New Zealand budget 2014

As all the commentators have said, there is not much in this budget for businesses or first-home buyers. The government has delivered a centre-left budget, which depending on your point of view is a vote catch, or has taken the wind out of Labour’s sails.

For the first time in 6 years, the Budget posts a forecast surplus – $372 million isn’t a lot, but it is a start.

So what are the nuts and bolts?

  • Free GP visits and prescriptions for children under 13.
  • Research and Development: new measures take effect from the 2015/16 year to provide better tax breaks for tax losses and some presently unusable (“black hole”) R&D expenditure.
  • From 1 April 2015, paid parental leave will go to 16 weeks (presently 14 weeks) and then from 1 April 2016 will be extended to 18 weeks.
  • Paid parental leave eligibility will be widened to include some people presently excluded by the seasonal or casual nature of their work.
  • The parental tax credit will increase over the same period.
  • Inland Revenue has been given an additional $48 million to boost tax compliance activity (jargon for “audit”).
  • More funding for early childhood education and support for at risk children.
  • Cheque duty has been abolished. Regrettably this will not represent a major saving to most of us.
  • Duty free limits for tobacco brought in by passengers, or sent as a gift from overseas, have been reduced.

 

Unlike the Australian budget the day before, increased funding has been put in to health, education, budgeting services, and transport infrastructure, particularly rail. The government has foreshadowed possible reductions in ACC levies and personal tax rates, as future options. A further commitment has been made to the Christchurch rebuild.

That’s pretty much it, folks. If you have any questions you would like to ask us about the budget, feel free to call or email us.