Shane Cowlishaw

There were shades of red in the keystone of National’s Budget – a family package aimed at those on the lowest incomes. But is it a symptom of a Government really trying to help the bottom rung, or simply an election sweetener?

As expected, the centrepiece of this year’s Budget is a family package. Shane Cowlishaw explores where the money will be spent.

The Government’s social investment approach has been under pressure following a string of blunders by MSD. Now, the new fix-it Minister has been called in to help get things back on track.

Working for Families has been tweaked in recent years in ways that squeezed inflation-adjusted incomes and increased marginal tax rates. Shane Cowlishaw examines whether the policy is failing and if it could be given a boost in the Budget.

Trainee teacher programme Teach First NZ was the big winner in the government’s pre-Budget education announcement. Shane Cowlishaw explores whether the new funding will have a tangible effect in solving the teacher shortage.