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Labour Dumps Tax Policies for Upcoming Election

David Cunliffe: Labour Dumps Tax Policies for Upcoming Election

David Cunliffe's weekly pre-caucus press conference – 22 January 2014

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By Peter Kerr

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Labour Dumps Tax Policies For Upcoming Election

Labour has dumped two bothersome tax-related policies from its last election campaign which it estimates will free up about $1.5 billion a year.

A previously proposed $5000 tax-free zone and a GST exemption on fresh fruit and vegetables have been given the boot – along with the potential for opposition parties to quiz exactly how the policies would work in practice.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said other policies, including tax-oriented plans, will be announced in his State of the Nation address next Monday.

Cunliffe said the $1.5 billion saving will provide fiscal headroom to assist in proposed new policies, though its capital gains tax policy will remain. This tax will not apply to a family home and will not be retrospective he said.

He reinforced the notion of Labour’s vision for a better, fairer, more innovative New Zealand in:

• A high value economy with more jobs and better wages that closes the inequality gaps
• More targeted relief, not just for the poorest New Zealanders, but also for the mid income bracket
• A continued commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15/hour in Labour’s first 100 days in office
• A change to the industrial relations framework
• A fiscally responsible, fully costed budget. “We won’t write cheques that can’t be cashed,” Cunliffe said
• A modification of laws around deep sea oil exploration to world best practice. Labour is not opposed to ocean drilling in principle, and will not impose a moratorium
• Labour will not form a government with ACT or the Conservative Party, and is unlikely to do a deal with United Future
• Cunliffe is not ruling out a post-election arrangement with Labour as the largest party


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