Crown accounts on track for surplus

HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 10:42 06/06/2014

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The Crown's coffers are back on track for a surplus next year, with the latest figures showing a marked improvement over the last two months.

The Government's latest financial statements showed operating balance before gains and losses was a deficit of $1.37 billion. However this deficit was $148 million less than Treasury predicted in last year's Budget.

Only two months ago the accounts were showing a deficit that was much larger than projected. In the eight months to the end of February, it was $1.4b, $884m worse than expected, as Crown revenue came in below expectations.

Finance Minister Bill English today welcomed the figures.

"These results confirm Treasury's Budget forecasts, which showed that we are on track to a modest surplus of $372 million next year, increasing to $3.49 billion in 2017-18," English said.

"Sound fiscal policy is essential for sustaining economic growth over the medium term. By keeping on top of government spending we can also help interest rates stay lower for longer."

The improvement came despite tax revenue remaining worse than expected, $111m below Budget 2014 forecasts.

This was offset by non-tax revenue, while expenses were also below forecast, leading to the lower than expected deficit.

Revenue for the period was $2.3b or 4.8 per cent higher than a year ago, with GST, company tax and source deductions, all all up on last year.

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