21 May 2021

Budget 2021: Still more to be done after benefit boost - Grant Robertson

From Morning Report, 7:15 am on 21 May 2021

Beneficiaries are one of the biggest winners out of the 2021 Budget, with welfare boost billed as the "biggest in a generation".

This is Grant Robertson's fourth Budget, but it is his first without having any coalition partners to appease.

He announced all benefit rates will rise by between $ 32 and $55 a week - $20 of which will go into beneficiaries pockets from July 2021.

Other areas which received a big boost were Māori housing, with $380 million set aside to build 1000 new homes and repair about 700 dialpidated Māori-owned homes, and health, where more than $500 million will be spent over four years to overhaul the current system and implement a new Health New Zealand body and Māori Health Authority.

But there's disappointment from drug funding campiagners after Pharmac received just $200 million in extra funding, while many Māori says the Budget was a missed opportunity with Whānau Ora absent from the list of big ticket items. 

Robertson spoke to Corin Dann.