Wellington, June 6, 2017
The Government accounts for the ten months to April 30, 2017 show a surplus of $2.5 billion, although about $1 billion of that is due to timing differences that are expected to reverse out in May.
While the accounts for the year-to-date are $1.6 billion stronger than was forecast at the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update, the bulk of this change is due to a timing difference of company taxes.
Treasury and Inland Revenue expect most of that to reverse in May, and at this stage Treasury expects the 2016-2017 accounts to be broadly as forecast.
Core Crown revenue was $1.1 billion higher than expected for the ten-month period, while Core Crown expenditure was $400 million less than what was expected.
Net debt is currently at 24% of GDP.
It is important not to take too much from a single month’s figures particularly because of the timing differences noted by the Treasury.
However, the accounts overall do underline the Government’s improving fiscal position as a result of our strong economic plan.
It is only by having this strong economic plan that we get to make the sort of choices we were able to make in the recent budget, and only a strong economic plan will give us the capacity to make more positive decisions into the future.
Steven Joyce is Finance Minister of New Zealand.