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Workers To Pay Tax More Under Labour-Led Govt

MEDIA STATEMENT
28 September 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WORKERS TO PAY TAX MORE UNDER LABOUR-LED GOVERNMENT

The Alliance Party's new tax policy confirms that a Labour-led Government will mean workers will pay more tax than under a National-led Government, according to Rodney MP and Acting Minister of Finance Lockwood Smith.

The new tax package, to be today announced by Alliance leader Jim Anderton, increases taxes to 43 cents in the dollar for those earning over $75,000, and introduces an "executive surcharge" of 47 cents in the dollar for those earning over $100,000.

"These policies have been tried in the past, and they've failed. In order to create new jobs in Rodney, we need to bring taxes down - not place new taxes on the success of our workers," Lockwood Smith said.

"This election provides a stark choice for New Zealand. Under a Labour-led Government, all New Zealanders earning over $9,500 will pay more tax than under a National Government.

"The question then becomes, how much will New Zealanders pay? Currently, the Government takes approximately 35% of everything produced in New Zealand. It means that if you have a nine-to-five job, you don't start earning anything for your family until after half past eleven.

"Under a Labour Government those earning over $60,000 won't start earning for their families until around a quarter past 12. And Jim Anderton has said that Labour's tax policy "couldn't possibly … address the urgent needs in education, health, housing and employment" , meaning that Labour may have to resort to the Alliance policy in order to fund its credit card promises. That means that nine-to-five workers could pay taxes until around half past twelve, and at the upper tax rate of 47%, until a quarter to one.

"Over the past three years, the National-led Government has introduced significant tax cuts for individuals, and it's worked. The economy has grown by 37% since 1991 - more than a third. For every week that National has been in office since 1991, 600 new jobs have been created. The average weekly wage has increased from $542 to $654, and tax cuts mean that New Zealanders get to keep more of their wages.

"National's approach to taxation and economic management has delivered sound results for New Zealand families. Labour and Alliance policies place a tax on success, and will not deliver the jobs we need to increase living standards, and fund better health and education services," Lockwood Smith concluded.

ENDS

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