New Zealands Next Liberal Milestone: A Budget Guided by Well-Being
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: June 2nd, 2019
Its being called the next big move by a New Zealand government seen by progressives around the world as a beacon in increasingly populist times: a national budget whose spending is dictated by what best encourages the well-being of citizens. That means that as the center-left government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sets its priorities in the budget that will be unveiled on May 30, it is moving away from more traditional bottom-line measures like productivity and economic growth and instead focusing on goals like community and cultural connection and equity in well-being across generations. This budget is a game-changing event, said Richard Layard, a professor at the London School of Economics. As a major example of what that new framework will produce, Ms. Ardern unveiled on Sunday the biggest spending proposal to date in her coming budget: more than $200 million to bolster services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. It is the biggest single investment ever by a New Zealand government on the issue, Ms. Ardern said at an event showcasing the initiative, and will tackle one of the nations most disturbing, most shameful problems. Under New Zealands revised policy, all new spending must advance one of five government priorities: improving mental health, reducing child poverty, addressing the inequalities faced by indigenous Maori and Pacific islands people, thriving in a digital age, and transitioning to a low-emission, sustainable economy.
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