The Government would be gambling with New Zealand’s future prosperity if it made good on its threats to impose a Capital Gains Tax, which would be a tax on both savers and investors, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“National would repeal a Capital Gains Tax because it would make it harder for us as a country to tackle two of our biggest long-term challenges – a poor track record of saving and a shallow pool of capital to invest in our businesses, our infrastructure and our growth.

“That’s why New Zealand’s entrepreneurs and innovators have been among the fiercest critics of this divisive new tax. They know how hard it is to get funding for a start-up – no matter how good their idea. It sends a message that they’d be better to head overseas.

“The Government seems oblivious to the economic damage a Capital Gains Tax would inflict on New Zealand but it has created deep concern among those closer to the engine room of our economy. Under this Government’s watch, the economy is weakening.

“The New Zealand stock exchange has launched a petition to oppose a Capital Gains Tax which it says would ‘discourage investment in New Zealand businesses and stunt the growth of our capital markets’. Financial advisers have called the tax ‘a kick in the guts’.

“Harbour Asset Management says the Capital Gains Tax as proposed ‘may significantly distort savings for retirement and lower investment, productivity, employment and economic growth’.

“As a small trading nation a long way from many of our traditional markets, any competitive advantages have been hard-won for New Zealand. Adding a new tax on New Zealand shares makes them less appealing in a highly competitive global market for capital.

“National believes New Zealanders should keep more of what they earn and a prudent Government should keep a firm hold on its spending before it looks for ways to impose more taxes. We would repeal a Capital Gains Tax and we won’t introduce any new taxes in our first term.”

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