Government and Fiscal Policy

Focus on wellbeing welcome, but LG funding model remains elephant in room

Thursday October 04, 2018
Dr Ganesh Nana3

Our kaupapa is about people, their communities, their futures. It is no surprise therefore that we are critically aware of the central role played by local government in terms of the range of policies and decisions that affect the people of Aotearoa. And we welcome the return of the 4 wellbeings to guide and underpin such decision-making. But LG funding is the elephant on the room.

Tax Working Group interim conclusions

Sunday September 30, 2018 Sam Green
nz tax pie lg2

Nothing is certain … except death and taxes. Once thing that is uncertain, is how our taxes will look in the future. The Tax Working Group (TWG) has released its interim report last week, making certain that the taxes will continue, though there may be some changes in the pipeline.

2018 Census outputs delayed

Thursday July 19, 2018 Hugh Dixon

On the 10th July 2018 Statistics New Zealand announced that the first population and household count outputs of the 2018 Census would be delayed from October 2018 to March 2019, with a corresponding delay in the output of all other 2018 Census data releases. This was unsurprising, given that Statistics New Zealand only closed off collection of Census data in May 2018, and the consequent announcement on 1 June 2018 that there was only a 90 percent response rate.

New Zealand Gross Government Debt

Thursday May 03, 2018 Hugh Dixon
graph 3 4 20

With the 2018 Budget set to be delivered on Thursday 17 May, 2018, one of the hot topics is the amount of additional debt the current Labour-New Zealand Coalition Government will take on to fund its new initiatives, investments and programmes over the coming year.

Increasing wages sends stock markets into tailspin

Monday February 12, 2018 Dr Ganesh Nana
iStock 000005516576Medium3

If the prospect of increasing wages is sufficient to throw global stock markets into a tailspin (as they did last week), then there is something endemically wrong with the economic mechanism. This is further evidence of my statement last year that the neo-liberal economic model has failed us.

Budget 2016 - More of the same

Thursday May 26, 2016

As we suggested earlier in the month, the Budget has bent over backwards to signal that all is well with the economy and, consequently, the government’s books. Further, the initiatives and new programs do their best to indicate there are new measures to tackle the pressing issues of the day.

Budget watch in world facing a ‘fragile conjuncture’ of risks

Thursday May 05, 2016 Dr Ganesh Nana

This year’s Budget has all the hallmarks of one ‘treading water’. There will be strenuous efforts expended to make it look like something is being done; but, without the will to wish to do anything. With the accounts showing a borderline surplus (or deficit), the chances of any significant tax relief will remain on the backburner.

Building momentum, or steady-as-she-goes? Budget 2013

Thursday May 16, 2013 Fiona Stokes

Modest, targeted spending increases sit behind Budget 2013. The Minister of Finance, Hon Bill English, indicated that the Government will return to surplus by 2014/15. Hailed as a budget that was building momentum, Budget 2013 indicates a slow and cautious approach whereby no money will be set aside for capital spending over this and the following three Budgets, and any new capital spending will come from the existing balance sheet.

The government opens its books for 2011/12

Thursday October 11, 2012 Dr Adrian Slack

As we expected, the risks identified in the Treasury’s July Monthly Economic Indicators squeezed the positives according to the Government’s just released annual accounts for 2011/12. Initially, the latest annual government accounts looked like some positive reading: Core Crown revenue was up 5 percent, and expenses down by 2 percent on their 2011 levels. But in dollar terms, as revenue was only $60.6 billion while expenses were $69.1 billion, the Government ran a deficit.

Credit where credit is due

Wednesday August 08, 2012 Dr Adrian Slack

Treasury’s latest Monthly Economic Indicators conclude that the “domestic economy is looking in relatively good shape”, while acknowledging that “the global outlook worsened further in July, with downside risks increasing”. It sees “a pick up in coming quarters” that will see inflation accelerate and spare capacity be absorbed (by growth).

Back to Black

Friday May 25, 2012 Adrian Slack

First, returning the government’s books to surplus by 2014/15 despite an increasing austere global environment is achieved through a forecast surplus of $197 million in that year. This is $1.1 billion lower than last year’s Budget forecast for that year. Thereafter, the fiscal surplus is set to grow further to reach $2.1 billion in 2015/16.

Government revenue down, but deficit not as bad

Friday May 11, 2012

Treasury has released the final set of fiscal accounts before the release of the Budget in about a fortnight. The media release, however, is slightly misleading, as it does not always clearly distinguish when it is referring to Core Crown versus Total Crown figures. So while the government deficit is still bad, the actual figures are perhaps not as bad as one might interpret from a scan of Treasury’s media release.

Tax revenue up, but not by as much as Treasury would like

Thursday May 03, 2012 Dr Adrian Slack

Treasury regularly publishes data on the monthly tax take – the tax “outturn” data. These publications are usually released about six weeks after the end of the month. It is some of the earliest data available on how the economy is tracking. The data are reported for both “receipts” (cash that has been received by the collecting agency) and “revenue” (tax that is due, but which may not have actually been paid yet). The latter is an accrual measure, and is the most useful for gauging activity.