Grant Robertson is the first Minister of Finance since Muldoon to fail to deliver a budget suplus during a time of economic boom, says the Taxpayers’ Union, commenting from today’s Budget 2022 Beehive lockup.
“With Government revenues booming, it is stunning that Grant Robertson has failed to deliver either tax relief or a surplus,” says Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
“The spike to inflation has seen record revenue flooding into the Beehive due to workers paying higher income tax rates and more GST. But despite the inflation, the lowest unemployment since records began, the end of COVID lockdowns, and better than expected economic numbers, Grant Robertson has actually pushed back the return to surplus.”
“It is stunning that, during a cost of living crisis, Grant Robertson has failed to give back any of his windfall gain to the workers who earned it. His failure to deliver either income tax relief or a balanced budget beggars belief: while households tighten belts, Wellington balloons.”
“With Government revenues as strong as they are, the Finance Minister could have today announced both income tax relief and a surplus. Instead, he’s decided to feast on the revenue with a laundry list of spending commitments.”
“The temporary $27-per week ‘cost of living’ payment is a cruel joke. Unlike genuine tax relief, it fails to improve productivity incentives. It’s just a three month handout, and an ineffective one at that. At current prices, it wouldn’t even buy two blocks of cheese!”
“The only silver lining is pushing back by three months the hike to petrol taxes and Road User Charges. With inflation running at 6.9%, the hike to petrol taxes should have been squashed permanently”