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Dunne: Why Wait Another Month For National?

Dunne: Why Wait Another Month For National?

Rather than waiting until late August for National's tax policy, New Zealand taxpayers can figure out how much of their hard-earned money they will get back under United Future right now, Peter Dunne said today.

"We've been upfront about how our tax policy will work, and the benefits for New Zealand families are significant."

United Future will lift each of the tax brackets by $5000, so that the income level at which the 33% rate kicks in goes up from $38,000 to $43,000, and the 39% rate starts at $65,000 rather than $60,000.

"Better still, we'll make these changes from 1 April next year, and not wait until 2008 as Labour will.

"Then to ensure that all working families get some tax relief, we'll make the first $3000 of earned income tax-free. This will also help students and others who undertake part-time work.

The combined effect of these changes will put an extra $11 a week in the pockets of those earning up to $35,000, $24 for those on $45,000, and $30 a week more for those on $60,000 plus.

United Future will also introduce income-splitting, allowing couples raising children to divide their income equally for tax purposes.

"Income splitting is a real help to families with a single income source or where couples combine full-time with part-time work.

"In the last few days we've heard a lot from National and Labour about childcare assistance for "working parents", as if staying at home to raise children isn't real work.

"Well we think it is, and that's why we promote income splitting, to value that contribution.

Under income splitting, in combination with the other proposed tax changes:

* A family earning the average wage of just under $43,000 would get a tax cut of $35 a week

* A family with an income of $55,000 - the typical middle income family - would get $66 a week

* A family with an income of $65,000 would get just under $100 a week

* And a family on $82,000 - the current average household gross income from all sources according to Budget figures - will be $163 a week better off under our policies.

"I challenge National to match or better these amounts when they finally reveal their tax policy."

Mr Dunne pointed out that neither National or Labour has a great record on tax cuts.

"Labour's first act in government was to put taxes up. They only agreed to tax changes in the Budget because United Future has been pressuring them for three years, and the delayed implementation only shows that we need to keep pushing.

"I was Minister of Revenue the last time taxes were cut by the National/United Government in 1996, only to have National backslide a year later under pressure from the spending spree promoted by NZ First in coalition

"That leaves a clear message - put United Future anywhere near government and taxes come down," Mr Dunne said.

ENDS

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