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Govt will need smoke and mirrors to achieve Budget surplus

Govt will need smoke and mirrors to achieve Budget surplus

The National Government will need smoke and mirrors to achieve its promised Budget surplus with government accounts today showing a worse than forecast deficit, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

The government’s financial statements for the nine months to March 31 show the core operating deficit is $1.7 billion, $199 million worse than forecast with core government revenue $743 million below forecast.

“National has been promising a surplus since it took office over five years ago and will doubtless trumpet such a forecast in next week’s Budget. But their mismanagement of the government accounts over five years as shown by today’s figures, suggests the public should be mistrustful of the promise.

“When National took office, government net debt was just $14.1 billion and today’s figures show that it has blown out to $61.2 billion, over-spending of $219 million every week, a staggering increase in debt that amounts to around an extra $10,000 for every man woman and child in the country.

“Debt is National’s legacy. The 2010 tax cuts to the top 10 percent cost $5 billion, which, given the global financial circumstances, were completely irresponsible.

Net debt now amounts to 27.6 percent of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product. It was just 7.8 percent when National took office. The cost of servicing government debt has risen by over $1 billion dollars annually since it took office.

“Finance Minister Bill English says National is a prudent manager but its record is the polar opposite. National has used its $4.7 billion asset sales programme to mask their financial mismanagement, but the fact that they will not promote further sales as part of their election platform shows both its unpopularity and its failure,” said Dr Norman.

“Under a Green government, revenue would rise as jobs and high value companies expand as the economy transitions towards green, high technology production.”


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