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Dunne Announces UF Tax Policy

Media statement
Saturday, 28 May 2005

Dunne announces UF tax policy

United Future leader Peter Dunne told his party's annual conference in Auckland today that the average family household would be $163 a week better off under United Future's income policies announced today.

Mr Dunne said the proposed changes would bring immediate tax relief to all New Zealanders through:

1. Lifting tax brackets from 1 April 2006 - not 2008 as in the recent Budget.

2. Making the first $3,000 of income tax free - which is great news for students and all part-time workers

3. Income splitting for all parents raising dependent children

4. Taking GST off rates

Mr Dunne gave some specific examples of how these measures would affect families on different incomes.

"A family earning the average wage of just under $43,000 - a tax cut of $35 a week

A family with an income of $55,000 - the typical middle income family - a tax cut of $66 a week

A family with an income of $65,000 - a tax cut of just under $100 a week

According to Budget figures, current average household gross income from all sources is just over $82,000 - a family with that income will be $163 a week better off under our policies ."

Mr Dunne said "Our commitment to family is practical and realistic - not emotive. The family is society's cornerstone; the basic nurturing and developmental unit. Our children deserve the security of a loving family.

"We have put family on the political agenda - but the New Zealand family is still under stress.

"From student loan repayments to retirement saving - it's still hard going for many. No wonder 62% say they pay too much tax."

Mr Dunne said United Future's strategy is to deal with each vulnerable point.

"Our student support policy has already been announced and includes:

i. Progressive phase out of parental income test

ii. Bonded schemes for graduates

iii. Voluntary savings schemes for parents

"We'll soon be releasing policy for older New Zealanders based on restoring the purchasing power of superannuation and recognising the health needs of over 65s through comprehensive biennial free health checks and tax relief on private health insurance premiums for over 65s.

"I was Minister of Revenue the last time taxes were cut by the National/United Government - only to have National back slide a year later

"Labour's first act in government was to put taxes up - neither can be trusted.

"Labour only moved on tax thresholds this year because Gordon Copeland pushed them.

"That leaves a clear message - put United Future anywhere near government and taxes come down - while others talk, we act.

"United Future is the party of the dynamic centre. Neither left nor right.

"And we have delivered.

"This year's Budget alone - nearly $1 billion in United Future tax relief and new spending initiatives.

"All the key points of our confidence and supply agreement have been achieved.

"All the key points of our last election policy have been achieved.

"And as Michael Cullen admits, we have kept our own identity, achieved our key policies, voted against the government more often than the Greens, and still ensured the political stability that has delivered New Zealand the most sustained prosperity of recent times.

"Not for us the overriding obsession with trivia - with tennis balls - with stray Iraqis and every passing scandal - the oppressive prism of political correctness and having no policy at all.

"Our challenges are great - our opportunities are immense

"We stand on the brink of government - we are the preferred partner for both Labour and National and we are ready.

"This is my vision:

New Zealand to be the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family

The place we love to call home

A country and people that is proud and unique - and wins the Super 12 final tonight!

A country whose diversity makes us the world's first truly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society

A country where old values are enshrined, and new ideas embraced

A country where the centre guides the way ahead

A country with United Future in the centre of things!"


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