Accelerate Budget Special Alert 2020

It’s hard to imagine a Budget being delivered into a more singular situation.  The 2020 Wellbeing Budget’s one job is to help New Zealand recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The lockdown to safeguard us from a public health crisis has been phase 1.  The Budget takes us into phase 2: economic recovery while staying clear of a second wave of COVID-19. We don’t know at this stage how many more phases there will be.

The fear and uncertainty of the last few months has primed us to cut spending where possible and keep hold of every available dollar.  The Budget 2020 theme is that for our economy to recover, people need money in their pockets and the confidence to spend it.  For that to happen businesses need to be able to hold their teams together and grow.

The Update published by Treasury in the budget papers notes that $62.1b has been made available to support the COVID-19 response.  That includes $12.1b to date and the $50b COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund established in the Budget. $13.9b of the Fund has already been applied.  $15.9b is marked for more kickstart measures. $20.2b is in kitty because the only thing we’re certain of right now is more uncertainty still to come.

“This is the rainy day we have been preparing for – now we must weather the global storm.”

Hon Grant Robertson, Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 speech