Budget 2017: Steven Joyce hints at help for families
The Finance Minister has given his biggest hint yet there'll be some relief for families in Thursday's Budget.
Steven Joyce was at a Petone printing company to see his first Budget going to print - a traditional pre-Budget photo opportunity.
He answered a barrage of nuanced questions from reporters about what Mr Joyce's first Budget would contain.
He said he'd already made a number of statements about what the Government's priorities are, but "if we get room, the opportunity to get something around family incomes".
The Government has previously set a cap of $1.5b of new Budget spending for 2017/2018.
Asked whether he thought there were families which weren't getting the income increases they need, Mr Joyce replied: "I think there's all sorts of people who have pressures in their lives".
"I don't want to get into discussions about individual groups in society for obvious reasons that we're going to have that discussion on Thursday."
He wouldn't comment specifically on whether there'd be anything in the Budget for families, including changes to tax thresholds, Working for Families, or the accommodation supplement.
"I wouldn't take anything from the comments I refuse to make on those comments."
He said the Budget wouldn't be a special election year "lolly scramble", but rather continue on a similar track as National's previous ones.
"In terms of lolly scramble, I've seen so many people requesting so much over the last few days I feel I'll have to deliver five or six budgets on Thursday to meet all the expectations," he said.
"We've always taken the approach to set a long-term track, and each budget, whether it's election year or any other year, delivers on that path we're heading down and that's what we're intending to do."