The main talking point was the $790m child hardship package which includes a $25 increase in core benefits for beneficiaries with children. Increasing benefits is something no-one had expected, and certainly not from a National government. It is fair to assume this "generosity" is in part due to the savings that have accrued and will continue to accrue from National's welfare reforms which require beneficiaries to find work.
- Lower-income working families not on a benefit will get up to $12.50 a week extra from Working for Families, and some very low-income working families will get $24.50 extra.
- The childcare assistance subsidy for low-income families will increase from $4 an hour to $5 an hour for up to 50 hours of childcare a week per child.
- ACC levies will reduce by $375m next year, followed by cuts of $125m in 2017. From 1 July this year the ACC levy cuts already announced in vehicle registrations will come into effect.
- New funding of $210m for more ultra-fast broadband and $150m for improvements to rural broadband.
- $12m has been allocated for the New Zealand Business Number which is a foundation stone for data sharing by government departments and online services. This is part of the government’s proposal to reduce compliance costs by 25% by 2017.
- $425m has been allocated to support Business Growth Agenda initiatives. $25m has been allocated to establish three regional research institutes to focus on creating new jobs in the regions.
- Border security will be beefed up with funding from a new "border clearance levy" for arriving and departing passengers of $16 and $6 respectively.