Health to receive biggest Budget boost

Last updated 15:48 11/05/2014

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Prime Minister John Key has revealed the health sector will receive the biggest chunk of this year's budget with over $15 billon being set aside.

Key, in Queenstown for the National Party conference, said the economy, law and order and the health sector were the key three things for the government.

But health would be the largest spending item in the budget ''by quite a margin''.

Knowing the government would help them when they were in need was important to the people of New Zealand, Key said.

The existing National-led government had increased the number of doctors in New Zealand by 1300, nurses by 3000 and elective surgery numbers were increasing, Key said.

Cancer patients were no longer being sent to Australia for treatment and health was the only area where technology drove demand.

The budget was expected to show New Zealand was ''$90 to 100 billion less in debt'' and ''back in surplus'', he said.
''Business confidence is pretty much at a 20-year high."

Key said 1500 people a week were getting off welfare and joining the work force because there was a job to go to.

Figures released earlier this week showed a total of 83,000 more people were in work than a year ago, but unemployment remains stubbornly high at 6 per cent.

In March, 350 New Zealanders left the country for Australia, the lowest number since records began in 1986, he said.

The budget announcement comes four and a half months before the election.

''It's going to show how strong the economy is,'' Key said.

He urged people to take note of the Australian budget, which will be announced on Tuesday.

Key said ''if we get a third term we will not be changing what we've done in the past six years. We are confident about what this country can succeed and achieve.'' 

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee also spoke at the conference to discuss the Christchurch rebuild and the projected completion dates of several anchor projects.

The bus interchange project was expected to be finished next year as was the east frame residential project.

The justice and emergency services precinct, which will bring together all justice and emergency services and house over 1700 employees, will be finished in the first quarter of 2017, as would the conventional centre precinct and the metro sport facility, which included eight indoors netball courts and swimming pools.

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