The Government’s financial position is better than forecast in the Crown’s financial statements for the seven months to 31 January .

The operating deficit for the seven months was $2.5 billion, or $571 million smaller than the $3.1 billion deficit forecast in the Half-Year Update in December.  National is controlling government spending, so we can remain on track for surplus in 2014/15.

The operating balance – including gains from government investment funds – showed a $4.2 billion surplus for the seven months, reflecting recent strength in financial markets. This compared with a forecast $154 million deficit.

Overall, the results are encouraging, but the Government will remain firmly focused on continuing to manage its finances responsibly so we can return to surplus and start repaying debt.