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Copeland pushes tax cuts

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, 1st April 2008

Copeland pushes tax cuts

Independent MP Gordon Copeland, the Kiwi Party’s spokesperson on taxation, today questioned Minister of Finance Michael Cullen in Parliament in relation to tax cuts.

“In particular,” said Mr Copeland, “I believe that the present tax thresholds ($38,000 for 33 cents and $60,000 for 39 cents) established way back on 1 April 2000 should be adjusted for cumulative inflation over the succeeding eight years.”

“His failure to do that means that, far from simply maintaining the income tax rates established at that time, Michael Cullen has been progressively increasing tax rates for hundred of thousands of kiwi tax payers. This is commonly known as ‘fiscal drag’ and represents an ‘automatic increase’ in tax rates as inflation pushes more and more tax payers above the 33 cent or 39 cent tax threshold.”

“When a Finance Minister allows that to continue, unabated, for eight years, the ‘automatic’ tax increase is truly massive.”

“Cumulative inflation from 1 April 2000 until now is 23.8% so that the 33 cent bracket should have moved from $38,000 to $47,000 and the 39 cent bracket from $60,000 to $74,000.”

“Dr Cullen’s failure to make that adjustment means that he has increased income tax, in real terms, by about $1.37 billion per annum simply through inaction. In my view, that cannot be justified and The Kiwi Party is committed to the immediate rectification of this massive over taxation.”

Mr Copeland also stated that The Kiwi Party will introduce income splitting for couples raising dependent children, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour with an offsetting tax credit to employers, remove GST off rates, make health insurance premiums tax deductable, and allow each person to direct $100 or their tax each year to a community charity of their choice.

“In total, these policies will have a revenue cost of around $3 billion per annum. However The Kiwi Party would phase this package in over three years at a total cost, over that period, of $6 billion.”


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