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'Government knows best approach' not the answer

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

22 October 2004

'Government knows best approach' not the answer

National Party Finance spokesman John Key says the Labour Government's 'we know best' approach to economic management is clearly taking its toll on the average Kiwi worker.

He's responding to a new Ministry of Social Development report that shows New Zealanders are battling debt with more than 15 per cent of Kiwi households now owing more than they own.

"On the same day, we read reports that the Labour Government's tax take, as a percentage of gross domestic product, grew faster in the 2001 to 2002 year than in any other OECD country.

"New Zealand workers are being overtaxed, only one in every five households stands to gain anything from Michael Cullen's Budget package - and even that doesn't fully kick in until 2007.

"The tax take of the Government has increased by 40% since 1999, while the real inflation-adjusted average wage has barely moved.

"National says the Labour Government is clearly obsessed with the mantra that it knows how to spend taxpayers' money more effectively than those who earn it.

"Just this week Dr Cullen again declared that tax refunds are not on his Government's agenda, nor is a more realistic tax rate for Kiwi companies which are facing more competition than ever from Australia," says Mr Key.

Since the start of the year, increasingly more New Zealanders have left the country each month, especially to Australia, while fewer migrants are arriving to fill the gaps.

"These negative indicators should be of concern to the Government.

"Labour's agenda is to spend the taxes of hard-working New Zealanders on increasingly bizarre state-funded programmes and hand-outs - especially in election year.

"National believes all hard-working New Zealand taxpayers are entitled to their share of the buoyant economy now, not just those targeted by Labour's election year spend-up," says Mr Key.


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