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Lower taxes essential for faster growth

Don Brash National Finance Spokesperson

12 October 2002

Lower taxes essential for faster growth

If the Government is serious about increasing New Zealand's sustainable growth rate, it must reduce the rates of tax most relevant to those who will invest and produce for the future, says National's Finance spokesman Don Brash.

Dr Brash was speaking at the 2002 Tax Conference in Christchurch today.

"Spending by central and local governments currently amounts to about 40 per cent of GDP and, with a possible exception of the city state of Luxembourg, no country has achieved a high rate of growth over a prolonged period with such a heavy tax burden.

"The Government could cut the company tax rate and the top personal tax rate to 30 per cent and still have a budget surplus.

"By my estimation, reducing both rates to 30 per cent would cost about $1.6 billion in revenue - an amount somewhat less than the operating surplus forecast for the current financial year, and that without assuming that those reductions in tax rates would stimulate any additional activity.

"In other words, tax cuts of this magnitude could be achieved with absolutely no reduction in spending on health, education or social welfare," said Dr Brash.

Ends

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