From October, Australia will start routinely quantifying the benefits as well as costs of federal spending. It’s already shaping up as the new treasurer’s most important legacy.
Bianca De Marchi/AAP
What is a well-being budget? It’s a process that seeks to set consistent long-term priorities, instead of changing priorities according to political expediency.
Women have found innovative and powerful ways to cope during the pandemic – largely because official policy has failed them. That must change.
If wellbeing had been made an explicit goal as it it is in New Zealand, Australia’s budget would have been been different.
Suz Te Tai (Ngati Manu)
When our COVID-19 lockdowns end, we can’t afford to stop caring about collective well-being. NZ is well positioned to show the world how it’s done – if we listen to Māori and other diverse voices.
One of the government’s spending priorities is a transformation towards a low-emissions economy.
A recent report on the state of New Zealand’s environment painted a bleak picture of species losses and freshwater pollution. Budget 2019 signals a shift, but more in intention than sufficient funding.
Jacinda Ardern has spoken about just transitions that implement change but minimise disruption.
AAP/ Felipe Trueba
Jacinda Ardern has used the word “transformational” often during her 2017 election campaign. Now the coalition government’s well-being budget is held to that aspiration.
New Zealand’s well-being budget makes a significant contribution to Māori self-determination.
Support for Māori and Pasifika communities was a funding priority in New Zealand’s well-being budget, but a change in values may have greater impact than more money.
New Zealand’s unemployment rate is better than the OECD average of 5.2%, but 12 OECD countries have lower rates.
Historically, New Zealand’s post-war rate of unemployment was 2% or lower until the early 1980s. Today, 4.4% of New Zealanders are out of work, but the well-being budget is unlikely to bring unemployment rates down.
New Zealand’s well-being budget was based on a set of measures that include cultural identity, environment, income and consumption, and social connections.
New analysis shows that if New Zealand replaced GDP with the Genuine Progress Indicator, which accounts for social and environmental costs, it would be only half as well off.