25 May 2016

English says 'wait and see' on Budget

7:11 pm on 25 May 2016
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Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

Finance Minister Bill English is remaining typically tight-lipped about what's in tomorrow's Budget.

There have already been a number of pre-Budget announcements, across a range of portfolios, but Mr English will almost definitely have something significant up his sleeve.

In Parliament, Labour's finance spokesperson, Grant Robertson, tried his luck getting something out of the Finance Minister.

"Does he believe that one year of focus on spending in health, housing and education will deal with the problems built up over the past eight years and if not, will he rule out offering tax cuts in 2017."

Mr English replied that the government has focused on doing a better job since the day it was elected.

Caucus run 21/07/15

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

"And the Labour Party might wish that there was some kind of widespread breakdown in public services but it's absolutely not the case."

Mr Robertson then asked whether the Budget would include money to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks as the Labour Party bill being debated on Wednesday afternoon proposed.

Mr English replied that Mr Robertson would have to wait and see.

"But the government's stance on Labour's bill has not altered, the government extended paid parental leave in the last Budget in two tranches of two weeks in successive years, and given the range of demands on the government purse, that is a fair and balanced outcome."

Mr English will unveil the 2016 Budget at 2pm tomorrow in Parliament and the full suite of Budget documents will be live on the Treasury website at the same time.

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