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Tax-grabbing Labour puts NZ in bottom half of OECD

John Key MP
National Party Finance Spokesman

18 October 2006

Tax-grabbing Labour puts NZ in bottom half of OECD

New Zealand has fallen to the bottom half of the OECD rankings on the back of continual increases in the amount of tax collected, says National Party Finance spokesman John Key.

In 1999 the country was ranked 10th in terms of tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, when the figure was 33.4%. In 2004 we had dropped to 16th as central and local government tax revenue grew to 35.6% of GDP.

"The scale of this change is best illustrated by the fact that only Korea has increased its tax take at a faster rate, while the majority of countries have declined over this period," says Mr Key.

"Once again, we are out of step with the global economy.

"These figures show the scale of the increased tax take, the vast majority of which has been the responsibility of this tax-grabbing Labour Government.

"This new OECD information reconfirms what was shown in the Crown accounts for the June year that were released last week. They showed Michael Cullen taking an ever-increasing slice of the cake.

"Under Dr Cullen's watch New Zealand is now in the bottom half of the OECD on yet another measure.

"The country cannot afford to keep going backwards, and part of Dr Cullen's responsibility is to build the economy so it is globally competitive.

"Anyone could have hoarded ever-increasing surpluses given the conditions prevailing in the past seven years. But this shouldn't come at the cost of ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the economy.

"Instead, Dr Cullen has simply dug his claws ever-deeper into taxpayers' wallets."

ENDS

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