The Budget

Yesterday, the government gave us their financial plan for the next few years. This is called The Budget. Of course it assumes this government will be re-elected in November. The Minister of Finance, Bill English, read the Budget in Parliament yesterday afternoon.

There are many plans in the Budget. One of the most important is a plan to have free visits to the doctor and free prescriptions for children under the age of 13. This will happen from July next year. Already it is free for children under the age of 6. However, school children also get sick and some families do not have the money to take them to the doctor or pay for medicine.

Another plan is to increase the pay for women who take time off work to have a baby. At the moment, the government will pay them for 14 weeks but the Budget has money to increase this to 16 weeks next April and 18 weeks in April 2016. The Labour party said that if Labour becomes the government, they will increase this to 26 weeks.

The cost of housing is a big problem in Auckland and Christchurch. Another plan in the Budget is to remove the import duty on building materials. About 90% of building materials are imported. This includes electrical and plumbing materials, roofing materials, insulation and paint, and could reduce the cost of a new house by about $3,000.

Mr English believes that the economy is growing and there will be a surplus of $372 million for the government next year after 6 years of deficit.

Note: Pay for women who have a baby. This is called paid parental leave because the leave (time off work) is available for the mother or father.

To listen to other news about The Budget in previous years, type Budget in the search box.

Vocabulary

  • assume – take for granted, believe it is true
  • prescription – a doctor writes a prescription to take to pharmacist for medicine or pills
  • import duty – a tax on products which are imported
  • surplus – extra
  • deficit – not enough money in the bank

Question

What electrical, plumbing and insulation materials are used in a house?






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