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National doesn’t care about Kiwi battlers

10 December 2008 Media Statement

Unfair tax law proves National doesn’t care about Kiwi battlers

Tax legislation being rammed through Parliament by National proves National doesn’t care about tens of thousands of Kiwi battlers, many of whom will lose money instead of getting a tax cut, says Labour Leader Phil Goff.

Mr Goff said the Taxation (Urgent Measures and Annual Rates) Bill is inherently unfair. “National said it would look after hard-working Kiwi battlers. That’s a lie. National is actually increasing the amount of tax many of these Kiwis pay.

“If you’re earning $750,000 a year, you’ll gain $260 a week under National’s plan, but all that families on the average wage of $45,000 a year will get is an extra $2 a week. On $44,000 a year, families will break even. But if families are earning less than $44,000, they will be paying more tax and subsidising the more affluent.

Mr Goff said families who “struggle to feed their children and get them to school will get little or nothing, while those who can send their children to high decile schools will get hundreds of dollars. Where’s the fairness there? There isn’t any. National said it wouldn’t tolerate an underclass, but the first thing it is doing under urgency is cutting the living standard of tens of thousands of New Zealanders.”

Mr Goff said the unfairness was compounded by the fact that the same New Zealanders who will end up paying more taxes, than they would under Labour’s legislated tax cuts, are those who will be most vulnerable to losing their jobs, and who will be “denied protection against unjust dismissal because of National’s 90-day fire-at-will bill.

“I am astounded that the Maori Party is supporting this legislation. This tax law will damage the economic interests of the majority of people in Maori electorates, yet the Maori Party is collaborating in this National-ACT proposed change that will undermine the interests of ordinary Maori working families all around the country.”

Mr Goff said the tax cuts were being financed by taking $1.5 billion out of research and development funding and by savagely undermining KiwiSaver through removing $3.5 billion from the savings accounts of New Zealanders.

“That shows just how short-sighted this legislation is. At a time when we need to be investing in creativity, and we need to be motivating people to save, we are moving in the opposite direction.”


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