How should the Government spend its surplus?

The Government's books show a healthy $5.5 billion surplus.

It will now come under pressure from lobby groups to spend that surplus.

There are collective negotiations with teachers and police underway, and other groups would like to see more spending on mental health services, welfare and housing. Others will pressure the Government on infrastructure investments, like rail to Auckland and Wellington airports. Still more will call for tax cuts and slashing excise on petrol.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson would prefer to hang onto the cash, warning about risks like international trade wars and mycoplasma bovis or other biosecurity incursions which could eat into the surplus.

Much of the Government's spending agenda hasn't kicked in yet and will come out of the surplus too - things like the P8 Poseidon planes and the Families Package.

What should the Government do with its surplus?

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