Maori Development, but provided long-term funding of $48.7 million for the kapa haka festival Te Matatini.

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