The Government has cooled on tax cuts this term, saying paying debt is to be the priority over the next two years.
Because of a larger spending allowance in 2017, up to $2.5b in tax cuts were seen as real possibility in 2017.
However, in a pre-Budget speech in Wellington today Mr English stressed the focus for his government - if it has any spare money - will be paying down debt, not allocating money for tax cuts in 2017.
Mr English also announced that some of the money allocated for next year's Budget will now be brought forward to this year, to help with spending pressures and debt repayments.
He says the Government is still committed to tax cuts over time and will consider cuts as and when fiscal conditions improve.