So the Government books are back in black although for how long we do not know.
The Government’s books are back in surplus, posting a profit after six years of deficits.
Treasury’s final accounts for 2014/15 showed a modest surplus of $414 million.
It is a “surprise surplus” with the official forecast in May’s Budget predicting a deficit of $684 million.
The “billion dollar bounce” means Finance Minister Bill English achieves the Government’s goal of having the books back in surplus by 2014/15.
However, a deteriorating economy means this surplus is likely a one-off, with deficits again likely in the years ahead.
My very quick look at the Treasury release suggests that the surplus appears to depend almost entirely on the Canterbury rebuild occurring more slowly than anticipated. The prediction was that operating expenses would be $327 million. Instead of this somehow a surplus of $55 million was posted. This represents $382 million or 92% of the surplus.
I might be wrong. I am a lawyer not an accountant. But the surplus looks like it is pretty well all due to Canterbury.
Bill English gets his surplus, while some of our most vulnerable children miss out on special ed'n support ($235 million underspend in ed'n)
— Grant Robertson (@grantrobertson1) October 14, 2015
Almost half this year's surplus comes from under-spend in education. I understand a big chunk of that is special education. Shame! #nzqt
— Chris Hipkins (@chrishipkins) October 14, 2015
Underspend in special education totally inexcusable – parents & teachers have huge struggle to access https://t.co/enxYtwxIAD
— Mojo Mathers (@mojomathers) October 14, 2015