Molesworth & Featherston (Weekend) – 5 November 20

Published: Mon 7 Nov 2005 01:57 PM
Molesworth & Featherston - Weekend Update edition
Business and Political News
5 November 2005
In the latest edition:
Direct Link To This Week's Weekend Update Edition:
Updated Report
Rolling average poll
Updated data to bring in this week’s TNS poll on TV3 shows the importance of the five percent threshold. On these numbers, a Labour-led government would be comfortably reelected and the foreign minister would be out of parliament.
Labour 40.96
National 39.56
Greens 6.81
NZ First 4.76
Maori 2.14
United Future 2.36
Act 1.38
New this weekend
Swimming in it
There are still bundles of cash in the government's hands, updated Crown accounts show.
The operating balance for the three months of July, August and September was $2.2 billion. That’s $1300 million more than Treasury expected.
An extra $135 million over forecast came from company tax and higher-than expected GST. We spent $261 million less than expected, mainly on transport, health and education - although the lower spending was delayed, not canned.
The bulk of the unexpected surplus came from strong financial returns for our equity funds. The big New Zealand Super Fund, the Government Super Fund, EQC and ACC together lifted their financial portfolios by a whopping $965 million.
Over all tax revenue was a billion dollars - or 9.3 percent - higher than the same period last year. Treasury says that's because of rising employment and wages and better company profits.
Before the Susan Wood pay dispute spilled into public, the TVNZ Board was putting heat on its executives to avoid another big pay packet as it balanced the Charter and the need to keep stars Page 2.
Ministers are back to weekly Cabinet meetings. The highlights from this week, the bruised feelings and the confirmed officers of Parliament are on pages 2 and 3.
Global tussles over the future of the IMF are increasing. A top expert on the fund says it needs to get back to maintaining global financial stability, not helping poor countries. Page 3.
The Weekend Update is a complimentary, condensed edition of the paid-subscription only Governor’s Edition published last Tuesday.
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