The year ended on June 30, and the final accounts will be released around 1pm today.
Finance Minister Bill English said when he presented the Budget there could be a turnaround.
In Parliament yesterday he wasn’t giving anything away.
“A return to surplus was always a stretch target,” he said.
“Regardless of whether the annual accounts show a small surplus or a small deficit, the overall trend is in the right direction.”
Labour’s finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, expects the accounts will show a small surplus.
“It’s almost certain the Government will announce a surplus for the last financial year … that they only just managed to scrape it together is poor financial management,” he said.
Mr Robertson is forecasting deficits for the current financial year and the next, contrary to the May Budget’s projections for modest surpluses.
“National’s financial management will go down in history as one small surplus out of nine budget deficits,” he said.
Apart from the fact that having a surplus is better than a deficit, National are desperate for one to fund their 2017 election
bribes policy initiatives. Expect the purse strings to be finally released somewhat with announcements along the lines of “police will get an extra $500m over years starting in 2018”, and other inspiring stuff.
The budget squeeze has been on everyone, well, mostly everyone. So teachers, nurses, police and the like are somewhat overdue for some relief, if not directly, than at least by the public sector getting a little more money to adjust for inflationary and demand pressures.
And crime, health and education on the back of a strong economy has 4th term written all over it. Chuck in a few tax cuts, ACC reductions and some feel-good stuff, and the Left are going to need something Bigger than Dirty Politics and something even less probable than Kim Dotcom to upset National’s chances.
The reported budget surplus $414M.
While the ACC account is in surplus by $1.6B. It’s another smoke and mirror job.
Talks of bringing tax cuts forward are similarly a joke. But you’ll have them. It’s been part of the 2017 campaign strategy since the beginning.
– Peter Wilson, NZN via 3 News