Today (Thursday 26 May) after 2pm, the Minister of Finance Hon Bill English will deliver the 2016 Budget to the House of Representatives.
The Budget is an annual event that sets out the Government’s economic policies and plans for spending public money in the 2016-17 financial year.
All Government spending must be scrutinised and approved by Parliament, and Parliament gives this approval by passing a special law, called an Appropriation Bill. The Budget is effectively the start of this ‘appropriation’ process.
The Budget statement starts the annual Budget debate in the House, which lasts for up to 15 hours. This debate usually takes precedence over all other Government business to ensure adequate time for the Budget to be carefully scrutinised.
The Minister of Finance delivers the Budget statement as a speech in the House that has no time limit. The Minister may also review the international economic outlook and the performance of the New Zealand economy. The statement outlines the Government’s proposals for public spending and for managing the economy in the next financial year and beyond. The Minister may also announce changes to social policy, such as health, education, and welfare.
Procedurally, when making the Budget statement, the Minister moves the second reading of the main Appropriation Bill and presents associated Budget documents. These include the Estimates of Appropriations which provide details of the Government’s spending plans.
Once presented, the Budget documents are made available on:
The role of select committees
Following the delivery of the Budget, select committees will examine the details of the proposed spending set out in the Estimates of Appropriations. Information about which committees will examine the different areas of spending will be published on the website when available.