Wes Mountain/The Conversation
Among the top economists surveyed was the man who designed Australia’s higher education loans scheme – who described funding for vocational education as a “mess”.
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.
Australia’s treasury helped inspire NZ and other governments to adopt well-being budgets – now, years later, we look set to get one too. So what are the challenges ahead?
Australians’ average subjective well-being has barely deviated over the past few years. But there have been some remarkable changes among disadvantaged groups.
If wellbeing had been made an explicit goal as it it is in New Zealand, Australia’s budget would have been been different.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson on budget day: well-being for all?
There were no specific initiatives for women’s work in the budget, leaving New Zealand trailing Australia when it comes to gender balance.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson with a copy of Budget 2021.
The economic and emotional impact of COVID-19 has not been shared equally. Now is the time to start rebalancing that burden.
In February Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg called the idea of a well-being budget ‘laughable’. It’s time he took it seriously.
This 2020 budget is not the pivot to a green rebuild many had hoped for. But its short-term focus on caring for people’s health leaves the door open to stronger climate action down the track.
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.
New Zealand has actually introduced a well-being budget, but Australia had been paving the way.
Governor-General of New Zealand/AAP
Australia’s treasury adopted a well-being framework well before New Zealand’s much celebrated “well-being budget”. Here’s what happened to it.
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.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Ministry for Children have interviewed thousands of children about what well-being means to them.
When thousands of New Zealand children were asked what well-being meant for them, most wanted enough money for basics, good relationships and to be free from bullying, racism and discrimination.
As part of New Zealand’s transition to a low-emissions economy, emphasis is shifting to innovation and away from traditional agriculture.
Under the New Zealand government’s well-being approach to the budget, funding that will help reduce emissions is linked with economic development and innovation.
New Zealand developed a set of well-being indicators to guide policy advice.
New Zealand’s government has moved away from GDP as a sole indicator of prosperity to prioritise a suite of measures that track well-being.