6 Dec 2013

Govt operating deficit lower than forecast

1:39 pm on 6 December 2013

The gap between what the Government is spending and what it is earning has continued to better expectations.

Four months into the financial year, the operating deficit is $1.7 billion. That was $395 million less than forecast in the May budget, and the difference is due to a higher tax take and lower spending.

The tax take is up $198 million because of a rise in personal tax income and customs and excise duties.

Spending was $255 million or 1% lower than forecast, due to delays in earthquake expenses and Treaty settlements.

There have also been big investment gains from the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC.

Finance Minister Bill English says the results continue a trend in the past year of better than expected results and the Government remains on track to return to surplus in the June 2015 financial year.