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After-tax wages in Oz more than pre-tax in NZ

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

21 June 2006

After-tax wages in Oz more than pre-tax wages in NZ

National says the yawning chasm in after-tax incomes between New Zealand and Australia is about to get even wider.

"The average Kiwi wage earner moving across the Tasman would receive more in the hand in Australia than they would if they paid no tax at all in New Zealand," says National's Finance spokesman, John Key.

"Labour's policies are sending this message to our workforce: 'Move to Australia and get your tax paid for you.'

"If Michael Cullen was stressed before, his temperature is sure to rise further in light of these damning numbers."

Mr Key says that when new Australian tax rates take effect in 10 days, the gap between the take-home income of the average Australian worker and the average New Zealand worker will widen from 33% to 37%.

"The trans-Tasman wage gap has got so wide that the after-tax income of the average Australian worker, the equivalent of NZ$44,700, is now higher than the pre-tax income of the average New Zealand worker at $42,600.

"If a single-earner family with two kids, on the average household income of $60,000, were to move to Australia and keep the same salary, then not only would they pay less income tax but they would also get more from the Australian family tax benefit than they would here from Labour's Working for Families package.

"Dr Cullen can't continue to ignore this assault on our workforce. Australia's made no secret of the fact they are looking for Kiwi workers, and the number of New Zealanders crossing the ditch has climbed to around 650 per week.

"This is yet more proof, not that we needed it, that Labour's fiscal management is leading New Zealand down an economic cul de sac," says Mr Key.

ENDS


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