We in India just finished our Budget and we all know, it was all about politics but a milieu of middle class gained too! For once, a pleasant collateral damage!
While we are looking at a very political Budget, in May’19, New Zealand will be presenting the world’s first “wellbeing budget.” And this was urged by the OECD and the IMF, which has for long asked companies to look beyond a strong balance sheet and a strong economy to redefine success. The focus is to be specifically on living standards and human, social, and natural capital when the country set targets and track progress. In its budget, it has set five priorities each deliberately focused on long-term intergenerational change.
One very important focus will be to support the mental wellbeing of all New Zealanders, with a special focus on under 24-year-olds. From a purely economic perspective, there are clear benefits to supporting positive mental wellbeing including as enhanced productivity. From a kindness perspective, the modern age places huge stresses on young people, which affects their ability to live full, meaningful lives.
In practical terms, child poverty figures will be presented at every budget. The onus will be on ministers to show how spending proposals will benefit people.
While we are grappling with data, real or unreal, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it will no longer just crunch numbers on economic data. She strongly believes there is need for an "economics of kindness" as an alternative to protectionism.