8 Jul 2014

Lower tax take hits Government books

12:09 pm on 8 July 2014

The Government's finances are doing worse than expected due to a lower tax take.

The Crown recorded an operating deficit, after stripping out investment gains and losses, of $1.1 billion for the 11 months to May - 43 percent worse than The Treasury forecast in May's budget.

Tax revenue stood at $56.5 billion, about 1 percent below forecasts, due to a lower-than-expected GST and corporate tax take.

Spending also came in below expectations at $64.2 billion.

The tax take was 4.6 percent higher than the same period a year ago, reflecting a stronger economy, Finance Minister Bill English said.

However, the latest accounts showed the Government needed to keep a tight rein on spending, and that people were being careful with their money, he said.

"Part of the slightly revenue is lower GST, and that reflects lower consumption in the economy.

"So it could be that New Zealanders aren't just going straight back to a spendup as soon they've got a pay rise and the economy's looking up - that they are being a bit more careful."

The Treasury is forecasting a surplus of $372 million next year.