How big is the government surplus/deficit?
Depending on where you get your news, it could be a deficit of $512 million, $602 million, $592 million, almost $600 million or a surplus of $221 million.
So who has got it right?
Well, everyone. It just depends on how you count it.
$512 is the core operating deficit and counts the $110 draw from the rainy day fund + the $20 million for debt retirement
$602 is also the core operating deficit but does not take in account the draw and debt retirement
$592 is the summary deficit which includes the bottom line of core government operations and crown corporations
$221 is the positive balance based on the four-year rolling average of summary results under the new balanced budget legislation
Now, how is the average citizen supposed to understand all this?