Economy boost delivers $8.7b surplus

Solid governance, prudent spending, are we going to through it al away with National and investment banker “Smiling assassin” John Key?

New Zealand’s better than expected economic performance delivered the Government a $8.7 billion operating surplus for the 2006/2007 financial year, but Finance Minister Michael Cullen says it is still uncertain when any tax cuts will be announced.

The final figure was more than $2 billion higher than forecast on budget night 2006 and included a cash surplus of $2.6 billion – $900 million higher than was expected as recently as the May Budget.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen said it left the Government in a comfortable position going into election year, but no formal consideration had been given to the size of any tax cuts that might be made. They would be considered as part of next year’s budget.

The cash windfall – which Dr Cullen said amounted to about $500 million after taking into account spending that had only been delayed – would be used unspecified capital expenditure or infrastructure.

“I’m sure my colleagues will have many ways to spend that,” he told reporters at the release of the financial statements this morning.

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