By Jenny Ruth
Jan. 16 (BusinessDesk) - The government’s budget surplus for the five months ended November was running slightly ahead of forecast due to it collecting more tax and incurring fewer expenses than forecast.
The surplus of $261 million was in contrast to Treasury’s expectations of an $88 million deficit for the five months.
Tax revenue in the five months was $141 million higher than expected at $32.9 billion while core Crown other revenue was $61 million more than expected at $35.9 billion. Core Crown expenses were $409 million less at $35.52 billion.
Treasury says the higher tax revenue was due to higher than expected deductions at source and GST, offset by a lower corporate tax take.
The lower-than-expected expenses mostly reflect underspending on the government’s social housing and KiwiBuild policies, which Treasury says are likely to be timing differences.
Gross government debt of $88.15 billion at Nov. 30 is $504 million less than expected and 30.3 percent of GDP, with net debt of $61.98 billion being 21.3 percent of GDP.
Treasury is forecasting a $1.72 billion surplus for the full year ending June.