This year's Budget is one of the hardest Finance Minister Grant Robertson has had to put together, according to RNZ's political editor Jane Patterson.

With an international backdrop of the economic risk posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the potential emergence of further Covid-19 variants, the government is also under pressure to address the day-to-day concerns of many New Zealanders.

A focus on tackling the increasing costs of living - the price of essentials like food, fuel and accommodation are all on the rise - is expected.

Why is the Budget usually on a Thursday, why just before a sitting break and why is the debate on it usually interrupted by urgent business? Editor of RNZ's The House wrote a few pointers on how it happens and some reasons why that may be.

Oddity notes on budget week at Parliament

It's Budget week at Parliament. It's not the only thing happening but it gets all the attention. It's a pretty odd week in many ways and you may wonder why it happens like it does. So here are a few pointers on how it happens and some reasons why that may be.

A difficult balancing act - ANZ economist

 

An economist says the government faces a difficult balancing act in today's Budget, as it tries to deal with inflation.

 

The Budget is expected to show a softening economic outlook, a slower return to surplus, increased borrowing and no substantive tax relief.

Health and climate change will take the lion's share of new spending, but further relief from high fuel and household costs is expected.

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner told Morning Report people are interested in how inflationary the budget will be, which will come down to the mix of spending.

The Budget being delivered by the Finance Minister today is expected to show a softening economic outlook, a slower return to surplus, increased borrowing and no substantive tax relief.

Grant Robertson has already said health and climate change will take the lion's share of new spending, but further relief from high fuel and household costs is expected.

However, economists will be looking at how much government spending adds to inflation, which in turn will require higher interest rates.

The tax take has been well ahead of forecast, but that may not last if a slower economy puts the brakes on consumer spending and company profits.