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The Good, The Bad And Something Better

Media Release

22 May 2008

The Good, The Bad And Something Better

Budget 2008 contains some good elements, a few bad omissions and the promise of something better from New Zealand First, says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Moving tax thresholds in October this year will provide some relief for working families and New Zealand First will support these initiatives.

“However, much of the good in this budget is found in the fine print and flows on from New Zealand First’s confidence and supply agreement with the government,” said Mr Peters.

New Zealand First gains include:

• Free off peak travel for SuperGold Card holders on public transport
• Subsidies for hearing aids for SuperGold Card holders
• Advantageous tax effects for those receiving New Zealand Superannuation
• Increased funding for Maori wardens
• Ongoing funding boost for the eldercare sector
• A significant injection into the shipping industry
• A lift for premier racing stakes

On the down side, Mr Peters said that he was disappointed the budget did not include tax policies to promote export growth and keep industries in New Zealand.

There was also insufficient money for physiotherapists as called for in the ACC review, or adequate money to address the issue surrounding the portability of overseas pensions.

“Most importantly what was missing was a policy programme which will address the issues of affordability and the rapidly rising prices of household basics.

“New Zealand First wants to see a tax free threshold of $5,200 introduced – a tax cut that everybody benefits from. We also want to see GST reduced to 10% across the board.

“These two steps, in conjunction with raising superannuation to 68% of the net average wage for married couples, will ensure that all New Zealanders benefit and vulnerable seniors are not left behind.

“New Zealand First will support this budget but we are going forward with a real alternative of tax relief and greater affordability in Budget 2009,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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