Labour changes tax strategy after National attacks

Marco Green
September 14, 2017

Under a Labour government, a working group would examine tax in New Zealand and recommend changes.

Federated Farmers says farmers will hold a protest to "express their frustration with the continued attacks on rural New Zealand" in Morrinsville, hometown of Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern, next Monday. The press release argues water quality issues are a challenge for all New Zealanders and criticises the concept of a water tax, which is being proposed by Labour ahead of the September 23 election.

"We want to be in there but our housing bottom line is pretty firm for us", she told New Zealand media.

"And that is around our plans to continue to tackle the housing crisis, to have tax working group to undertake that work, because there is that urgency".

She has said shifting from Hamilton's Dinsdale to the forestry town of Murupara in the Bay of Plenty opened her eyes to the deprivation some New Zealanders lived in, and addressing that was her reason for entering politics.

"There will be no new taxes or levies introduced in our first term of government beyond those we have already announced. Australia has that same carve-out in their agreement with Korea, so we don't anticipate that would be a significant sticking point", she said.

"It's wonderful to be here in the region which is the birthplace and heart of the Labour Party", she said to cheers.

Among the taxes Mr Robertson has ruled out changing are GST, corporate rates and income tax.

National Party leader Bill English said Labour's announcement was "not much of a walkback". We simply don't need to impose a Capital Gains Tax, Land Tax, Regional Fuel Tax, extra Income Tax, Water Tax or an Inheritance Tax.

The problems they identified then were very much the same as they're still talking about today, which doesn't say a lot for Governments listening.

"As I understand what they've done is postpone a couple of taxes - capital gains tax and land tax - you'll still be voting for a committee to decide that, because apparently Labour seem to want to do it, but can't bring themselves to say so". We know they support capital gains tax, they talk continuously about dealing to speculation in the housing market.

"New Zealanders do have a choice about whether or not they want to invest in our rebuilding our health and housing and education systems, making 70 percent of families better off, or giving tax cuts". Their own taxation working group who (like the Labour one will also do) got their heads together the year after they came to power.

The more taxes she takes off the table, the greater the impression is that she knows exactly what she wants to do with the system and that creates the uncertainty. Any changes would not come into effect until April 2021, after the 2020 election.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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