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Copeland calls for inflation-adjusted tax bands

Copeland calls for inflation-adjusted tax bands

Tax bands should be CPI inflation-adjusted by up to 12 percent if the Government is to honour its election pledge of 'no new taxes', United Future finance spokesman Gordon Copeland said today.

"I call upon the Government to adjust the current $38,000 and $60,000 tax band; the low income tax rebate level of $9500 and family support and tax credit payments for CPI inflation and do that from April 1, 2003," Mr Copeland said in replying to the Prime Minister's statement delivered yesterday.

Failure to do so would be a broken promise, he said, referring to the Labour's pre-election pledge card: "I presume they were talking about real taxes and not just nominal rates."

"The tax band and low income tax rebates were established from April 1, 2000, and now require adjustment for inflation by 9 percent. Family support payments were established in 1998 and now require adjustment of over 12 percent," he said.

"The surpluses projected in the Budget Policy Statement are the result of the hard work of New Zealanders and a failure to adjust for the movement in the CPI.

"They would also amount to an unjust bonus in favour of the Government's coffers at the expense of New Zealanders and their families."

Mr Copeland said that the United States' Bush administration has proposed a number of tax measures which would see a family of four with a household income of $US$45,000 paying just $45 in federal income tax: "That's $45 on a family - mum, dad and two kids.

"It made me think again about the importance of ensuring that taxes for families reflect the reality of the number of people reliant on that income," he said, in calling for consensus on this issue across parties "for the sake of New Zealand families".

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