New Zealand Labour Party

Government surplus target turning sour

The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after Fonterra’s dairy payout was slashed, leaving a $6 billion hole in the economy.

“The Government has promised a ‘meaningful’ surplus in 2014/15 and campaigned on it for two elections in a row. This election the Government said the surplus would be almost $300 million.

“If Bill English is unable to provide that he will have broken John Key’s primary election promise.

“The bitter truth is the tax take is down on forecast because wages are not growing as fast as promised. That makes a mockery of John Key’s claim to be ‘working for New Zealanders’.

“Bill English recently said he would not do anything ‘random and unpredictable’ to get the Government books to surplus. That’s because he has already performed a number of tricks including keeping ACC levies higher than necessary, hiking fuel taxes, shifting spending on earthquake recovery and ‘loans’ to fund transport projects.

“His bag of tricks is running out. The chances of a meaningful surplus have gone,” says Grant Robertson.