"If they hadn't stopped contributions to the NZ Super Fund at the bottom of the market the surplus would be even higher."Featured comment
Large gains from government financial institutions have swung the government books into surplus.
Investments by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and the Accident Compensation Corporation were, respectively, $207 million and $689 million above forecasts for the five months to November, according to the monthly financial statements from the Treasury.
That delivers an unexpected operating balance $706 million surplus compared to an anticipated $515 million deficit.
But even without those always-volatile results, the accounts show an unexpected improvement.
The ‘OBEGAL’ – operating balance excluding gains and losses – was, while still in deficit, at $3.0 billion, or $203 lower than expected.
Tax revenue has risen, while government spending is a fraction down. Core tax revenue is up $1.1 billion, or 5.3%, on the same period last year.
Expenses fell $50 million, or 0.2%. Corporate tax is down, by $291 million, to $2.7 billion, on the same period last year.
Income tax is up $100 million, or 1%, as is GST, up $18 million or 0.8%. The government’s increase in “sin taxes” is also paying off, up $80 million or 0.4%.