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Treasurer fails to lift National's game - ACT

Sunday 11th Jul 1999

Rodney Hide

Media Release -- Economy

ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide today said that farmers, manufacturers, employers and the productive sector were looking to the Treasurer's speech today for a clear statement that National was working to lift its game, to set a clear programme of tax cuts and to stop the populist fiddling with tax.

"The Treasurer has again missed the opportunity.

"English's speech was long on rhetoric and short on policy substance. There was no commitment to cut red tape, to get government spending under control or to cut taxes on businesses. There was nothing in his speech to give hope to the productive sector.

"The small cut to personal tax is welcome but it doesn't go far enough. It does nothing to create jobs or encourage investment. The government should be following the advice of business leaders and driving to reduce the top rate of tax. That would boost jobs and investment. It would flatten our tax rates. Instead, the new Treasurer is locking in a progressive tax structure that has no economic or social rationale.

"Shifting the tax threshold out is the wrong tax cut for the wrong reason. This is an election carrot rather than the tax cut needed to boost jobs and investment.

"The new Treasurer has no programme and has set no targets. Bill English is sticking with the wasteful spending that is Winston Peters and Bill Birchs' legacy. National has offered nothing to small business struggling in the mire of government red tape.

"New Treasurer Bill English failed to explain to the National party rank and file why government should retain ownership of TVNZ, why government spending should automatically ratchet up $680 million a year, and why an immediate three-cent tax cut isn't a good idea.

"English's failure to announce an economic programme to re-vitalise the economy is disappointing for the country. But it's good news for ACT. ACT is now the only party that has laid out a clear and costed programme that cuts out the waste and that takes the top rate of tax down to twenty cents in the dollar," said Rodney Hide.

ENDS


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