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Crown finances tracking well compared to forecast

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

8 March 2013
Media Statement
Crown finances tracking well compared to forecast

The Government’s financial position continues to track slightly better than forecast in the Crown’s financial statements for the seven months to 31 January issued today, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The operating deficit before gains and losses for the seven months was $2.5 billion, or $571 million smaller than the $3.1 billion deficit forecast in the Half-Year Update in December.

“The Government is continuing to keep control of its spending, so we can remain on track for surplus in 2014/15,” Mr English says. “That’s reflected in the latest figures, where core Crown expenses have come in $282 million below forecast.

“At the same time, core Crown tax revenue is $486 million above forecast. This includes source deductions coming in $225 million above forecast, suggesting underlying strength in tax revenue.”

Core Crown tax revenue was $1.7 billion higher than in the seven months to January 2012. This was due mainly to higher source deductions and ‘other’ individuals’ tax.

Meanwhile, the operating balance – including gains from government investment funds – showed a $4.2 billion surplus for the seven months, reflecting recent strength in financial markets. This compared with a forecast $154 million deficit.

“Overall, the results are encouraging, but the Government will remain firmly focused on continuing to manage its finances responsibly so we can return to surplus and start repaying debt,” Mr English says.

“We will also press ahead with our programme to build a more competitive economy and support the business investment needed for growth and jobs.”

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