Analysis: The year of the 'Benefit Budget' with welfare, Māori getting significant boost

Source: 1News

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay says Budget 2021 can easily be summed up as a “Benefit Budget”.

Budget Day brought a big boost for beneficiaries and Māori with money pumped into welfare, Māori health and Māori housing.

Mutch McKay says the aim behind the welfare increase, which would see a $20 rise in the benefit each week, is a part of the Government’s plan to boost the economy.

“They want people to spend it,” she says.

“Giving it to that group that are at the lowest income, they’ll spend it and use it and they hope it’ll stimulate the economy.”

Another area which is getting a significant boost in Government spending is on Māori wellbeing.

1 NEWS presenter Simon Dallow says it is the Government’s way of “satisfying their wellbeing imperative” and helping get Māori out of poverty.

“Child poverty, housing is two of the critical factors," he says.

“The spending on Māori health, Māori housing helps to lift those people out of poverty.”

Covid-19 is also still dominating this year's Budget, with a strong focus also on unemployment numbers, says Mutch McKay.

“They’re saying with unemployment 220,000 more people will be employed, will be in work and that will take the unemployment rate to 2.4 per cent.

“A much smaller amount than people were anticipating.”