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Labour is set to rush through legislation at the end of this week to remove $1060 from the pay-packets of average Kiwis next year in the vain hope that no one will notice, National Party Finance Spokesman Steven Joyce says.

“This new law will mean people on the average wage pay $1060 more in income tax from 1 April next year than is currently the case,” Mr Joyce says.

“It is deeply ironic that the first significant act of a Government with the stated aspiration of lifting workers’ wages is to reduce what workers will earn next year.

“With Parliament marking time for the last fortnight it is quite obvious that Labour has been delaying the debate as long as possible and hoping that the public misses the changes completely in the pre-Christmas rush.

“It is also obvious from Grant Robertson’s discomfort in Question Time last week that even Labour are embarrassed by the changes.

“Now they are saying they won’t start debating the new law until this Thursday, at which point they will ram it through cynically under urgency.”

Mr Joyce says this is an extraordinary approach for a contentious change that is being driven by a party that attracted less than 37 per cent support in the recent election.

“We need to remember that both New Zealand First and the Greens voted in support of the tax package seven months ago that Labour now want to unwind. They also didn’t campaign on removing it.

“New Zealand First in particular will have a lot of explaining to do to their voter base when they vote to remove $676 a year from Superannuitants and Veterans from 1 April.

“National will be opposing the changes vigorously. We need a proper serious debate on these changes and we’ll be debating it for as long as it takes.

“This isn’t theoretical student politics. Labour’s tax plans will have a real and significant negative effect on the lives of over a million New Zealanders.”

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