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Budget 2024: The Mother Of All Disappointments

Nicola Willis’s first Budget is the “The Mother of All Disappointments” says the Taxpayers’ Union, failing all three tests the National Party were elected to deliver on:

  • The tax reductions amount to just half the costs to the average worker of 14 years of inflation pushing them into higher marginal tax brackets. Instead of delivering the required $49 per week for the average earner, Willis has delivered just half – at $24.89 for the average worker on $66,196 a year. This amounts to a reversal of just the last three years of fiscal drag.
  • Reducing the size of Government back to pre-Covid levels after an 84 percent increase in spending and hiring an extra 18,000 bureaucrats. Instead of cutting spending, Budget 2024 spends $12.7 billion more than Grant Robertson’s largess last year.
  • Nicola Willis has totally failed to balance books with the date for surplus pushed back a year. This is a breach of the first “fiscal principle” listed in National’s pre-election Fiscal Plan. The deficit for the year ahead is even larger than the current year. Instead of stopping the Debt Clock, Nicola Willis is making it tick faster, and for longer.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, said:

“The Budget delivered by Nicola Willis today is The Mother of All Disappointments.”

“Each of the three coalition partners were elected to cut wasteful government spending. While there’s a little reprioritisation, this Budget spends more than Grant Robertson ever did.

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“Both Nicola Willis and Christopher Luxon have repeatedly made the point that personal income tax brackets have not been adjusted for inflation since 2010. But rather than deliver the $49 a week less tax to put this right, the Government has opted for just half that and unwound just three years’ worth of inflation pushing workers into higher tax brackets. That isn’t tax relief, it’s shortchanging Kiwis who are continuing to do it tough.

“Nicola Willis can only reduce tax by a tiny amount as she won’t take the steps needed to right size the Public Service. Even by 2038, Nicola Willis will have higher Government spending as a share of our economy than Grant Robertson proposed in his 2019 Wellbeing Budget lolly scramble.

“If Nicola Willis is a fiscal conservative, she’s certainly not showing it – in fact, this Budget will be known for effectively ‘locking-in’ the new super-sized state created by Ardern and Robertson.

“All in all, this Budget means New Zealand goes further into the red. Debt servicing costs for the coming year will be $9.2 billion. That’s the same as we are forecast to spend on primary schools, secondary schools, and justice combined. This level of ongoing borrowing simply means we will be paying higher taxes for years to come.”

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