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The Government accounts for the eleven months to 31 May 2017 show a surplus of $4.5 billion, $1.5 billion ahead of the budget forecast, says Finance Minister Steven Joyce.

“The rising surplus shows the benefit of a strong economic plan that is delivering consistent growth,” Mr Joyce says. “The primary driver for these results is stronger-than-forecast tax revenues, particularly company tax” Mr Joyce says.

Core Crown revenue was $1.1 billion higher than expected for the eleven month period, while Core Crown expenditure was $345 million less than what was expected. 

Net debt is currently at 22.4 per cent of GDP.

“While these surpluses are significant, they will be needed to meet the cost of the significant investments we have committed to as part of the next four Budgets including the Government’s $32.5 billion infrastructure programme,” Mr Joyce says.

“It is only possible to make the investment decisions we have announced in the last few months because we have a strong economic plan which is delivering for New Zealanders. If we keep with the plan we will have the capacity to make more positive decisions into the future.” 

The May actuals are compared against forecasts in the 2017 Budget Economic and Fiscal Update, previously published on 25 May, and are the last actual results published until the audited accounts for 30 June 2017 are released in mid-October.

“The next opportunity we will have to review the government accounts and the expectations for the years ahead will be at the Pre-election Fiscal Update on August 23,” Mr Joyce says.

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