Accounts show need for spending discipline   20 Feb 2012

New Zealand Government

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

20 February 2012

Accounts show need for spending discipline

Lower Government spending has offset lower than expected tax revenue, helping keep the Government's finances on track in the six months to 31 December 2011, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The Crown accounts show tax revenue was $400 million below forecast and revenue $743 million lower overall. However this was offset by lower core Crown expenses of $887 million, leaving the operating balance before gains and losses close to forecast.

"Lower tax revenue reinforces the need for the Government to be disciplined in its spending and stick to its plan to get back to surplus in 2014/15," Mr English says.

"Balancing the books and returning to surplus is one of the most important things the Government can do to rebalance our economy towards savings and exports.

"That is why we have made it one of our four main priorities, alongside building a more productive and competitive economy, delivering better public services and rebuilding Canterbury.

"The economic update in the Budget Policy Statement last week shows growth will be slightly lower in the near term due to a weaker global outlook.

"That makes getting back to surplus an even bigger challenge, but we are committed to keeping a tight lid on spending and putting in place policies that make our economy more competitive. That will continue into the foreseeable future," Mr English says.

ENDS

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