Surplus bye bye

Bill English has said:

The Government believes an OBEGAL surplus is achievable this financial year, despite Treasury’s latest forecast today predicting a $572 million (0.2 per cent of GDP) for the year to 30 June 2015, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“These forecasts emphasise the unusual conditions the New Zealand economy is experiencing,” Mr English says. “Treasury is predicting solid growth, growing employment and low interest rates, which help New Zealanders to get ahead. But at the same time, falling dairy prices and low inflation are restricting growth in the nominal economy and government revenue.

“This is making it more challenging for the Government to achieve surplus in 2014/15. However we remain on track to reduce debt to 20 per cent of GDP by 2020.

The Government has limited control over revenue, short to changes to tax rates. But what they can control is spending. If they want to get into surplus they need to rein in spending more. They knew revenue forecasts are always risky, yet allowed spending to keep rising.

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