18 Sep 2012

Govt still intends to meet surplus target

8:30 pm on 18 September 2012

Prime Minister John Key says the Government still intends to get the books back in surplus by its self-imposed deadline of 2014/15, despite economists predicting it will not meet that target.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has forecast that the Government will be $1 billion in deficit in 2014-15, despite strict austerity measures.

Mr Key says the institute's work is obviously reflecting the international environment, but trying to get the accounts back into surplus is the right thing to do and very much one of the Government's firm ambitions.

He says all the Government can do is what is within its control and push its pro-growth agenda.

But Mr Key says without partial asset sales it will be difficult for the Government to reach its target.

The Government wants to sell up to 49% of four state-owned energy companies and use the money from the sales for capital investment.