8 Feb 2017

Budget date set, tax cuts likely

2:41 pm on 8 February 2017

The Government will deliver its election-year Budget on 25 May, with new Finance Minister Steven Joyce continuing to hint at tax cuts.

Caucas run.

The Budget will be Steven Joyce's first as Finance Minister. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

It will be the National-led government's first budget with Bill English as Prime Minister and Steven Joyce in his leader's old role of Finance Minister.

"Budget 2017 will seek to give businesses the confidence to keep investing and keep growing, to provide more opportunities for New Zealand families," Mr Joyce said.

In its half-year economic and fiscal update in December, Treasury forecast growing surpluses due to a fast-growing economy, from $473 million this year to $8.5 billion by 2021.

The general election takes place in late September and Mr Joyce said this year's budget would involve investing in public services and building infrastructure.

"As the economy grows, we have a little more headroom to invest in better public services," he said.

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Prime Minister Bill English was Finance Minister for eight years. Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

"However, as always, our focus will be on achieving better results, and not just tipping in more taxpayers money," Mr Joyce said.

He reiterated that reducing debt remained a priority, but tax cuts were on the table.

"We remain committed to reducing the tax burden on lower and middle-income earners when we have the room to do so."

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