Budget kicks recovery heavy lifting to Covid fund

LGNZ has welcomed Budget 2020, which allocated significant funding to a number of important initiatives from a local government perspective.  However many of the questions related to how the Government will kick start economic activity and address major challenges like climate change and housing affordability remain unanswered.

The announcement of a $1.1 billion investment to create 11,000 environment jobs in the regions was singled out by LGNZ as an important initiative that would support employment in the regions while also delivering a conservation dividend.

The additional allocations to health, social services and wage subsidies were also welcomed, recognising that these investments would go a long way to help alleviate the pressure placed on communities by the Covid-19 shutdown and the resulting economic shock.

LGNZ, however, noted that in many key areas Budget 2020 appeared to be missing in action, particularly stimulus-related recovery investments, climate change and housing, choosing instead to leave these until later.

LGNZ President Dave Cull says it leaves those looking for further detail on how the Government intends to get the country truly back onto the road to recovery wanting. “We anticipate that those announcements will be made in due course, but we would urge the Government to do so quickly.”