Government Budget track still in the red, but shows modest improvement

The NZ Government Budget deficit was running at $889m for the six months to December 2015
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ

The NZ Government Budget deficit was running at $889m for the six months to December 2015

The Government's books are tracking about $900 million in the red, but the deficit has improved since the last monthly update.

Figures released on Friday show the operating balance before gains and losses (Obegal) was in deficit by $889m for the six months to the end of December, $92m worse than forecast.

Overall the figures were in line with forecasts.

Revenue at $35.2 billion was $171m lower than forecast, with lower interest revenue being the main contributor.

 READ MORE:
* NZ Government books running $1.6 billion in the red as tax take disappoints
NZ's return to deficit will be short-lived as economy set to rebound - Treasury
Bill English chalks up Budget surplus but backs off promises of more
Government talks up economy despite warning of 7pc unemployment
Migration hits new record of 62,500 as Kiwis come home
* NZ gets $1 billion shot in the arm

Offsetting that, expenses at $36.5b were $142m lower than forecast.

"Although revenue is slightly under forecast, we are keeping a tight rein on what we can control - our spending," Finance Minister Bill English said.

Net losses were $611m higher than forecast largely due to higher than expected actuarial losses on the ACC claims liability. When gains and losses were combined with the Obegal deficit, the operating balance (excluding minority interests) was in the red by $1.98b ($709m greater than forecast).

Residual cash was in deficit by $7b, $913m higher than forecast, pushing net debt to $66.9b, equivalent to 27.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

Much of that difference is expected to reverse when the result to the end of January is known, due to the timing of payments over the Christmas period.

Ad Feedback

At the end of 2015, Crown assets were valued at $274.6b and liabilities were $184.5b.

Treasury said the fiscal results were similar to the same time last year, when the Obegal deficit was $990m.

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by 3.3 per cent, while core Crown expenses have grown by 2.5 per cent over that time.

The deficit to the end of November, reported last month, was $1.6b - $383m worse than expected.

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback