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Newsworthy: Tax Cuts – yeah right

16 November 2007 - No. 232

Tax Cuts – yeah right

A selection of comments from the Labour-led Government (matched with Treasury comment) cast doubts on tax cuts under the present regime. 

“Tax cuts are a path to inequality.  They are the promises of a visionless and intellectually bankrupt people”: – Helen Clark – Labour Party conference 2000
“This healthy fiscal financial position presents the government with scope to cut taxes, increase expenditure and build up financial assets” – Treasury May 2003
“Recommendations: reduce the higher marginal rates on personal income (33% and 39%), the marginal rate on company tax (33%) and the high effective marginal rates at low to medium incomes…Consider tax reductions alongside potential new spending” – Treasury October 2005
“People who advocate large tax cuts off the back of large surpluses should be taken out and quietly drowned” – Michael Cullen February 2006
“$8.5 million surplus and still no tax cuts?  So?  What’s the connection between the two?  None, right!” – Michael Cullen September 2006
“I’d have liked to have done it [cutting taxes] earlier and I think all our cabinet and caucus would have, but we’ve never had advice which made that possible” – Helen Clark on The Agenda Programme November 2007
National’s policies
It remains unclear when the election will be but we know it can’t be after 15 November 2008.  The last election was on 17 September 2005 so maybe it will be September.

Meanwhile National continues to release its policies – The current summary of released material is:

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• An ongoing programme of personal tax cuts
• Bring discipline to government spending
• Boost investment in our over-stretched infrastructure
• Cut bureaucracy and red tape
• Reduce pressure on interest rates

Enhancing Police Tools
• Introduce tasers (if the taser trial is deemed a success)
• Require DNA to be taken from people arrested for crimes that could lead to prison
• Allow police to issue on-the-spot protection orders to protect families
• Strengthen the bail laws

Clamping Down on Gangs
• Strengthen the law that makes it illegal to belong to a criminal organisation
• Make it easier for police to conduct surveillance on gangs
• Give police more power to remove gang fortifications
• Make gang membership a factor in sentencing

National Education Standards
• Set national standards in reading, writing, and maths
• Assess all primary and intermediate schoolchildren against these standards
• Make sure parents get the results

Trades in Schools
• Introduce school-based apprenticeships
• Promote trades training for schools
• Address the technology teacher crisis
• Develop specialist Trade Academy Schools

Nuclear Free
• No change to NZ’s anti-nuclear legislation

• Regular and independent state-of-the-environment reporting
• Cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050
• Reform the Resource Management Act to boost renewable energy
• Back community conservation efforts

Home Affordability
• Free up the supply of suitable land
• Cut building compliance costs
• Let state house tenants buy their homes

State Housing
• No return to market-based rents

Turbo-Charging Community Groups 
• Remove the cap on tax rebates for charitable donations
• Full-cost funding to reflect true costs
• Cut red tape and compliance costs

Employment Relations Act
• Introduce an optional 90-day probation period for new employees

Accident Insurance
• Provide choice for accident insurance in the workplace.

In addition National has published discussion papers on Health, Aged Care and Foreign Affairs

EFB protest march
In the world of acronyms EFB is a reference to the Electoral Finance Bill which the Government is determined to pass and which has for its very purpose a plan to entrench the present Government in power. 

There is a protest march on Saturday 17 November at 10.30am from the Auckland Town Hall.

Political Quote of the Week

"I always wanted to be someone, but I should have been more specific" - Lily Tomlin - American actress, comedian, writer and producer

Dr Richard Worth
National Party MP



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