Date posted: 23/05/2017 2 min read

What CAs want from New Zealand Budget 2017

Acuity interviewed a cross section of chartered accountants to find out what they want to see New Zealand’s Finance Minister Steven Joyce deliver in Budget 2017.

In brief

  • Preventative spending in health and social services is required from New Zealand Budget 2017.
  • In good times government must put money aside for the inevitable natural disasters New Zealand is prone to.
  • The time is now right to make employer superannuation contributions mandatory.

Image: Alex Grimm / Getty Images.

Wayne Williams CA, CEO, Alliance Health

Population increase and the march of chronic disease are putting huge pressure on the public health system. We know from experience and evidence that money spent on primary care is an investment that pays huge dividends. The government should spend more on preventative primary care and introduce initiatives that increase productivity, such as using technology to extract more value from what we do spend.  

Population increase, together with the rise in the cost of an average house in Auckland, means more families are unable to afford any property at all. Some people are living in cars. A focal point of the budget should be innovative housing solutions for these people to save much greater social costs down the track.  

"We need measures that ensure tourists make a contribution towards the costs of catering for them."
Wayne Williams CA CEO, Alliance Health.

Every overseas terrorist attack makes “clean and green” New Zealand an increasingly attractive destination. We need measures that ensure tourists make a contribution towards the costs of catering for them and preserving our pristine country.  

Lloyd Alderman CA, accountant at Navman Wireless 

New Zealand has been going through a relatively prosperous period, which makes it a good time to take serious steps to reduce national debt. One approach would be to raise the corporate tax rate to 30% and introduce another income tax bracket at the higher end of income earnings, say NZ$150,000, at a 40% or higher tax rate.  

Saving for later life, particularly with the housing boom in Auckland, is difficult for many Kiwis. The government should look at introducing a KiwiSaver increase, and making employer contributions mandatory.  

Some of the additional revenue from taxation should be invested in key social service programmes such as preventative mental health, preventative drug and alcohol abuse programmes and a serious focus on domestic violence. Also, key social service programmes in the Asia Pacific region to build climate change resilience and improve education and health.  

A CA in a senior role at a New Zealand university (name withheld by request)

Part of the problem with talking about what we want to see in the Budget is that much is “leaked” in advance, and what is good for the economy gets mixed with politics. There is a difference between announcements and action.  

With an accountant’s hat on, I want to see the books continue to be balanced as New Zealand is in a great position because of past good financial management. It’s important that in times of surplus the government puts funds aside as New Zealand is quite prone to very expensive national disasters that demand national funding.  

"The government should look at introducing a KiwiSaver increase, and making employer contributions mandatory."  
Lloyd Alderman CA, accountant at Navman Wireless.

On the social side of things it is important that people do get the handouts they need, without it being throwing money away. I really like the government’s investment approach, based on solid evidence and detailed analysis.  

Compulsory superannuation is a good idea and should be looked at. KiwiSaver has been around for a while now, so unlike the 1990s when Kiwis would not accept it, it is becoming easier to make it mandatory as it is no longer a big deal.  

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