Here's the news in brief from New Zealand's political economy on Tuesday, including a confronting hikoi outside Parliament for Treaty Settlements Minister Andrew Little, Mercury (formerly Mighty River Power) losing its place in a key global stock index to A3 Milk, meat prices falling as mycoplasma bovis culling intensifies, MPI denying it might block all stock movements on Gypsy Day (June 1) to contain the disease, and movements in TVNZ's political reporting team.
The government wants a better understanding of how local bodies are funding their increasing cost base and infrastructure needs without simply relying on higher rates, and has asked the Productivity Commission to investigate.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has used his pre-Budget speech to announce a fresh belt tightening exercise by his ministers and has indicated a tax revenue windfall over the last six months is more likely to be used on extra operational spending than extra capital spending when he delivers Budget 2018 next Thursday.
Treasury reported the Government's surplus was $910 million better than expected in the nine months to March 2018, largely because solid economic growth drove higher corporate tax receipts, higher income taxes and higher GST receipts. Treasury said tax revenues were $1.1 billion better than it forecast in December and this was expected to hold for the rest of the financial year.
The news that mattered this morning
Online retailers will soon have to collect GST for sales to New Zealanders, but a sizeable chunk of them are expected to opt out, Thomas Coughlan reports
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has issued a stark warning ahead of the May 17 Budget, saying the Government had discovered the budget situations in Health and Education were much worse than she expected when in Opposition.
In today's email we discussed what has happened overnight, and over the weekend.
Newsroom technology columnist Richard MacManus looks behind the IRD's guidance on cryptocurrencies. He finds confirmation that trading profits can be taxed, but vagueness remains on ICOs, utility tokens and whether to pay GST.
Inland Revenue revealed today that its advice to Government on the “bright-line Test,” New Zealand’s watered-down capital gains tax, was it should only apply to properties sold within two years of being purchased, not five years which the Labour party promised to implement during the election.