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Jacinda Ardern rates her first Budget

Newshub logoNewshub 17/05/2018 Sophie Bateman

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The Prime Minister has rated her first Budget a "strong seven" out of 10.

Jacinda Ardern says she feels her Government has succeeded in building strong foundations for the road ahead.

"Of course there was more that we wanted to do, but we've delivered a surplus, we've reinvested in health, housing and education, and we know we've got another couple of years to keep building on that agenda."

She disputed that the Government had kicked Waikeria Prison to touch in its plan to postpone a $1billion rebuild and house 600 prisoners in 'rapid build modular units'.

The Prime Minister has rated her Government's first Budget. © Newshub. The Prime Minister has rated her Government's first Budget. "Waikeria was included in previous budgets - there's already a capital allocation for Waikeria. In the meantime there's also a direct immediate need which we've funded in this Budget around those 600 rapid builds, and that's because simply we had no choice.

"We've already used up all the space that was available, and so that was just something we had to do."

She's pleased to deliver 1600 state houses, which is more than the 1000 originally promised but not quite the 2000 wanted by ambitious Housing Minister Phil Twyford.

"We're going to keep doing everything we can to make sure everyone has a roof over their heads, and that includes working with community organisations and others. But for us, we're taking responsibility too."

She demurred from grading the Budget on an NCEA scale, but was happy to give it a mark out of 10.

"I'd give us a strong seven - of course there's always more that we could and want to do and we've got time to do that, but for now it's a good start."

She says her Government has "big plans" for next year's Budget.

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