8 Mar 2011

Government's tax take slightly down

3:00 pm on 8 March 2011

The Government's tax take fell slightly below expectations in the seven months to January, pushing its operating deficit out to $6.2 billion.

The Treasury says a weak economy drove down income from the goods and services tax, corporate tax and other individuals' tax, but tax paid by employees was above forecast.

Once investment gains are taken into account, however, the books look in better shape with a deficit of $998 million, almost $4 billion lower than forecast.

The public finances are likely to take a turn for the worse from March, as the costs of the Christchurch earthquake start to be recorded on the books.

The total tax take was down almost 1% on the December forecast, with GST lower by $258 million.