Join nzherald.co.nz live from 2pm for full Budget coverage

Grant Robertson's first Budget this afternoon is expected to have a strong focus on fiscal responsibility: there will be a surplus, there will be a conservative debt target and spending will be limited to 30 per cent of GDP.

There will also be more spending on health and education, but anyone expecting a radical transformation of the economy might be disappointed - this year at least.

The business sector isn't expecting much and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also seem keen to dampen expectations that there will be "no surprises" today.

Tourism businesses were also hoping to avoid a "May surprise" in the budget at a time when the industry is consolidating record growth but still facing infrastructure pressure.

Advertisement
Bruce Bernacchi, a KPMG tax partner, hopes to see more information about Government's building plans. Photo/KPMG.
Bruce Bernacchi, a KPMG tax partner, hopes to see more information about Government's building plans. Photo/KPMG.

Meanwhile, an Auckland tax expert hopes today's Budget deliver details on funding the first stages of the Government's ambitious $2 billion, 100,000-house KiwiBuild plan.

Bruce Bernacchi, a KPMG tax partner, hopes further information about funding, timing and location will be released today, revealing more about the huge affordable house-building plan.

While increasing productivity is top of mind for many small businesses industry leaders say this year's Budget won't be a win for the sector.

"I don't think there's going to be much in it for us," Sue De Bievre, chief executive of Beany said.

Sue De Bievre, chief executive of Beany, isn't expecting much from the Budget.
Sue De Bievre, chief executive of Beany, isn't expecting much from the Budget.

"But I'm hoping there's going to be something around research and development, to boost productivity, in terms of tax credits or grants."

And more resources for biosecurity tops the rural sector's wishlist for the Budget.
The incursion of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis has made resourcing this policy area a priority for farmers and their organisations.

Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard said funding was needed to overhaul the national animal tracing system (NAIT) after its failure in the Mycoplasma incursion, as well as funds to improve the compliance system side of biosecurity.

Money for improving rural telecommunications was also a priority for Hoggard For Beef+Lamb NZ, biosecurity funding was a priority, along with resourcing trade and free trade agreements.

With more than 80 per cent of beef and 90 per cent of sheepmeat exported, new market access and reducing tariff barriers was critical for New Zealand, the industry organisation said.