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Today’s report from the Tax Working Group will do little to reduce fears that more taxes are going to be imposed on New Zealand households and businesses, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Despite being given the opportunity to do so, the Government has refused to confirm its tax plans will be fiscally neutral. But this supposed review of the tax system shouldn’t be used as a stalking horse for higher taxes.

“Costs of living are already going up through higher petrol prices and rents, and outstripped wage growth in the last quarter. New Zealand families and small businesses deserve to know if this Government is softening us up for more taxes like a Capital Gains Tax.

“National welcomes the TWG ruling out a land tax or a wealth tax and not tampering with GST but is deeply concerned that the group clearly plans to bring in a Capital Gains Tax.

“The report is a missed opportunity to consider better ways to have the tax system incentivise savings and investment, lift productivity and help small businesses to grow.

“It isn’t good enough for the Government to say any recommendations it takes up won’t come into force until 2021. Taxes already take more of our income than in almost any country outside of Europe, amounting to $50,000 a year on average per household. And the tax take is already set to double by 2032 even before new taxes are added.

“Rather than working out ways to take more money from New Zealanders, the better approach would be to stop the low-quality and untargeted spending we are seeing all too often.

“National believes New Zealanders should be able to keep more of what they earn. The tax system should encourage productive investment and savings, not penalise those who try to get ahead.

“In typical Labour style, this is a Government that clearly thinks it knows how to spend your money better than you do.”

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