The Prime Minister provides a high level overview of Budget 2013.
Prime Minister John Key today released the latest Indicators and Progress Report for the Government’s Tackling Methamphetamine Action Plan, and says while the picture of methamphetamine (P) supply in New Zealand remains a complex one, the efforts of law enforcement agencies are continuing to produce positive signs.
“When the Government began this plan in 2009, New Zealand had one of the highest prevalence rates of P use in the world, with 2.1 per cent of the population using the drug. The latest data shows this rate has more than halved to 0.9 per cent.
“While this is positive, the reality is there are still around 25,000 longer-term, heavy users of the drug, who are locked in a cycle of dependence, causing misery and angst for them, their families and loved ones,” says Mr Key.
“Support for P users through both the justice and health systems is available. Waiting times for community alcohol and drug services have steadily been improving, and are markedly better than in 2009.
“The Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court Pilot began at the end of last year in the Auckland and Waitakere District Courts, and the Department of Corrections has increased the number of treatment places available to prisoners with drug and alcohol problems to over 1,000.”
Mr Key says a process for allocating money forfeited to the Crown under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act and earmarked to fund drug and alcohol rehabilitation initiatives will be in place later this year.
“It is expected around $8 million will initially be available for these initiatives, as well as for targeted law enforcement tools for Customs and Police.”
Mr Key says there are other encouraging signs, including the rise in the price of a point of P, and suggestions the purity of P is declining.
“Since this plan was established, the price of P has remained relatively high, which indicates officials’ efforts to squeeze the P trade is having an effect. However, this report also shows the price for larger quantities of P is decreasing. While this emerging trend isn’t borne out by latest Police and Customs intelligence, it’s an indicator that needs to be closely watched in the coming months.
“It’s vital law enforcement agencies continue to be vigilant in this area and continue to apply pressure to those manufacturing and trading in this illegal drug,” says Mr Key.
The report is available at:
The National-led Government's fifth Budget, which we released to New Zealand last week, has been extremely well received. That's because it delivers in the areas that matter, and it supports our families who need it most.
When I spoke in Parliament on the Budget last week, it was great to have the chance to talk about our success in Government. I also took the Opportunity to point out that the opposition have adopted our mixed ownership policy as their own.
Watch my latest video to see exactly what I said.
Budget 2013 builds on the momentum created by the previous four Budgets across the Government’s wide-ranging programme, Prime Minister John Key says.
“Every Budget since 2009 has been presented against the backdrop of extremely challenging economic conditions.
“In particular, the global financial crisis, the Christchurch earthquakes and ongoing uncertainty around the world have affected most New Zealand households and businesses.
“While those challenges remain, improvements across a range of indicators and improving confidence among New Zealanders mean Budget 2013 has been prepared with a fresh sense of optimism,” Mr Key says.
“Growth is better than in most other developed countries, we are on track to surplus in 2014/15, and we are investing in programmes that will support jobs and deliver better public services.”
A feature of the Budget is a $100 million-a-year internationally-focused growth package, providing extra research and development assistance to businesses, additional funding for tourism, and more resources for marketing New Zealand to international students.
“This important initiative acknowledges New Zealand’s need to pay its way in the world through increased trade and investment if we are to create jobs and opportunities for hard-working Kiwis here in New Zealand,” Mr Key says.
“As I announced last month, within this package $158 million over four years will provide a significant boost for overseas tourism marketing, particularly in emerging and high-value markets, and $40 million over four years will be used to encourage and foster international education.
“In addition, science and innovation funding will be increased by $50 million a year. This takes the Government’s annual investment in research and development for 2013/14 to a record $1.36 billion.”
Mr Key says many other developed countries are still struggling with too much debt, little or no growth, or a combination of both.
“My Government does not want that for New Zealand.
“Budget 2013 sets out the next steps in our long-term programme, which we started after we were first elected in 2008, to ensure that we have a brighter future in this country.
“Momentum is building towards a stronger, more stable, economy that can again weather global storms and deliver opportunities, higher incomes, and more jobs for New Zealanders,” Mr Key says.Tweet