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Tax cuts: Let the games begin

5 November 2007

Let the games begin

The lack of detail in the Government’s tax cut announcement, along with the cat-and-mouse political game around timing could risk disillusioning voters and do little to staunch the tsunami of New Zealanders heading to Australia, says Ernst & Young Tax Director Jo Doolan.

“If we are serious about trying to retain our skilled work force we should demand the cards are put on the table now, not in April or some other suitable time to coincide with the election.

“Why is it that we know all about the future personal tax reductions in Australia - with the result anyone earning $200,000 or less is better off living there - but in our own country we are not afforded the same treatment?

“Holding out this is not an election issue insults the intelligence of the electorate.

“When making corporate tax changes the Government is diligent about ensuring it consults with all the interested parties and is often credited with actually listening rather than going through the motions.

“Why is this not also on the cards with personal tax cuts - let’s put the options before people and let them have a say,” she says.

With the likely announcement for any decisions being early April it does not seem that we will be seeing any details of the tax cuts likely before the next election, says Jo Doolan.

Meanwhile, she says, the public is left to speculate on several scenarios – whether it be the reintroduction of the so-called chewing-gum tax cuts which offered between 67 cents and $10 a week; the average of an extra $45 a week under National’s proposals from the last election; or, Revenue Ministers Peter Dunne’s wish list fulfilled at a 30% top personal tax rate.


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