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Tax cuts - why are we waiting?

Don Brash National Finance Spokesman

3 October 2003

Tax cuts - why are we waiting?

The National Party says Labour desperately wants to shut down talk of tax cuts despite a big jump in the surplus and growing pressure from its key ally, United Future.

"It's glaringly obvious that this huge surplus proves this Government is taking too much tax off ordinary New Zealanders," says National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash.

"The revised surplus of $5.6 billion is equivalent to almost $1500 for every person in this country.

"But instead of considering tax cuts across the board - and encouraging investment and growth - this Government is playing politics by dangling a promise to help the lower paid in time for the next election.

"National has no quarrel with cutting taxes on lower to middle income groups, but we do have a quarrel with leaving it at that.

"All New Zealanders deserve tax relief - and they should have it now."

Dr Brash says it is little wonder that the Government tried to keep reaction to the big jump in the surplus as muted as possible.

"A recent research paper prepared for the Ministry of Economic Development shows that New Zealand's income tax as a proportion of GDP is the fourth highest among the 21 OECD countries.

"The same research highlights that the Government's fiscal policies need "significant attention in any policy package designed to return New Zealand's per capita income to the top half of the OECD."

"As we've said many times, New Zealand doesn't have a dog's chance of getting back into the top half of the OECD unless the Government alters course on current policies and uses its massive surpluses to cut tax rates," says Dr Brash.

Ends


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