National puts tax back on the political agenda

by Jane Patterson / 30 January, 2019
simon bridges tax plan 2019

Simon Bridges. Photo/RNZ

RelatedArticlesModule - pols

National has unveiled a new tax plan that would boost income tax thresholds every three years to keep pace with inflation.

Leader Simon Bridges has announced the new policy at his State of the Nation speech in Christchurch.

"By 2022, New Zealanders on the average wage are expected to move into the top tax bracket.

"That's not fair, and it's not right. New Zealanders should not pay more tax every year even when their income isn't keeping up with the rising cost of living."

The first change would be in 2021 and would relate to the tax years of 2018, 2019 and 2020.

There would be a veto clause so any government could withhold the threshold changes in the "rare circumstances that there is good reason to do so".

Mr Bridges also ruled out any increases to petrol taxes in the first term of a National government, along with three other tax-related commitments.

He said the coalition government had burdened New Zealanders with more taxes including a regional fuel tax, and is lining up to introduce even more.

When it came to power the government cancelled National's $2 billion tax cut package, using that money instead to fund its more targeted Families Package.

"The government now has more money, while New Zealanders have less. And worse is coming," he warned.

Mr Bridges told the business audience the government's "bad decisions" were driving up the cost of necessities.

"New petrol taxes are costing households $250 a year and more costs on landlords have already driven up rents by $30 a week.

"At the same time, the government cancelled tax relief which would have given the typical working Kiwi an extra $1000 a year," said Mr Bridges.

He said that all added up for families earning $50,000, or even $70,000, who should not be considered wealthy.

"An extra $1000 a year, on top of rising wages, would have given them fewer worries, and more choices."

The Tax Working Group will soon deliver its final report to Finance Minister Grant Robertson, with proposals for different ways of taxing capital gain.

Mr Bridges said the government was lining up to introduce "a Capital Gains Tax on small businesses, farms, lifestyle blocks, family baches, rental properties and KiwiSaver accounts".

"That is even though New Zealanders already pay too much tax. Why do I say that? Because this government is wasteful."

He also made four commitments if National was elected in 2020:

  • Repeal the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
  • Ensure no increase in petrol taxes during the first term
  • No new taxes in our first term
  • Repeal a Capital Gains Tax.

This article was first published on Radio NZ.

Latest

Death of the gods: The woeful response to kauri dieback disease
102578 2019-02-21 00:00:00Z Planet

Death of the gods: The woeful response to kauri di…

by Bob Harvey

The closer you get to a kauri, the more you realise you are looking at one of the wonders of the planet.

Read more
Win a double pass to Everybody Knows
102573 2019-02-20 13:19:44Z Win

Win a double pass to Everybody Knows

by The Listener

Starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, Everybody Knows is a gripping new thriller about the fissures and fault lines that can tear a family apart.

Read more
Fall into a beautiful abyss at this must-see dance show in Auckland
102571 2019-02-20 12:12:54Z Where to go in Auckland

Fall into a beautiful abyss at this must-see dance…

by Metro

A contemporary dance show that marries dystopian anxiety with raw energy is a must-see at the Auckland Arts Festival.

Read more
Climate change declaration 'politically charged' – Thames-Coromandel mayor
102563 2019-02-20 09:39:08Z Planet

Climate change declaration 'politically charged' –…

by Kate Gudsell

A push to get local authorities to sign up to a declaration on climate change is "politically charged and driven", the Thames-Coromandel mayor says.

Read more
What's inside Metro's March/April 2019 issue?
102558 2019-02-20 09:24:47Z Auckland Issues

What's inside Metro's March/April 2019 issue?

by Metro

Top 50 wines, rappers Church & AP, fast-talking poet Selina Tusitala Marsh and what to see at Auckland Arts Festival.

Read more
China could be using Taiwan as a testing ground for disinformation campaigns
102550 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z World

China could be using Taiwan as a testing ground fo…

by Gavin Ellis

A Taiwanese diplomat’s death in Japan has become a symbol of the consequences and dangers of disinformation.

Read more
The best way to beat food cravings? Fill up on the objects of your desire
102087 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z Nutrition

The best way to beat food cravings? Fill up on the…

by Jennifer Bowden

Research has shown that dieters’ attempts to resist eating certain foods appear to lead to cravings for those foods.

Read more
Deepfake: How disinformation fools our brains and damages democracy
102545 2019-02-20 00:00:00Z Tech

Deepfake: How disinformation fools our brains and…

by Gavin Ellis

Message manipulation using bots, algorithms and, now, AI software is making it harder to know what’s real – and threatening democracy itself.

Read more