Surplus Schmurplus

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The government’s final accounts for the 2015/16 financial year are about to be revealed, and they’ll show how accurate the budget forecasts were.

Oh give me strength. ?The Media party and Labour keep going on about a few million like it matters. ?This is big number country.

When Finance Minister Bill English presented his 2015 budget it forecast a wafer-thin $176 million surplus for the year.

That’s so small it could go either way now all the numbers have been crunched.

Mr English said at the time he didn’t consider small surplus or deficit to be of any relevance, after the cliffhanger results of the previous year.

No cliffhanger this year. ? The number is $1.8b

Bill English13 OCTOBER, 2016

Government surplus increases to $1.8 billion

Finance Minister Bill English has today presented the Crown accounts for the year to June, showing a surplus of $1.8 billion in 2015/16, up from $414 million in 2014/15.

The Crown accounts show core Crown expenses are under 30 per cent of GDP for the first time since 2006, net debt has stabilised to 24.6 per cent of GDP and net worth has grown to $89.4 billion in 2015/16.

Mr English says the $1.8 billion operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) in 2015/16 – which compared to a forecast of $176 million in Budget 2015 – is a significant turnaround on the $18.4 billion deficit in 2011 following the Global Financial Crisis and Canterbury earthquakes.

?Government surpluses are rising and debt is falling as a percentage of GDP which puts us in a position to be able to make some real choices for New Zealanders,? Mr English says.

?The New Zealand economy has made significant progress over the past eight years. This delivers more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders, and also drives a greater tax take to help the Government?s books.?

Core Crown tax revenue was $1.6 billion higher than forecast in Budget 2015.

?We?ve also been getting on top of our spending, exercising fiscal restraint while still investing responsibly in our growing economy and public services.

Core Crown expenses were $73.9 billion in 2015/16, below the forecast of $74.5 billion at the beginning of the year.

?We?ve focussed on results and are starting to address the drivers of dysfunction by investing in better public services. We remain committed to maintaining rising operating surpluses and reducing net debt to around 20 per cent of GDP in 2020.

?If there is any further fiscal headroom, we may have the opportunity to reduce debt faster and as we?ve always said, if economic and fiscal conditions allow, we will begin to reduce income taxes.

?The outlook for the economy is positive, the Government?s books are in good shape and we are addressing our toughest social problems. However, we also need to bear in mind that there are a lot of risks globally and that is why it is important to get our debt levels down.

?Budget 2017 will make positive long-term choices to strengthen the economy and our communities.?

Mr English will release the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update on Thursday 8 December.

$1.8b is just what National needs to fill all the troughs, pork barrels, corporate back handers and just enough to keep the Police Association, PSA and teachers unions from chucking several spanners into an election year.

No doubt, tax cuts will be considered next year when the country is showing sustained growth.

Time to spread $1.8b as efficiently as possible to ensure a fourth term.

 

 

– NZN via Yahoo! News

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