Budget set for May 26

  • 16/02/2016
Finance Minister Bill English (File)
Finance Minister Bill English (File)

Finance Minister Bill English will present his eighth budget on May 26.

He says it will deliver "further policies to support a resilient and confident economy".

"Budget 2016 will be about building on that success and ensuring that New Zealand families continue to see the benefits of a stronger economy," Mr English said.

There will be no let-up in the Government's ongoing commitment to spending restraint after it made a small surplus in 2014/15, he said.

Questioned in Parliament about the upcoming budget, Mr English said that after a relatively soft first half of last year, recent data suggested the economy picked up in the second half of 2015.

"The outlook is for continued moderate growth," he said.

"The most recent forecast expects GDP to grow around 2.7 percent a year through to 2020 -- that means a further 173,000 additional jobs on top of the 175,000 added in the last three years."

Mr English said this year had started with "a perception of greater risk in the global economy" driven by weak commodity prices, slower growth in China and the uncertain impact of US interest rates.

"We will continue to focus on New Zealand's resilience to any of these changes," he said.

Labour's finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, says Mr English is being too complacent.

"This year is set to be the most volatile in almost a decade," he said.

"Bill English needs to get ahead of the game ... National needs to bring forward more infrastructure projects. It needs to take urgent action to diversify the economy away from dairy and the Auckland housing market."