Grant Robertson praises Government’s Pandemic Response

Grant Robertson praises Government’s Pandemic Response

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Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has praised the Government's strong Pandemic response, which is going greater than expected economically.

Mr Robertson said the money allocated for the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund has not all been spent in a pre-budget speech to Wellington's Chamber of Commerce this morning.

“As part of Budget preparation, I asked each Minister to look again at the areas of the Covidspending for which they were responsible for seeing if it was still required or still a priority, and whether underspends could be reprioritised,” Grant Robertson said.

“We have committed to only spending what we need to in terms of our response and recovery. I am pleased that we have found these savings and that they can be returned to the fund to aid our recovery from Covid-19 and targeted to where it is needed the most.”

Around $926m in savings has been yielded, allowing for Budget 2021 to continue foraging for the recovery.

Details about the reprioritisations on the Covid Response and Recovery Fund is working at a managed level — setting focus to accelerate the economy while investing in the economy following downpour due to the Pandemic.

“Budget 2021 will be a recovery Budget. New Zealand’s economy continues to perform better than forecast, but we know that the impacts of Covid-19 are still being felt around the world,” Grant Robertson said.

“We will strike a careful balance between continuing to invest in our recovery and beginning the task of reducing down the debt we took on to support New Zealanders through Covid-19.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tasked Mr Robertson with a duty to lead a new implementation unit based in her department.

The new unit will allow for more tackling of core priorities that matter.

“The Unit will be funded through Budget 2021 and will monitor and support the implementation of a small number of critical initiatives, particularly where multiple agencies are involved in the work,” Grant Robertson said.

“At a time where the Government is playing a much greater role in supporting the economy and investing for the future, it is crucial that we ensure that we are getting value for money from every dollar of spending and that across the public service initiatives are being delivered in a way that supports our economic recovery.”

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