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The Government plans to squeeze an extra $17.7 billion in tax out of ordinary New Zealanders in the next four years even as the economy slows, meaning it will take a bigger bite out of our national pie, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“The Treasury has trimmed its economic growth forecasts through until 2023 and ordinarily that would see the amount of tax pouring into the Government’s coffers slow as well. But the Government wants more of everything, so New Zealanders get less.

“We’ve heard a lot from the coalition about ‘transformational Government’. Now we know it means higher taxes, lower growth and households worse off.

“Why does this Government think it is OK to take more money out of New Zealanders’ wallets at the same time as their living costs such as rent, electricity and fuel are rising?

“The Government isn’t content with the raft of extra taxes and costs it has imposed in its first year and clearly sees the back pockets of ordinary Kiwis as theirs to raid. As a result New Zealanders will be paying $17.7 billion more in taxes compared to what they would be paying under a National Government. That’s almost $10,000 per household.

“New Zealand families are already having to make each dollar stretch further. The last thing they need is a Government continually adding to household costs, especially by an administration with a track record of wasteful spending.

“The size of the waste is significant, including $2.8 billion wasted on its failed fees-free tertiary education policy and $280 million so far on reviews and working groups.

“Poor Government decisions make it harder for New Zealanders and place our strong economic performance at risk. We need to get back on track before things go wrong and we miss out on the opportunities created by hard-working Kiwis over the last nine years.”

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