Next budget will be `business as usual'

Next year's budget will be business as usual, with no changes to the government's economic management plan.

Finance Minister Bill English says the global environment isn't going to improve in the short term and the time isn't right for any "untried economic experiments" - an apparent reference to opposition party policies.

In his budget policy statement released on Tuesday he says budget 2013, expected to be presented in May, will continue the government's commitment to responsible long-term fiscal management.

"This will require restraint well beyond the surplus target of 2014/15 so we can pay down debt and build a buffer against the next global shock," he said.

"Budget 2013 will also contribute to the government's other main priorities of delivering better public services within tight financial constraints and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch."

Mr English sees the European debt crisis and ongoing economic problems in the United States as the biggest risks to global recovery.

"Forecasts of growth in the world's largest and most developed economies have recently been revised downwards," he said.

"Global factors will continue to affect New Zealand, which makes up just a quarter of one per cent of the world economy."

Mr English says the priorities in his next budget will be the same as those he has stayed with since National came to power in 2008:

* responsibly managing the government's finances

* building a more productive and competitive economy

* delivering better public services within tight financial constraints

* rebuilding Christchurch.

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