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9/5/2018 — Economics, Politics and Government
Government tax take above target

The Government says its finances are in better shape than expected because of a stronger tax take.

Excluding investment gains and losses, the operating surplus stood at $3.3 billion for the nine months to March - $910 million more than had been forecast.

The surplus was $1.8 B higher than at the same time last year.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told Radio New Zealand the reports showed how well the Government managed costs and that it stuck closely to the requirements in the Budget Responsibility Rules.

“The financial statements reflect the Coalition Government's prudent fiscal management, and show we are keeping to the Budget Responsibility Rules requiring us to run sustainable surpluses, cut net debt to 20% of GDP within five years and for us to spend responsibly in line with previous governments,” Robertson said.

He said tax revenue was $57.5 B, about $1.1 B more than forecast due to a stronger economy which pushed up business profits, while more people employed boosted personal and sales tax. Expenses came in close to forecast, at $59.1 B.

Radio NZ said Treasury expected the tax take at the end of the year to stay ahead of forecast. Net debt stood at $60.8 B, $2.2 B less than expected. That represented 21.4% of GDP.

Robertson said he would set out the Government's spending plans in next Thursday's Budget.

Source: radionz.co.nz

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Finance Minister Grant Robertson will set out the Government's spending plans in next Thursday's Budget. Photo: Richard Tindiller, Radio NZ.