Watch live: Budget 2021 – Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivers pre-Budget speech

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will talk about how the Government plans to re-open New Zealand’s economy to the world in a pre-Budget speech today.

Ardern will be speaking to business leaders at a BusinessNZ event at Eden Park this afternoon.

Earlier this week Finance Minister Grant Robertson said New Zealand had done better than expected in its economic recovery, and this gave the Government more options to support the economy.

In her address today, Ardern is expected to expand on what some of these options are and the Government plans to open the borders to some sectors while waves of Covid-19 are still breaking around the world.

Robertson said last week that the vaccine roll-out would allow New Zealand to open up more opportunities to connect with the world in a planned and careful manner.

Bur he said the Government also recognised the economic impacts of Covid were still being felt and the supply chain issues were affecting business here and across the world and was likely to continue for some time.

This morning, new child poverty figures revealed New Zealand’s housing crisis continues to stagnate efforts to slash child poverty.

The Government today released two child wellbeing reports, holding it to account on measures introduced in 2018 to reduce child poverty.

Ardern, who is Minister for Child Poverty Reduction, said the reports highlighted most children and young people in New Zealand were doing well, with many improvements in key measures.

“However, there is still a group of children for whom life at home is quite different.

“Too many children live in low-income households, or experience racism, bullying or violence. And overall, Māori, Pacific and disabled children and young people are more likely to experience worse outcomes.”

Last week, the Government’s announcement to freeze the pay of public servants was met with heavy criticism.

Under new government rules, three quarters of people working in the public sector are unlikely to get a salary increase until at least 2024.

No government employee earning over $100,000 a year will get a pay rise for the next three years and those earning between $60,000 and $100,000 will need to prove exceptional circumstances.

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