GST cuts 'certainly not something' on Government's agenda - Grant Robertson

Finance Minister Grant Robertson is keeping quiet on tax cuts, but any cuts to GST are "certainly not something" on the Government's agenda. 

Robertson revealed a $7.5 billion dollar surplus on Tuesday - the biggest in over a decade - which he summed up by perhaps the understatement of the decade.

"The Government's books are indeed in good shape."

The bumper bounty is mostly down to New Zealanders paying more taxes, and Kiwis are telling Newshub it's something they'd like to see returned.

"A tax cut would be very helpful," one told Newshub.

Another said, "Tax cuts would be really nice... I'm a small business owner so anything that helps small business would be great."

And tax cuts are very possible, just not quite yet.

"As we look to the election next year there will be decisions to be made about that, but I'm not particularly looking at those things at the moment," Robertson said.

He said tax cuts wouldn't be an election bridge.

National leader Simon Bridges said the flush surplus puts the issue of tax relief "squarely on the table... You've got a Government that wants the money for themselves while everyday Kiwis have less".

But any tax relief will not come from a cut to GST, even though it was recently recommended for New Zealand by the International Monetary Fund.

Newshub asked the Finance Minister if he's ruling out ever cutting GST. He replied, "That's certainly not something on our agenda."

There would have been far more cash for the Government to use if it weren't for district health boards (DHBs) having to back-pay staff up to $ 650 million to comply with the Holidays Act.

It took the DHBs' overall deficit to over a billion dollars.

"Their bill is going to be at the extreme end… It has to be realised that's money that's owed to people who work hard in our health system," Robertson said.

The surplus was also given a one-off $2.6 billion dollar boost because of changes to the way KiwiRail is valued.

It used to just be about profit but now its value takes into account community benefits like reducing emissions and traffic jams and strengthening social connections.

Robertson said it isn't just accounting jiggery-pokery, saying the Auditor-General would never sign off unless it was legitimate.

Now that the books are flush, the Government will now be preparing its next wish list.