There was great news for Whangaparāoa as infrastructure is upgraded across NZ to drive economic growth.
The budget locked in $830 million for Penlink to provide people with safer and more reliable travel choices to and from the peninsula. It is a project I have advocated for since I first entered Parliament in 2017, and I was proud to see Government committing the funding last year, as the first to do so.
Penlink is part of Budget 2021 which includes a record $57.3 billion investment in infrastructure over the next five years, to create jobs and address the long-term under investment in infrastructure, ensuring that we have the hospitals, schools and transport networks we need for the future.
It’s just one way we’re supporting people into jobs. In fact, Treasury forecasts 220,000 more people will be in jobs, and unemployment will drop to 4.2 percent, over the next four years as our economy recovers.
We’re also investing in training and apprenticeships. At an uncertain time for the global and NZ economy, this provides more security for people who might be in and out of work due to economic volatility.
The Budget lays the foundations for coming out of the pandemic stronger by addressing challenges like housing, child wellbeing and climate change, while making sure we can continue to grow the economy. To do this we’re taking a balanced approach – making sure that new investment is directed towards the greatest need while also keeping a lid on debt.
Our net debt remains lower than Australia’s, on a comparative basis, and we start reducing it sooner. By 2024/25, Australia’s measure of net debt is forecast to be above 40 percent, while ours is forecast to have fallen below 25 percent. We need to keep managing our economy responsibly, while prioritising people’s wellbeing.
We’re raising main benefits to lift more children out of poverty and tackle inequality. This money goes towards food on the table, shoes on kids, heating homes. It is money that gets spent in our communities, so it provides stimulus for local economies.
Government is committed to a recovery that supports all New Zealanders, and that ensures our finances remain sustainable while tackling the long-standing challenges we were elected to address.
Editor’s note: Last year’s election saw Marja Lubeck confirmed as the Labour List MP with responsibility for both the Kaipara ki Mahurangi and Whangaparāoa electorates.