The pork barrel overfloweth in election year

The Government?s books are better than expected, with a $1.1 billion OBEGAL surplus for the seven months to January, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Stronger tax revenues as a result of a healthier economy are flowing through to the Government?s financial performance,” Mr Joyce says.

Tax revenues year-to-date are 3.8 per cent more than they were predicted to be in Budget 2016.

“Company tax in particular is higher than expected, and that reflects the good performance of New Zealand companies in what is still an uncertain world,” Mr Joyce says.

The $1.1 billion OBEGAL surplus compares to Treasury?s forecast of a $517 million surplus at the start of the fiscal year.

Core Crown expenses for the seven months to January were $234 million lower than the Budget forecast, reflecting the Government?s ongoing commitment to prudent spending.

Mr Joyce says that a number of variables made the final out-turn for the full financial year hard to predict.

“The biggest variable at this stage is the cost of the Kaikoura earthquake and how those are allocated between this year and next year,” Mr Joyce says.

Even so, there is enough there for the government to start announcing lots of cool stuff that it won’t implement for another two or three years. ?You know the tactic: ?”1.2 billion over six years for the NZ Police starting in 2018″.

“The good news is that this Government?s strong economic management means we can afford to step in to help these communities and support them when they are most in need.”

Sadly, with National being to the left of Helen’s Labour government, and National’s unbridled lust for populism, they are going to spend most of it on the people that “need it most” instead of rewarding the people that worked the hardest.