11 Mar 2014

Deficit higher than forecast

6:09 pm on 11 March 2014

Patrick O'Meara, Economics Correspondent

A lower-than-expected tax take is continuing to having a negative effect on the Government's finances.

In the latest financial statements, the Government recorded a deficit, after stripping out investment gains and losses, of $1.1 billion for the seven months to January.

That's $637 million more than forecast.

Treasury says tax revenue dropped across the board, from GST to corporate tax, though it's been partially offset by lower Crown spending and higher returns from Crown entities.

The department says it's difficult to determine how much of the lower than forecast tax take is temporary, though it should become clearer over the next few months.

If the government's investments through the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC are included, the Crown reported a surplus of $3.4 billion.

Net debt stood at $59.9 billion, or 27.7 percent of gross domestic product.