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The "Lost Opportunity Budget"

The "Lost Opportunity Budget"

Rodney Hide
Thursday, 18 May 2006
Press Releases - Economy

The Government has delivered a "Lost Opportunity Budget", failing to cut tax or constrain government interference, according to ACT Leader Rodney Hide.

"Instead of citizens and businesses investing in New Zealand, this budget is about politicians investing in votes", Mr Hide said.

"The financial and environmental costs of going nowhere on Auckland's roads are rising.

"This Budget should have funded State Highway 20's Avondale Extension.

"Instead, Aucklanders will continue to wait at the boundary of Helen Clark's electorate, because her government won't act.

"This Budget should also have delivered a timetable for a 15% flat tax.

"Tax cuts would have boosted economic growth. Lower taxes would benefit investment, employment, productivity and our international competitiveness.

"Twelve percent of New Zealanders - 362,000 people - now pay the top tax rate that Labour promised would only affect 5% of Kiwis. They pay 51% of New Zealand's income tax.

"And the IRD estimates that we'll be paying 25% more income tax in 2010 than we did last year.

"By keeping taxes high and continuing to expand government, this Budget does little to encourage growth.

"Helen Clark used to say that 4% growth was a test of whether Labour's policies were working.

"In the last six months, we've had no real growth at all, and growth in real GDP per capita is forecast to average less than 3% between now and 2010.

"Productive New Zealanders continue to take their talents off shore. This budget does nothing to encourage them to stay.

"Labour has turned its back on the gates of opportunity", Mr Hide said.


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