Finance Minister Bill English yesterday released a slightly more generous Budget than expected, but still plans to scrape into surplus by 2015 through some sleight of hand with revenue and savings.
A government-subsidised home insulation scheme will be extended for a year, Energy Minister Phil Heatley announced in today's Budget.
Finance Minister Bill English yesterday delivered exactly what he had promised - a return to fiscal surplus by June 2015.
Finance Minister Bill English had indicated his Budget 2012, to be delivered on May 24, will be a "zero budget" with no new spending. Business editor DeneMackenzie scrutinises a speech Mr English made yesterday looking for clues as to what we can expect next month.
Bill English has been true to his word and has delivered a Budget with no dramatics.
The first phase of the Government's welfare reforms has received $287.5 million, over the next four years.
Finance Minister Bill English will deliver his Budget 2012 on Thursday against the European cycle of crisis and the prospect sharemarkets will continue their downward trend.
Youth workers in schools and centres such as `One Stop Shops' for youth will get about $4.3 million in funding a year under the Budget to provide mental health services to youth - including a new $2 million `social media' fund to use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to reach youth with mental health issues.
While some Otago school principals believe this year's Budget comes at the expense of New Zealand's education system, others are wary of its implications and are reserving judgement until more detail is known.
Allocating $65 million to improved drug and alcohol and education programmes for prisoners will reduce offending by 25 percent and see 18,500 fewer victims of crime, according to the Government.
The Government will pull the plug on the student loan voluntary repayment scheme, saving $43.5 million.
The University of Otago and Dunedin will benefit significantly from a $326 million boost for science, innovation and research announced in the Budget, university sciences pro-chancellor Prof Keith Hunter says.
Another boost to dementia-care funding is likely to be "trumpeted" by the Government in Thursday's Budget, New Zealand Aged Care Association chief executive Martin Taylor says.
The Government is cutting $155 million from current services aimed at getting youth and the unemployed into work to help fund its $287.5m welfare reform support package.
A delay in introducing auto-enrolment in KiwiSaver will save the Government about $514 million as Finance Minister Bill English continues to promise a return of the government books to surplus in 2014-15.
OPINION: David Shearer delivered his strongest speech yet as leader of the Labour Party, when he yesterday launched a broadside at the Government's prediction for a "zero Budget" to be delivered on Thursday.
The taxpayer bill for the AMI Insurance bill has more than halved to just under $150 million in today's Budget.
Cuts to student support in yesterday's Budget will allow the Government to put more emphasis on engineering, science and research, Minister for Tertiary Education Steven Joyce says.
The Treasury is getting into the swing of austerity measures as Finance Minister Bill English prepares to release his Budget 2012 tomorrow.