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When gaining a friend is deemed more important than avoiding the Emergency Room in Treasury’s model it puts in doubt the analysis that should have underpinned its ‘well-being Budget, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Serious questions need to be answered on how the Treasury is being asked to evaluate spending in Budget 2019. The Treasury’s cost-benefit analysis (CBAx) model has new well-being values that look out of step with the values of New Zealanders.

“Gaining a friend is valued at $592 in the revised CBAx – more than the $387 to avoid a trip to A&E. Having contact with a neighbour is valued at $8,572, or more than twice the value of avoiding diabetes.

“Changes to the analysis behind this Government’s policies are another example of its weakness of approach and its repeated failure to deliver

“We’re a sports-loving nation but not many people would put a higher value on their membership of the local rugby club than access to emergency health services or serious illness.

“Governments always have Budget priorities and the risk with the ‘well-being’ framework is that it ends up being little more than a rebranding exercise.

“The official data isn’t encouraging. Maori are now a greater proportion of the prison population and the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) has jumped.

 “National understands that improving the lives of New Zealanders is ultimately about letting Kiwis keep more of what they earn and keeping the cost of living low. Kiwis are better off when they have more in their back-pockets and have access to world-class infrastructure and public services.”

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