Government hints at tax cuts in Budget 2017

Budget 2017 will be unveiled on May 25, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

The government will unveil its 2017 government budget on May 25 and has hinted tax cuts could be on the way.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce says the government is mindful the money it spends comes from “hard working Kiwis.”

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

He also says the budget will continue a “relentless focus” on reducing debt as a percentage of GDP.

“A key part of building a resilient economy is creating the necessary buffers to deal with the next economic shock,” he says.

The government remains committed to its target of reducing net debt to 20% of GDP by 2020/21, Mr Joyce says.

Government debt is roughly 25% of GDP at the moment – among the lowest sovereign debt levels in the world.

He says the government will be centred on providing “opportunities for all Kiwis to get ahead.”

He says it will also involve investing in public services and building the infrastructure for a growing New Zealand.

“As the economy grows, we have a little more headroom to invest in better public services.”

Mr Joyce says the focus will be on achieving better results, and not “just tipping in more taxpayers' money.”

 “New Zealand businesses have generated 328,000 new jobs since 2008, and average weekly wages have grown by 26.1% – more than double the rate of inflation.”

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

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