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Accounts on track in four months to October

Hon Bill English

Minister of Finance

6 December 2013

Media Statement

Accounts on track in four months to October

A combination of slightly higher than expected revenue and lower than forecast spending left the Government’s operating deficit before gains and losses almost $400 million smaller than expected at $1.75 billion in the four months to 31 October.

“The result continues a trend over the past year of the Government’s fiscal results exceeding forecasts, as we remain on track to return to surplus in 2014/15,” Finance Minister Bill English says.

“As the Prime Minister and I have said, getting back to surplus remains a significant challenge. Although the economy is improving and revenue is increasing, there are a lot of other large influences on the Government’s books. These include a growing prominence of financial assets and liabilities, which expose taxpayers to greater volatility.”

The Half Year Update on 17 December will include a full set of new forecasts for both the Government’s books and the economy.

“The accompanying Budget Policy Statement will also confirm that the Government will continue to responsibly manage its own finances and the economy,” Mr English says.

In the four months to October, core Crown tax revenue at $19.34 billion was around $200 million above Budget forecasts. Core Crown spending was about $250 million lower than forecast at $23.32 billion.

“The Government will continue focusing on getting better results from resolving social issues to improve New Zealanders’ lives. This will also deliver better value from government spending in justice, education, welfare and health,” Mr English says.

Continued strength in sharemarkets was reflected in the ACC and New Zealand Super Fund investment portfolios, leaving an operating surplus for the four months of $1.83 billion - almost $3.3 billion better than forecast.

ENDS

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