Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Time Act came clean on tax policy - Labour

Labour
2000 web site
"Act must be made to answer the hard questions about their tax policy," Labour finance spokesperson Michael Cullen said today.

"Act says it will cost $3.2 billion. This is almost certainly a convenient under-estimate. Labour's estimate, based on the Treasury model, would put the figure at over $4 billion.

"But even accepting Act's dodgy estimate, the question is unanswered. Where is the money going to come from? Did Act find something in the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update not visible to anyone else?

"Rodney Hide is reported in the Sunday Star Times as saying they can fund their tax cut programme without cutting spending. What the Prefu actually shows is that even a spending freeze of four years would be insufficient to cover the costs.

"Act is careful to present this as a painless option but in fact it would impose great hardship on the most vulnerable New Zealanders.

"The level of superannuation for a married couple would fall to less than 55 percent of the average net wage. Progress toward pay parity for primary teachers would stop. All public sector pay rates - except, no doubt, those at the very top - would be frozen for years, or cut.

"And as underlying health cuts increased costs, there would have to be savage cuts in public health services. In each of these areas, a freeze is a cut and the losers in every case are ordinary New Zealanders.

"There would be no additional funding for roading, for research and development, or for the expansion of tertiary education. That in turn would mean massive fee rises which would make the 1990s look like a picnic.

"No wonder Act does not want to talk about its core policies. No wonder, too, that Mr Prebble was so nervous and unconvincing on television last night," Dr Cullen said.

"Even Infometrics, ideologically inclined toward Act, argues that large spending cuts will be needed on top of the freeze. It calculates that $850 million would have to be cut next year and $400 million the year after, resulting in a $1.2 billion or 3 percent cut in the spending baseline for 2001-2002.

"Act has not even made it clear yet whether they are still advocating a flat tax or whether they would retain the lower 15c rate. This has huge implications for low income earners. If they abandon the 15c rate, everyone earning below $39,460 a year will pay higher taxes to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

"Act is trying to flannel their way though the election campaign by hiding their real agenda behind a smokescreen of populism. Mr Prebble cannot in reality pretend he is Pauline Hanson without the dress sense.

"Tax cuts for the rich are Act's top priority. Richard Prebble says it will be on the table at every cabinet meeting he attends and Rodney Hide has said he will be demanding the revenue portfolio in a National-Act coalition government.

"The public is entitled to some straight answers on what Act's tax policies will mean, not only for Act's wealthy financial backers but also for the ordinary New Zealander," Dr Cullen said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election