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Labour’s promise: We’ll own our own future

Labour’s promise: We’ll own our own future

Labour has today revealed a bold plan to stop our valuable assets being flogged off overseas, give hard-working Kiwis a tax break, pay off the country’s ballooning debt and grow our economy.

Labour leader Phil Goff said: “New Zealand is drifting without a plan. Debt is out of control. The economy is not performing. Record numbers of New Zealanders are leaving permanently.

“We are fighting for the future of our country. It’s that simple. It’s time to show courage and take action,” said Phil Goff.

“Labour’s plan charts a course for a stronger, more resilient economy and will allow us to keep our valuable assets for the benefit of future generations. We will make the hard decisions needed to secure a prosperous, long-term future for all New Zealanders.

“Our policies will result in investment shifting from speculation on property to the productive sector. This will lead to more jobs with better pay, give the economy a much-needed boost so that we can pay our way in the world and make it easier for more Kiwis to buy their first homes.

“We need to build an economy that has the capacity to create safety nets to pay for future shocks, like the devastating Canterbury earthquakes.

“These changes won’t be easy and some people won’t like them. But it’s the right thing to do,” said Phil Goff.

Labour’s policy includes the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax, which is already in use in nearly all developed countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom and United States.

“It’s not fair for people to have to pay tax on every dollar they earn from wages or interest on their money in the bank while others are making huge profits buying and selling assets without paying any tax,” said Phil Goff.

“This tax switch is about creating a fairer tax system. In fact, under Labour, the overwhelming majority of Kiwis will end up paying less tax not more.”

The key points of the proposed capital gains tax are that:

Most New Zealanders will not pay the tax. It will not apply to the family home. Those who do pay it will still get to keep 85% of any gain they make because the tax rate will be set at a flat 15%. It’s predicted the tax will raise $26 billion over 15 years that can be used to pay off debt, cut taxes for most New Zealanders, save our assets and prepare for the mounting cost of our aging population. Real estate in the Canterbury CERA zone will be exempt for at least five years to give earthquake-affected residents some relief. Labour will also put the top tax rate back up to 39 cents for income earned over $150,000. That’s likely to affect around 2% of the country’s top earners.

“This is about everyone paying their fair share – nothing more, nothing less. We won’t be borrowing billions of dollars to give tax cuts to the wealthy like the National Party is. Instead, we will be asking those earning the most to pay just a little more, to help meet costs like the Canterbury earthquakes. “We know that many middle and low-income Kiwis are finding it hard to make ends meet. We’ll ease their burden, by making the first $5000 they earn tax free. That’s $500 extra a year in the pocket of every New Zealander.

“We’ll also take all GST off fresh fruit and vegetables so families can afford healthy food.

“Labour has a plan. National doesn’t. Its only idea is to sell our assets off to big corporates and foreign buyers. That is incredibly short-sighted and will see New Zealanders become tenants in their own land. For goodness sake, if you’re in a hole, why would you sell off the ladder?!

“New Zealanders have said loud and clear that our assets should not be put on the block. We need to own our own future, to hold it and safeguard it for future generations. Putting our heritage up for auction is not the solution.

“For nearly three years, National has been content to tinker with the economy when bold action is needed. They’ve had their chance. They’ve failed.

“The time for tinkering is over. Labour has a plan and the courage to make it work so that New Zealand can become a better place to live for all Kiwis.

Labour's Fairer Tax System explained (pdf)


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