Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


National floats company tax cut, wants higher pension age

National floats company tax cut, recommits to higher pension age

By Pattrick Smellie

Aug. 26 (BusinessDesk) - The National Party is floating a cut to New Zealand's 28 percent company tax rate among a suite of possible tax changes it would promise going into the 2020 election.

"New Zealand has one of the highest company tax rates in the OECD at 28 percent and we collect the fourth largest share of tax in the OECD from companies," the party's leader, Simon Bridges, said today at a launch of the party's economic policy discussion document in Auckland.

"Tax is one of the single largest costs for businesses and can be the difference between a business surviving or not. So we’re asking questions about whether the company tax rate is becoming uncompetitive."

Finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith also re-committed National to its 2017 election campaign position to raising the age of entitlement for national superannuation from 65 at present to 67, but not starting that process for another 18 years, in 2037.

"We made this commitment to ensure the long-term sustainability of the scheme. We will again campaign on this," he said.

Also on the table are a proposal to allow savers to deduct the impact of inflation from their taxable interest income, small business tax relief modelled on Australia's, and accelerated depreciation for business assets.

Bridges accused the government of slowing the economy by slamming the brakes on a range of previously green-lit roading projects and failing to build momentum for plans of its own, such as the Auckland light rail lines.

"National is considering new approaches to infrastructure funding and procurement ranging from commercial revenue schemes, partnerships with the private sector and capital injections from general government spending," he said.

Congestion charging also remained on National's agenda to help "efficiently manage the flow of traffic" and which would be "revenue neutral." Work on that project began under the previous National-led government but was always some years over the horizon owing to the immaturity of available charging systems. Labour is also open to congestion charging, but only when sufficient public transport options to replace private car use are in place.

Other elements of the discussion paper that would see National return to policies of the Key/English government include reintroducing specific health, education and law and order targets that were developed under then Finance Minister Bill English's 'social investment approach' and have been replaced by a wider set of targets by the current administration.

Amendments to the Public Finance Act and changes at the Treasury would seek to identify waste in public spending and refocus on the outcomes that policies were achieving.

The paper also commits National to imposing a requirement that all government agencies pay small businesses within 30 days of invoicing and introducing a voluntary 'Small Business Payments Guarantee’, "committing large New Zealand businesses and not-for-profits to ensure New Zealand small businesses are paid on time and within 30 days."

Bridges also promised a "regulations bonfire," taking a leaf from the Donald Trump playbook by promising to "repeal 100 regulations in our first six months in government and we’ll eliminate two old regulations for every new one we introduce."

On tax policy, National has already announced it would index tax brackets to inflation to deal with so-called 'bracket creep', where people on lower and middle incomes work their way into the top tax brackets simply because those brackets haven't been changed for some years.

Goldsmith recommitted that "we won’t introduce any new taxes in our first term." The party would also repeal the regional fuel tax, repeal the offshore oil and gas exploration ban, overturn the current government's foreign investment restrictions, and repeal changes to employment legislation, including the removal of 90-day trials for firms employing more than 20 people.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>


Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>


Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>


First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>


Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>





InfoPages News Channels