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New Zealanders support three year tax cut plan

May 23 2008

Media Release

First Budget Poll: New Zealanders support three year tax cut plan, but not totally satisfied

New Zealanders are not totally satisfied with the tax cut benefits they will personally get from the Budget, but support the three year $10.6 billion tax reform programme.

According to the first interim result of a nationwide ShapeNZ poll on Budget measures, covering 2523 respondents, there is overwhelming approval for the Budget’s health and education spending policies.

The survey, weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment, ethnicity and party vote 2005, to provide a nationally representative population sample, has a maximum margin of error of + or – 2% on the full sample.


More people (25%) think the Budget will make their household better or much better off, compared with 14% who think it will make the household less well off, while 57% say it will not make a difference.

Asked if the size of their personal tax cut, or family tax credit increase, if any, leaves them satisfied or dissatisfied, 36% say they are dissatisfied, 22% satisfied while 39% say they are neither and 3% don’t know.

Asked if they agree or disagree with personal income tax cuts being made between October this year and April 2011, 47% agree (7% strongly) and 43% disagree (13% strongly) while 10% don’t know.


The country is evenly split of whether or not the $45.88 national super benefit rise for married couples, and $23.84 rise for single superannuitants, is enough.

47% rate it as too generous (3%) or about right (44%), while 48% say it is not generous enough. 6% don’t know. An analysis shows younger people think the payment is fine, while a majority of people 55 plus don’t think it is high enough.


A high 83% support the education spending policies, while 13% disagree with them and 5% don’t know.


The health policy package, including $750 million extra a year to improve four key areas, is supported by 77%, opposed by 12% while 11% don’t know.


52% agree that the tax cuts are being achieved at no cost of social spending (in areas like benefits, education and health).

However 30% think the Budget will result in rises in mortgage and other interest rates (44% say no change, 6% think it will lower rates and 20% don’t know)

57% think it will have no impact on employment, while 16% think it will decrease employment, 13% think it will create jobs and 13% don’t know.

Asked how it will affect New Zealand’s long-term future, 45% say it will make no difference, while 23% say it will leave the country worse off and 21% say better off. 11% don’t know.


The poll is continuing at www.shapenz.org.nz, and another interim result, expected to contain responses from more than 2700 people, will be released tomorrow. It will cover what future tax cut policies people want, the caveats on future tax cuts and the Budget’s impact on swinging voters.


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